Moxibustion to Correct Breech Presentation
Breech presentation at the onset of labor is associated with many additional risks: for the mother, caesarian delivery and for the newborn, physical injury. Traditional Chinese medicine uses moxibustion (burning herbs to stimulate acupuncture points) to stimulate fetal activity that alters the breech presentation.
This randomized controlled trial, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, provides remarkable evidence that this aspect of Asian healing can actually improve the chances of preventing dangerous breech births.
The study was conducted at hospitals in the People's Republic of China.
The results demonstrated that if moxibustion is performed for one to two weeks starting in the 33rd week of pregnancy, it could be effective in inducing significant increase in the chances of preventing a breech presentation and the consequent complications.
When such results have been presented in the past merely as anecdotal reports, few western medical professionals placed much credence in them. But this controlled study is a fascinating and compelling example of the efficacy and utility of Asian healing arts that have been practice for hundreds and even thousands of years.
Cardini F, Weixin H. Moxibustion for correction of breech presentation: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association
, Nov. 11, 1998;280(18), pp1580-84.