Acupressure During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks, and Precautions

6 min read

Written by Suma rp

Suma rp

acupressure during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a sensitive phase, some days you will feel good and some days it consists of either stress or nausea, and either headache or backache. Exercise and meditation are very effective in subduing these nagging effects of pregnancy. But if you want to try something different but ancient then try acupressure. But, if you want to for acupressure during pregnancy, choose an expert specialist and take the consent of your doctor.

Acupressure is a Chinese method of physiotherapy that can influence the flow of relaxing hormones in your body by pressing and massaging certain points of your body. Here is all you need to know about acupressure during pregnancy, its benefits as well as risks.

In This Article

What is Acupressure?

Acupressure is a special type of body massage where pressure is applied on specific points of your body to reduce certain bodily discomforts. Acupressure originated in China just like Acupuncture and is also used in Japanese massage therapy practices such as Shiatsu.

How Does Acupressure Work?

therapist doing acupressure

In Chinese culture, Qi is regarded as the life force that flows through our body in 14 meridians or channels. Pressure points are those specific spots of the meridians that if pressured properly can help in the free flow of Qi in our body. So in an acupressure therapy session, the therapist will press or firmly massage those pressure points of your body with the help of their thumb, palm, elbow, etc.

Is Acupressure Safe During Pregnancy?

There is no such concrete evidence of acupressure being harmful during pregnancy. Though there are not many studies on acupressure like acupuncture, it is comparatively safe as here no needles are pinned and pulled through your skin. So acupressure is generally considered safe and effective in curing nausea and body pain during pregnancy.

But you should consult an expert specialized in acupressure. Let them know you are pregnant, this will help them avoid certain areas like the pressure point of your ankle and lower abdomen to avoid contractions during pregnancy. Having said that, your doctor’s consent is very important prior to book an appointment for acupressure therapy during pregnancy. 

Benefits of Acupressure During Pregnancy

woman getting acupressure

There are multiple benefits of acupressure that can make your pregnancy journey smoother.

Here are a few benefits of acupressure during pregnancy

1. Nausea and Morning Sickness

One problem that pregnant women face especially in their first trimester is nausea. Any unlikely and strong odor or taste can lead to vomiting. Acupressure applied on specific points can effectively reduce nausea and morning sickness. The P6 point on the inner wrist reduces morning sickness and nausea

2. Lower Back Pain

Pregnant women suffer from lower back pain especially in the third trimester due to the increased pressure and weight of the uterus. An expert therapist can help you get rid of the pain by applying pressure on the right points. But, ensure not to exceed the pressure for more than 1-2 minutes. 

[Read : Back Pain During Pregnancy]

3. Stress Relief

Stress is another companion of pregnancy. A lot of tension can work inside your mind during this time. The acupressure point that can give your comfort from stress is

Yin tang is located in between your eyebrows. As these acupressure points are quite tricky to figure out, you can seek professional acupressure therapy sessions. Once you get the knack for it, you can try them at home by yourself or with the help of your partner.

[Read : 8 Effective Exercises To Induce Labor Naturally]

How Does Acupressure Help During Labor?

acupressure for labor

Various studies have shown that acupressure can effectively reduce the duration of labor time and relieve labor pain. Studies have also shown that acupressure can reduce the chances of going for a cesarean delivery. The acupressure points that are supposed to induce labor and help in relieving pain are

1. Spleen 6 Point or SP6

This is located 4 fingers above your inner ankle bone. You need to put the index finger to press the point for a few seconds then release then press again after one minute.

2. BL60 or Bladder 60 Point

You can find this on the ankle. It is pressed to initiate labor, easing the pain and obstruction.

3. The Ll4 Point

This is present in between the thumb and pointer finger and is also effective in inducing labor but at the same time reducing the pain of labor.

4. Bladder 32 or BL32 Point

This point is located just above the intergluteal cleft (butt crack). However, this acupressure point is not backed by research and hence should be opted only under the supervision of experts. 

It is important to take the help of a specialist before you go for this therapy for labor. Strictly avoid doing this on your own or with the help of your family. Your doctor’s consent is also necessary. 

Acupressure Points to Avoid During Pregnancy

Acupressure involves putting pressure, and during pregnancy, you must avoid points that can cause unwanted complications. There are a few points that are forbidden throughout the pregnancy, ensure to discuss and have a piece of full knowledge about them before you plan for therapy.

Untimely acupressure on labor-inducing points can push you into complications. Also, when you are ready to make use of labor-inducing points, it is very important to talk with your doctor and get a specialist supervised therapy. 

Choosing the Right Acupressure Therapists

pregnant woman talking with therapist

So if you are interested in having acupressure therapy consult with your doctor first. Your doctor can suggest you the contact details of a reputed therapist. If you want to select an acupressure therapist then look for someone who has a license from an authentic organization. Also, look for a skilled therapist with experience in dealing with pregnant ladies.

Risks of Acupressure During Pregnancy

If done by a trained and experienced therapist then acupressure has nearly no risks during pregnancy. Of course, you must inform the therapist that you are pregnant to avoid pressing those points of contractions. Acupressure can sometimes become painful and even leave some bruises on your skin as the therapist has to press deep to reach those pressure points properly.

Precautions to be Taken While Getting Acupressure During Pregnancy

You are pregnant, and you need to be careful before choosing therapies like acupressure and acupuncture. However, it’s not completely forbidden for you to get it done when pregnant, but there are a few precautions you may need to consider.

  • Do not take a heavy meal just before or after acupressure therapy
  • Take rest after the session
  • Do not consume alcohol on the day of acupressure
  • Give at least one day gap between two acupressure therapy

[Read : Alcohol During Pregnancy]

When to Consult a Doctor?

You need to consult with your doctor before starting any acupressure therapy. Your doctor will correctly say if it is good for your pregnancy condition or not. Nausea or morning sickness is a very common pregnancy symptom that will get resolved after some time. But you need to get alarmed if any of your pregnancy problems are getting constant and severe with time.

So acupressure is a helpful method of seeking comfort during your not-so-comfortable pregnancy days. Just keep the dos and don’ts in consideration before going ahead with it. 


1. When Should I Start Acupressure During Pregnancy?

As the first trimester is the most sensitive period of pregnancy, you can start acupressure therapy after it. You can go for therapy sessions twice or thrice a week.

2. Does Acupressure Affect The Baby During Pregnancy?

No, acupressure doesn’t affect the baby inside you. The comfort or pain that you may get because of acupressure is restricted to you only.

3. Can Acupressure Prevent Miscarriage?

Yes, acupressure can be a very effective way to prevent miscarriage or some of its causes if there are no chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus.

4. What Areas Should Not be Massaged During Pregnancy?

The areas near your ankle and lower abdomen should not be massaged during pregnancy as they can cause contractions.

Read Also: Acupuncture During Pregnancy – Benefits, Risks and Precautions

Suma rp,M.Sc (Organic Chemistry) Rayalaseema University B.Sc (Biotechnology) Sri Krishna Devaraya University.

Suma is a passionate content writer with a strong keenness to understand the miracle of pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Suma has successfully transitioned into a full-time content writer and a key contributor at Being The Parent. She leverages on her experimental background in chemistry and experience in writing to come up with well-researched content that helps parents struggling to deal with various medical conditions of their children.Read more.

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