Acupuncture and other Chinese medical modalities have a variety of uses during pregnancy, and i just love working with pregnant women. One of the most common uses of acupuncture during pregnancy is to create the proper conditions to ensure optimal fetal positioning. If a baby is in a breech position after 32-34 weeks gestation, acupuncture can be very useful in encouraging the fetus to shift into a more ideal position for birth. It is best to begin this treatment sometime around 34 weeks, but babies can shift even during labor so it’s always worth a try even in later stages of pregnancy.
The most useful technique in Chinese medicine for this purpose is the use of moxibustion over the acupoint UB 67. When a woman comes in with a breech baby, I will first do a thorough intake to determine her underlying pattern. I will give each woman an acupuncture treatment to address this pattern, as well as any other concerns they might have. In addition to the acupuncture treatment itself, I will use a moxa stick over the UB 67 point on both sides of the body for a period of 20-min. The distance of the moxa from the point should be such that the woman feels a gentle warmth (but it should never touch or burn the skin). A general guideline is to hold the stick a thumbs width distance from the point.
After the initial session with me, this 20-min bilateral stimulation of UB 67 should be continued at home daily for a period of at least 10 days. A partner or other support person can help with this at home treatment. If no one is available to assist, the woman may also sit with her ankles positioned to the side and then switch sides in order to stimulate both UB 67 points. The specific technique used is referred to as ‘pecking.’ This technique involves holding the stick close to the point (until a strong heat is felt) and then moving the stick away for a couple of seconds and then moving it back in again. This method is used throughout the 20-min treatment.
It is important to have some materials before trying this at home:
- A glass or metal bowl/cup to ash the moxa stick in
- A glass jar with a lid (you will place the stick in here when you are done to get it to go out)
- Moxa of course!
.Lighting moxa stick for the first time can be a little tricky. You can hold the stick over a candle flame or a lighter. Then you will blow on the stick to make sure that it is burning evenly throughout the entire tip. You will not leave the flame burning, but will blow it out (the stick will have embers burning at the end like and incense stick).
Questions? Thoughts? Comment below or feel free to reach out.