Jump starting labor to bring forth the birth of a child is a common event. Traditional Western medication uses pharmaceuticals to do so, but there is an alternative to this risky approach.
The normal method used in hospitals to artificially stimulate the labor process is to administer a drug known as Pitocin. Pitocin usually produces a very strong reaction and labor often begins immediately. The effects that the drug might have on the unborn child are not fully understood. There is also a good chance of some side effects that range from nausea and vomiting to more severe conditions such as bleeding, irregular heart rate, and pelvic hematoma. All in all, this does not appear to be the best way to get this important process started.
The alternative health approach of acupuncture to get the process moving has absolutely no effect on the unborn baby as no unnatural substance is being introduced into the body. The worse possible side effect is a very slight chance of minimal bruising at the site of the needle insertion, a very minor side effect. Also, the process is not likely to cause immediate labor, but allows it to begin in a more normal and timely manner. The question might seem why anyone would prefer a dangerous chemical substance to a benign and natural method.
The answer to this question is the lack of understanding that still exists in how non-drug approaches really work. There are really few clinical studies that have been done in the West to explore the issue or really any other condition that might be better treated by this ancient Chinese medical practice. A recent study was begun that was going to test a group of women who were near or past their due date, and use a control group of women in similar condition. The control group would be given acupuncture, but points that have no relation to labor would be used.
This type of experiment illustrates the continuing belief that the procedure works as a sort of placebo. It is impossible for most Western scientists to accept the Traditional Chinese explanation for it because the Meridians and the body points themselves can not be demonstrated anatomically.
The actual points that are used to get labor underway are located on the back, above the ankle, and in certain places on the hand. The fact that the Meridian Channels that are used for various treatments often have little or no relationship to the actual area of concern further confuses Western analysis leads to increased skepticism. More and more this skepticism is limited to the theories behind the success as clinical study after clinical study proves that success.
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