What is reflexology?
Reflexology is based on using specific pressure points on the body in order to elicit a healing or calming response. It has been used as a part of alternative medicine for a very long time and is becoming more popular in the West. With that in mind, more women are turning to reflexology as part of their plans for a good experience with labor and delivery. It can be used both throughout pregnancy, and also in the delivery room as labor progresses.
How effective is reflexology?
Not everyone reacts to reflexology in the same way, but it's something that any woman can try out for an easier pregnancy. Studies have shown that women who started their reflexology sessions before their pregnancy had reached 20 weeks actually had shorter labor periods than women who didn't. The total time spent in labor can be shortened by up to 1/3, which is significant. There are also ways of using reflexology that is said to start labor, so women who have reached their due date but are not yet in labor may want to consider it.
It's best to consult with your doctor when you're looking into using any alternative therapy during your pregnancy. While reflexology isn't contraindicated in the vast majority of people, there may be reasons why it wouldn't be right for you. Be sure to ask, so you can have even more peace of mind. Then find a good reflexologist. You want someone who knows his or her craft and who is used to working with pregnant women.
That will raise your comfort level and also give you more confidence in the reflexologist you've chosen. When done properly, reflexology can help you stay calm, and can also lower your chances of problems related to pregnancy, such as nausea and heartburn. That's a good reason to give it a try and see if it works for you. Reflexology can lower your level of pain when used during actual labor; by keeping your pain and stress levels low, your childbirth can be a much more pleasant experience.