Although there is no substantial evidence, hypnosis and acupuncture are considered to be effective in easing labor pain.

The results and data the researchers have gathered so far are encouraging regarding labor and post partum pain relief.

Other alternative techniques like massage, relaxation, aromatherapy and acupressure have also been reviewed but their effects have not been proven beneficial in this specific area.

Hypnosis was found to have reduced the need for drug pain relief in labor, lessened the need for medications that augment labor and increase the number of spontaneous vaginal births. Acupuncture as well was found to be more effective and satisfying in labor pain management comparing to non-treatment.

These techniques also helped in reducing length of labor, the need to use instruments to assist labor and the incidence of trauma to the perineum.

Not every woman is willing or allowed to undergo acupuncture. Those who give birth at home or in a community birth centers are more likely to use acupuncture and those who give birth at hospitals are often not allowed to have acupuncture practitioners there.

Acupuncture provides relaxation. It is thought that inserting needles either stimulate endorphins to reduce pain or block pain signals. Hypnosis changes perception, moods and behaviors.

It will take some time before these techniques are recognized in Western medicine but doors are slowly opening.