How Effective is Acupressure for Morning Sickness?

D.J. George

A small number of studies have shown that using acupressure for morning sickness can be an effective way to treat the symptoms associated with pregnancy. In one such study described in a 2007 issue of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, researchers looked at 66 women, all of whom were admitted to the hospital because of the severity of their pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting. The women were broken into two test groups upon admittance. Acupressure was correctly applied to Group A for 10 minutes, three times a day, and Group B received acupressure the same number of times, but it was delivered to the wrong pressure point. Researchers found that the women in Group A quickly reported feeling better, leading them to believe that correctly applied acupressure for morning sickness is a reasonable way to treat symptoms.

Morning sickness is most often characterized by nausea and vomiting.
Morning sickness is most often characterized by nausea and vomiting.

Acupressure has been around for centuries, known for its ability to stimulate self-healing. By applying pressure to specific trigger points, blood circulation is increased, muscular tension is decreased, and the body begins to rejuvenate. Acupressure works much like acupuncture, but whereas acupuncture uses needles to trigger healing responses in the body, acupressure uses pressure applied by an external force. Acupressure for morning sickness can be applied using fingertips or a wrist band.

A wrist band can be effective because of the particular point that needs to be stimulated when using acupressure for morning sickness. It's called the P6, and it is located three finger-widths from the wrist on the inner forearm. Pressing the P6 for three minutes or longer can begin to relieve nausea and vomiting. A wrist band, such as one that has been designed to decrease motion sickness, can also be positioned over the P6 to help alleviate symptoms. It doesn't matter which arm acupressure is applied to, as long as pressure is applied directly to the P6.

There are two other points worth trying when applying acupressure for morning sickness. One is referred to as the "heavenly container" and is located just under the earlobe where the jaw bone begins. The other is called "leg three yi" and is just outside the shin bone, about four finger-widths below the kneecap. Applying firm pressure to either of these points for several minutes also can help relieve the symptoms of morning sickness.

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