A recent study carried out in Iran has found acupressure at Hegu L.I. 4 (a point found in the hand) to be effective at decreasing the pain and duration of labour.
One hundred women at the beginning of the active phase of labour received either acupressure at Hegu L.I.4 for the duration of each uterine contraction, or touch at this point without massage. There were significant differences in subjective labour pain scores between the groups immediately and at 20, 60 and 120 minutes after intervention.
Active phase duration (3-4cm dilatation to full dilatation) and second stage duration (full dilatation to birth) were also shorter in the acupressure group. In addition, the women in the acupressure group reported greater safisfaction with their care.
(Effects of LI4 Acupressure on Labour Pain in the First Stage of Labour. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2012 Mar; 57(2):133-8).