Forbidden points' in pregnancy: historical wisdom?

Acupunct Med. 2011 Jun;29(2):137-9. doi: 10.1136/aim.2010.003814. Epub 2011 Mar 27.


Within the acupuncture literature there is debate on the safety of using specific acupuncture points during pregnancy. Termed 'forbidden' or contraindicated, they refer to acupuncture points that can be used to induce labour but may also include points with no known inducing or labour-enhancing effects. Recommendations range from avoiding these acupuncture points at any time in pregnancy to statements that despite the warnings in the literature, these points are not contraindicated during a normal pregnancy. This discussion paper examines the historical use of contraindicated points, the physiology of the pregnant body and the effect of these points during research trials. It is hoped that this will encourage further discussion and provide a background for practitioners to make informed choices about how they use these points in clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Acupuncture Therapy / history*
  • Contraindications
  • Female
  • History, 18th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Labor, Induced / history*
  • Labor, Obstetric / history*
  • Pregnancy / physiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications / history*