How to Use Acupressure to Induce Labor

Table of contents:

How to Use Acupressure to Induce Labor
How to Use Acupressure to Induce Labor

Many women want to induce labor naturally, and using some acupressure points is one way to do this. Proponents of this technique believe it works by stimulating the cervix to dilate as well as contractions.


Part 1 of 3: Understanding Acupressure

Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 1

Step 1. Understand the concept of acupressure

This therapy, developed over 5,000 years ago in Asia, is a very important part of Chinese medicine and is based on specific positioning of the fingers, especially the thumbs, along some points of the body, which are then massaged and stimulated. At times, elbows, knees, legs and feet can also be used in place of fingers.

  • These points are organized along energetic channels called meridians. According to Asian medical philosophy, stimulating these areas can release tension and increase blood flow.
  • One of the best known techniques is Shiatsu massage.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 2

Step 2. Understand what acupressure is for

Like a massage, it reduces muscle tension and causes deep relaxation. Furthermore, it is also used to reduce pain. People often use acupressure to relieve nausea, vomiting, headaches, neck or back pain, tiredness, mental and physical stress, and even addictions. Both this and other Asian therapies correct imbalances and blockages in the flow of vital energy.

  • Nowadays, many spas and medical centers offer this service. Although many people are skeptical, doctors and practitioners are very confident in the positive effects of the technique; there is even a lot of scientific research on acupressure.
  • To become a professional, you need to take a certified course. In it, people will study anatomy and physiology, in addition to specific acupressure techniques. If the person already has a license as a massage therapist, the duration of the course is shorter.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 3

Step 3. Locate the most common pressure points

There are hundreds of them spread throughout the human body, but the best known are:

  • "Hegu" or "IG4" means the skin between the thumb and index finger.
  • "F3" means the skin between the big toe and the second toe.
  • "Sanyinjiao" or "SP6", the lower part of the calf.
  • Many of these pressure points are known by various names or even abbreviations.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 4

Step 4. Know the right time to use acupressure during pregnancy

This therapy is known to help women with morning sickness, back pain and childbirth pain. Although it is a safe technique, use it with care. It is best to contact a professional before trying to do it yourself.

All pressure points connected with induction of labor should be avoided in a pregnant woman until she reaches 40 weeks. Otherwise, delivery may start too soon

Part 2 of 3: Using pressure points on hands and back

Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 5

Step 1. Use IG4 (Hegu), the point best known for inducing labor

It is located in the hands, between the thumb and forefinger.

  • To use it, pinch the skin between these fingers. Focus on the area between the first and second metacarpals and apply firm, steady pressure. Then start making a circular motion with your fingers. When your hands start to hurt, simply shake them and repeat the process.
  • When a contraction starts, stop squeezing. When it passes, press again.
  • This pressure point helps the uterus to contract, and consequently the baby to fit into the pelvic cavity. It can be used during childbirth to relieve the sensation caused by contractions.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 6

Step 2. Use VB21, also known as "Jian Jing"

This point is between the neck and the shoulder. Before locating it, lower your head forward. Have someone find the upper part of the cervical spine and then the shoulder joint. VB21 is halfway between these two points.

  • With your thumb or forefinger, apply steady pressure to the area to massage it. On the opposite hand, you can also use the IG4 point for four or five seconds.
  • The VB21 is also used to relieve any stiff neck, headaches and shoulder discomfort.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 7

Step 3. Scrub the B32, or "Ciliao"

This pressure point is in the lower back, in the second foramen of the sacrum, and is used to induce labor, reduce pain during this time, and also help the baby to fit.

  • To locate it, ask the pregnant woman to kneel on the bed. Run your fingers along the spine until you find two "holes" - one on each side of the spine. This formation will be between the coccyx dimples and the spine - they are not the same dimples!
  • Press your thumbs into the B32 or rub in a circular motion.
  • If you cannot find these "holes", measure the length of the woman's index finger. Above the fold of the butt, measure the same distance. Then use the width of the thumb for each side of the spine.

Part 3 of 3: Using pressure points on feet and ankles

Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 8

Step 1. Use SP6, or "Sanyinjiao"

This point is located on the legs, just above the ankle bone. Its function is to distend the uterus and strengthen contractions. However, keep in mind that SP6 must be used with care.

  • To use it, first locate the ankle bone. Then place three fingers above the shin bone and slide towards the back of the leg to find a more delicate area. In pregnant women, this point is extremely sensitive.
  • Rub in circles or apply constant pressure for ten minutes, or until you have a contraction. Once the contraction stops, repeat the process.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 9

Step 2. If the baby has not yet fitted, use the B60massageraleigh, also located on the ankle

  • Find the point between the ankle bone and the Achilles tendon. Press with your thumb or make a circular motion.
  • This point is usually used during the early stage of labor, when the baby has not yet fitted into the pelvis.
  • B60 is believed to increase circulation and decrease pain.
Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 10

Step 3. Stimulate the B67, located on the fifth toe

It is believed to help induce labor and reposition babies who are head-up.

Hold the pregnant woman's foot and apply pressure on the tip of the fifth toe, just below the nail

Use Acupressure to Induce Labor Step 11

Step 4. For any questions, consult the obstetrician

He will be able to clear up any concerns you have.

If you want to know more about acupressure during pregnancy, talk to a professional


  • You can press points IG4 or SP6 yourself or ask someone else for help.
  • Some professionals recommend using multiple stitches at once. For example, press IG4 on your left hand and SP6 on your right leg; rest for a few minutes and repeat the same process alternating limbs. If you like, use the B32 in rotation.
  • Pressure can be applied for seconds or even minutes.
  • Every woman is different and, therefore, pressure should be applied for a comfortable time for the pregnant woman.
  • Record the timing of contractions to determine if therapy is working - use a timer to record when they begin and end. If acupressure is helping, the interval between contractions will shorten.


Popular by topic