Gripping an acupressure birth comb

Acupressure combs have become increasingly popular recently, and its easy to see why. They provide a cheap, simple and natural option for managing pain sensations during labour and birth.

The beauty of using an acupressure comb is that it is small, and easily portable and there is no planning or preparation required, unlike a TENS machine (also fab). Just pop it in your hand and you are ready to go. You can use your comb wherever you are; at home, in hospital, travelling in the car, in the birthing pool or operating theatre. But can something as simple as a comb really help during labour and birth?

Let’s look at the theory behind this little wonders.

It is thought that squeezing a comb may help during labour and birth in a few complementary ways:

  1. Acupressure. You can use your comb to stimulate an acupressure point in your hand called ‘pericardium 8 ‘ otherwise known as ‘labour’s palace’. This acupressure point is believed to encourage labour, whilst also reducing labour pain. You can find more information on how to find this acupressure point here.
  2. Gate Control Theory of Pain. The gate control theory of pain suggests that there is a mechanism (a “gate”) in the spinal cord that can either block or allow pain signals to travel to the brain, influencing how much pain we feel. It is thought that there are some things that can help to close these gates, thereby reducing the amount of pain signals that reach the brain. One of the things that can help to close the gate is counter-stimulation. By asking the brain to process unpainful stimulation (like massage, touch or squeezing a comb), you distract the brain away from processing pain associated with uterine contractions, thereby reducing the interpretation of labour pain. This is similar to how a TENS machine works.
  3. A feeling of control. Squeezing a comb during your labour and birth provides a feeling of control and empowerment. You can focus on squeezing the comb, adjusting the pressure as you need to, literally putting control in the palm of your hand.

Whilst there is not much research evidence specifically looking at the use of combs during birth, there is research evidence to show that acupressure and distraction techniques have positive effects on managing pain felt during during birth. What’s more, a comb can be used in conjunction with all other forms of pain relief, whereas, with a TENS machine for example, you would have to stop using this if you wanted to get in the bath, birth pool or have an epidural sited.

In Touch acupressure combs are made from sustainable peach wood, the are strong and sturdy and come beautifully packaged in either paper wrapping or a canvas pouch for safe keeping.

This is what my clients have said about their birth combs

“I loved my comb, it was a game changer!!”

“Baby born this morning with a whoooooole lot of help from a little comb which I’m going to frame and put on the wall!!”

“Gosh, I wish I’d known about these with my first, the comb helped so much!”

If you are a massage client and are interested in learning more, just let me know and I’ll bring one along to your appointment for you to see and try. If you’d like to buy online, you can do so here.


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