Traditional Chinese Medicine has long discovered that needling or pressuring some specific points can inducing laboring. This is further confirmed by an randomized controlled study. Rabl et al examined the effect of acupuncture at Hegu (LI4) and Sanyinjiao (SP6) on cervical ripening, inducing labor at term.
On the estimated due date, pregnant women at term were randomized to an acupuncture group (n=25) or a control group (n=20). Women with cervical dilaion > 3 cm, active labor, premature rupture or memebranes, previous cesarean section, pathologies in mother or fetus were exclued from the study.
In the acupuncture group. Hegu and Sanyinjiao were needled on both sides every second day. If women were not delivered 10 days after due date, labor was induced by administrering vaginal prostablandin tablets.
Acupuncture supports cervical ripening at term and shorten the time interval between the due date and the actural time of delivery. In the acupunture group, the time period from due date to delivery was on average 5.0 days in contrast to 7.9 days in control group. This was supported by the shorter cervical length in the acupuncture group on day 6 and 8 after due date.
Rabl M, et al. Acupuncture for cervical ripening and induciton of labor at term-a randomized controlled trial. Wien Klin Wochenschr 113:942-6