Effects of LI-4 and SP-6 Acupuncture on Labor Pain, Cortisol Level and Duration of Labor.
Asadi N1, Maharlouei N2, Khalili A3, Darabi Y4, Davoodi S5, Raeisi Shahraki H6, Hadianfard M7, Jokar A8, Vafaei H1, Kasraeian M1.
Nowadays, acupuncture is widely used to manage pain, and childbirth is a condition requiring appropriate pain management interventions. The efficacy of acupuncture in the management of labor pain has recently been studied, but the results are not satisfactory and conflicts exist. In this study, we investigated the effects of acupuncture on labor pain, serum cortisol level, and duration of labor. We conducted a randomized, single-blind, controlled trial that included 63 nulliparous women: 32 in the study group and 31 in the control group. Acupuncture was performed at the SP-6 and the LI-4 points in the study group, and sham acupuncture was performed at the same points in the control group. Pain scores and serum cortisol levels were measured before and after the intervention. Changes in these measures and in the duration of labor were compared between the groups. No significant variations in pain scores or serum cortisol levels were observed between the two control groups. However, the duration of labor was significantly lower (p < 0.001) in the group receiving real acupuncture. Our results show that acupuncture is significantly associated with a decreased duration of labor, even though it was no better than a placebo for the treatment of labor pain.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. KEYWORDS: acupuncture; cortisol; labor pain PMID: 26433802 [PubMed - in process] Free full text
Although there are not many details available in this abstract, it is interesting to note that both sham and real acupuncture produced comparable results in the management of labor pain...while only real acupuncture showed a decrease in labor time.