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Acupuncture increases oxytocin levels in women

Oxytocin is often known as the ‘hug hormone’, as physical contact increase it's levels. Levels are important for labour, lactation and Autism. Oxytocin levels increase during sexual intercourse and peak at orgasm.

It is released by the posterior pituitary gland and affects the uterus during delivery by enhancing contractions of the muscles in the uterus wall.

Induction uses high doses of oxytocin to bring on labour. The injection often given to women just after delivery of their baby is a high dose of oxytocin that helps to deliver the placenta. After delivery, it helps to stimulate the release of milk (not it's actual production) from the mother's breast tit.

Maintaining good levels of oxytocin is important not only for good health but also good fertility. Levels of oxytocin increase through physical contact, i.e. a massage from a partner, a cuddle, sexual intercourse or after having acupuncture treatment.


Gaudernack (2006) Acupuncture administered after spontaneous rupture of membranes at term significantly reduces the length of birth and use of oxytocin. A randomized controlled trial. Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica; 85: 1348,1353.

Hantoushzadeh et al. (2007) The effects of acupuncture during labour on nulliparous women: A randomised controlled trial. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology; 47: 26–30.

Torkzahrani, et al. (2015) Effect of Acupressure on Cervical Ripening. Iran Red Crescent Med J. 24;17(8):e28691.


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