I am a product of East Coast skeptics, I have no faith in many of the healing charms of the” New Age “. However, the Western tradition of treating all problems as if they were only a matter of manipulating matter annoys me no end. The needs and nature of women, particularly in birthing, is so completely foreign to the western medical community, by and large, it is I believe one of the main reason we have such poor maternal and neonatal health statistics. Here is an article addressing our need for a relaxing ambience in labor rooms and the dramatic improvement in birth outcomes as a result. This relates to Ina May Gaskins ” sphincter law” actually… we do not have voluntary controll over the muscles involved in birth, we need to be ” in the mood” so to speak.