There is some evidence to suggest that immersion in water, relaxation, acupuncture, massage and local anaesthetic nerve blocks or non- opioid drugs may improve management of labour pain, with few adverse effects . Evidence was mainly limited to single trials. These interventions relieved pain and improved satisfaction with pain relief (immersion, relaxation, acupuncture, local anaesthetic nerve blocks, non-opioids) and childbirth experience (immersion, relaxation, non-opioids) when compared with placebo or standard care. Relaxation was associated with fewer assisted vaginal births and acupuncture was associated with fewer assisted vaginal births and caesarean sections.
When James Braid first described hypnotism, he did not use the term "suggestion" but referred instead to the act of focusing the conscious mind of the subject upon a single dominant idea. Braid's main therapeutic strategy involved stimulating or reducing physiological functioning in different regions of the body. In his later works, however, Braid placed increasing emphasis upon the use of a variety of different verbal and non-verbal forms of suggestion, including the use of "waking suggestion" and self-hypnosis. Subsequently, Hippolyte Bernheim shifted the emphasis from the physical state of hypnosis on to the psychological process of verbal suggestion:
In the comparisons of hypnosis with specific types of control conditions: standard care, supportive counselling and relaxation training, there were no clear differences found between women in the hypnosis group and those in the standard care control groups or the relaxation control groups for the primary outcomes. Compared with the women in the supportive counselling control group , women in the hypnosis group were less likely to use pharmacological analgesia (average RR , 95% CI to , two studies, 562 women). They were also more likely to have a spontaneous vaginal birth ( RR , 95% CI to ), although this finding was based on the results of one small study . Overall these new comparisons displayed much less statistical heterogeneity than the comparison including all control groups.