Helping Correct A Breech Presentation Using Moxibustion Treatment

A 2005 Cochrane review on using moxibustion to turn breech babies revealed that when it’s applied to the little toe, this traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) technique can be helpful in turning a breech baby.

A systematic review of studies in 2008, evaluated the efficacy of acupuncture-type interventions (electro-acupuncture, traditional acupuncture, or moxibustion) on the acupoint Bladder 67 (located on the little toe) to resolve breech presentation indicates that acupuncture-type interventions on the Bl 67 point can help correct breech presentation.

What are the processes actually involved in acupuncture in Cleveland used to turn a breech baby?

In a lot of instances, acupuncturists will utilize moxibustion. This ancient Chinese mode of treatment is actually more than 1,000 years old that uses Moxa herb (artemisia vulgaris) made into a cigar shaped stick. To resolve breech presentation, the little toe of the pregnant woman is applied with burning moxa. Needles are not needed in the treatment and women only experience a feeling of pleasant warmth in the area.

There are no known adverse effects or contra-indications to the treatment. The acupuncturist will usually perform one moxibustion treatment for breech baby presentation in the clinic and then teach the woman and her partner the technique so that they may repeat the procedure at home for 10 days straight.

What is a moxibustion procedure?

The procedure is quite straight forward.

1. First, a cigarette lighter or candle is used to light the end of the Moxa stick. You will feel a pleasant warm sensation if you place your hand two to three centimeters away from the burning end of the stick.

2. Then the burning end of the stick is held two to three centimeters above the Bl 67 point located at the corner of the little toe.

3. One side is treated for around five minutes and then the other for another five minutes. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, the duration of the whole procedure usually lasts 20 minutes. It can be done one or two times a day.

While the treatment is being done, or immediately after the treatment, women will usually feel a greater activity of the baby within their womb.

Occasionally, within one or a few sessions, the baby turns. Sometimes, only on the last of the 10 days, will the baby turn; therefore, it is important to undergo the treatment up to the end. Experience has shown that, if the baby turns before the 10 days, it will not turn back to breech position so long as you finish the rest of the treatment.

As the baby has more room to turn between the 34th and 36th week of pregnancy, It is usually recommended to start the procedure during these times. It can, however be used up to full term.

Moxibustion therapy can still be okay even if the woman decides to have an External Cephalic Version (ECV) to assist and turn the baby. It can help increase the chances of success of ECV treatment or can be done prior to and after ECV.