Moxibustion and breech pregnancy
Moxibustion is a modality of treatment used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Moxa, for short, is composed of the herb Mugwort or Artemisia Vulgaris which is a species of Chrysanthemum. It is used to treat and prevent many diseases or ailments when applied to specific acupuncture points on the body. Moxa comes in many different forms but is always heated with fire before applied to the chosen acupuncture point. Its main functions of use are to warm the acupuncture meridians, promote the smooth flow of the bodies qi or energy and blood, strengthen the bodies yang, and prevent diseases by strengthening the bodies immune system.
Most recently moxibustion has been given some recognition in the western medical world by its use for helping turn a breech baby in the womb. One study showed that when moxa was applied to a specific acupuncture point for 20 minutes a day it had a success rate of 73% in turning a breech baby into a better birthing position. This is a very non invasive treatment and a great approach to take if faced with the possibility of trying to birth a breech baby or needing to have a cesarian surgery.
When a pregnant women comes to my office wanting help turning a breech baby I am able to treat her in my office and provide her with the knowledge and resources to continue her moxa treatments at home. I will first give her a 10 needle or less acupuncture session than while the needles are still in I use moxa on the point UB 67. While she relaxes I ask her to picture her baby turning and picture what the birth will be like. This is very calming and relaxing. I will send her home with her own moxa stick and ask her to continue treatment for 20 minutes a day by herself or with the help of a partner.