I'm so skeptical of these techniques, due to the experience I had in my last labor.
I arrived at my midwife for a check up and found that I was 3cm, but I wasn't contracting strongly. She said I could try castor oil to get things going if I liked. I did, and within an hour, I was contracting and called the midwives who came to the house and found that I was 5cm.
I had a lovely labor for the next few hours, got to 8cm almost painlessly. Then contractions stopped completely. I spent 12 hours at 8, even after the midwife broke my water. By the time contrax started again the next morning, I'd been up all night and was exhausted and couldn't deal the intense discomfort (and my midwife got sick!)...ended up transferring to the hospital and having my first ever epidural.
Seeing as my first birth was only four hours,
I wonder if I just wasn't totally ready, and maybe should have declined the castor oil and waited.