Pregnancy Acupressure Techniques

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For times when your pregnancy is painful or causing unwanted symptoms, acupressure can help relieve problems. Get rid of problems you may be facing with help from a doctor of Oriental medicine in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Acupressure & Acupuncture
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Hillary Talbott, acupuncture physician, and clinical herbalist, coming to you today from Acupuncture & Herbal Therapies. Today, we will be discussing pregnancy acupressure techniques. So, acupressure can be extremely helpful in relieving some of the pain associated with being pregnant, as well as inducing labor. So, I'm going to show you a couple of points, and explain a little bit of what they do. Now, I've had our model sit this way on a chair, because when you're in your, like, second or third term, it's often uncomfortable to lay on your back. So, you either need to straddle a chair and lean forward on a table so that you have some support, or lay on your left side if possible. The first point I'm going to show you is at the top of the shoulders, Gallbladder 21. Now, a lot of you probably intuitively find this point when you're, you know, massaging a loved one. It's at the head of the trapezius muscle. So, you squeeze the shoulders together, and then press your finger down in the middle until you find a tender, sweet spot. Now, this point has a very downward bearing action, so you wouldn't want to massage this point until you were close to term and ready to deliver. This point is also very helpful if done by a partner with moderate to heavy pressure during labor, especially if the labor is prolonged. This will help speed up the contractions. And so, techniques for this area include kneading. So, almost as if you're just, you're kneading bread on a countertop, you're going to squeeze the muscles, and use your thumbs. Now, another area that's great during pregnancy is all of this area in the lower sacrum. This area gets quite tight once you're in your second and third trimester and the belly is protruding. It puts a lot of pressure on this area of the back. So, a couple of points that are really helpful are to, sometimes you have dimples on your lower back. So, if you look on most people, the dimples are, like, right about here. The point is located in between the spine and the dimples. So, right in here, if you move your thumbs, and press with your thumbs, you start to feel divots. You can actually feel the indentations in the sacrum. So, just using you thumbs with a moderate pressure, pressing up and down is great for relieving this back and hip pain. And then, another really safe technique to do when you're pregnant is to have your partner do what's called "rolling" on you. So, you're going to use the back of your hand, and you're just going to do on either side of the spine, and you're going to kind of just roll your knuckles back and forth. And, the knuckles work as kind of a light pressure along the spine, and it opens up this bladder channel that goes all the way down the back, down the back of the legs, into the feet. And, the bladder is really responsible, the Bladder Meridian, for kind of our last stores of energy. So, this can be really helpful, say, if you're having prolonged labor, or you're just extremely tired, and that could be one of the reasons why you haven't started labor on your projected due date yet. Now, the key to this technique is to really let your arm go loose. If you're stiff with your arm and try and do it, it'll actually hurt, and feel quite uncomfortable. So, you just want to roll the wrist back and forth, almost if it was like fish, kind of just flip flopping. So, if you don't already have an acupuncture physician, or a licensed massage therapist, I hope that you can find one on AcuFinder.com, or ABORM.org. I'm Hillary Talbott, and that was acupressure techniques during pregnancy.

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