Acupressure Can Relieve Morning Sickness
Pregnant women who suffer from nausea and vomiting may
find relief through the traditional Chinese technique
of acupressure, or a modern variation on the technique
in which electrical stimulation is delivered to the
Acupressure operates on the same principle as acupuncture,
in which needles are used to put pressure on certain
points of the body. The less invasive technique relies
on the thumb or a button to apply pressure and lasts
between 3 and 15 minutes.
Women received pressure on an area above the wrist
on the inside of the forearm known as the Neiguan, or
P6, point. Stimulation of this point is thought to relieve
nausea and vomiting related to morning sickness, as
well as from chemotherapy and motion sickness.
One day after the study began, women who wore bands
at either point reported feeling less nauseous. But
women who wore bands exerting pressure on the P6 point
continued to feel less nauseous 14 days later, while
those who wore bands at the placebo point began to experience
symptoms after 6 days of relief.
The method seems to be useful in reducing nausea in
pregnancy and that if it is possible to eliminate this
discomfort by wearing a wristband applying pressure
at the Neiguan point it is worth trying.
The bands are cheap, are not associated with any side
effects and deliver immediate benefits, the researchers
Indeed, many of the drugs used to treat nausea and
vomiting may cause birth defects. This leaves women
who experience severe morning sickness -- who may be
at risk for dehydration, nutritional deficiencies and
electrolyte imbalances -- with few options.
The cost of nausea and vomiting in pregnancy in terms
of medical care and work time loss are staggering. Symptoms
of morning sickness declined when women wore wristbands
delivering electrical stimulation to the P6 point.
About 50% to 90% of pregnant women experience morning
sickness or a more severe condition, hyperemesis gravidarum,
in which women vomit several times a day.
The Journal of Reproductive Medicine September 2001;46:811-814,