The Old Wives Tale:
Getting a pedicure (and complimentary acupressure leg massage) will trigger labor
Location of test: Pro Nails in Spottswood/Target shopping Center
The theory goes that there exists points on the feet and legs that when stimulated can cause labor to begin. Perhaps this is due to massage releasing oxytocin into the bloodstream, the "cuddle" drug that also regulates orgasm, nursing letdown and yup, contractions. The Chinese believe that acupressure and acupuncture move the chi (or life force) throughout the body, so maybe stimulating these points would be akin to hotwiring a car to get it started. I figured this test was a win, win. If it works, I get a baby. If it doesn't work, I get a relaxing massage and cute toes...about the only thing cute on my body at this point. I didn't share my theory with my pedicurist, afraid that I might somehow sway her usual technique and skew the results.
I wish I had been more forthcoming.
I saw her grab the pink lotion bottle and I closed my eyes, ready for some relaxation. She started in with about 10 brisk punches to the soles of my feet. Let me repeat - for no immediately clear reason she was PUNCHING ME IN THE FOOT. BALLED FISTS. REPEATEDLY. I about dropped my OK! Magazine into my foot bath as I tried to steady myself and make sure that I hadn't somehow mistakenly offended her. I just tried to hold on until she worked out whatever she needed to get out of her system. Finally finished with the Mike Tyson to my arches, she grabbed hold of the webbed part of my toe between the big toe and his neighbor.
Good, I thought. That is a spot acupuncturists typically avoid for fear of triggering labor. She squeezed down. Hard. While the baby didn't move, I thought my heart might explode due to the amount of adrenaline flooding my bloodstream. After a few hearty squeezes, she let go of the toes and dove into the fascia on my arches. Now I've had significantly painful bodywork performed in the past. Due to a really nasty neck injury years ago, I underwent multiple sessions of rolfing, bodywork that purports to realign the body only using the practioner's hands. Imagine having someone massage you with a giant nail.
I think my pedicurist might have taken some classes.
The fascia on anyone's feet are already sensitive because they are a big bundle of nerves. But having a good 40 extra pounds flattening them down repeatedly made them in no mood to be messed with. Instantly it felt like someone lit a match and held it up to my foot. I think I may have actually whimpered because we made eye contact and she quickly moved onto the other foot. About 30 seconds later, she finished the "massage," dumped my feet back in the bath and left to file a report to Guantanamo. Or get my nail polish. I don't remember. But hey! The color is cute.
Negative. Most likely the pressure points need to be stimulated for longer stretches, not just periodically slapped around. One Braxton Hicks contraction in the 12 hours since treatment.
Up next: the spicy food test