Acupuncture West London is a fully certified member of the  Acupuncture Fertility Network (AFN). Membership to the AFN indicates a particular interest in the treatment of fertility with traditional acupuncture. All AFN practitioners have completed postgraduate-level training in gynaecology with a specific emphasis on training to support assisted protocols. AFN membership denotes a commitment to ongoing postgraduate study in the areas of fertility and gynaecology, working to maintain an understanding of all current treatment protocols.


“I read that moxibustion therapy could help turn a breach baby. At 37 weeks, I was a little anxious but spoke to Ben on the phone before booking an appointment. He explained everything clearly and really helped to calm me down. The appointment was great. Ben even gave me some moxibustion to take home and detailed instructions. I was amazed that it worked after a few days. So grateful. Thankyou so much!”

Janice, London

“Thank you for your help on Friday. I am very happy to say that it work {sic} and the baby turned! Actually can’t believe it but we are incredibly happy and relieved… Thanks again for your help.”

Bethan, London

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Moxibustion for Breech Position Pregnancy
Moxibustion for Breech Position Pregnancy


What is a breech pregnancy?

By approximately week 34-36 of pregnancy, a baby should have moved into a head-down position within the mother’s pelvis in preparation for birth. However, when a baby fails to move into place, this is known as ‘breech position’.

The 3 types of breech presentation:

There are three main types of breech presentation: frank, complete and incomplete or frank:

  • frank breech: In a frank breech, the baby’s buttocks are positioned to come out first, with the legs straight up in front of the body and the feet near the head.
  • complete breech: In a complete breech, the baby is sitting cross-legged with the feet near the buttocks and the knees bent.
  • incomplete or footling breech: In a footling breech, one or both feet are positioned to come out first, rather than the buttocks.

The type of breech presentation can impact the delivery process, with some types of breech being more difficult to deliver vaginally than others.

Breech Pregnancy in Western Medicine:

Healthcare providers will often use ultrasound or physical exams to ascertain the baby’s position and determine the best course of action for delivery. As a first pot of call, a specialist may attempt an external cephalic version (ECV) to turn the foetus manually. However, an ECV can be uncomfortable and should only be attempted by a trained professional. If unsuccessful, an emergency caesarian section may be considered to be the safest course of action for delivery.

Breech Pregnancy in Chinese Medicine:

Within Chinese medicine, moxibustion (or moxa) is used frequently to turn a baby from a breech position to a head-down position in the uterus. According to Chinese medicine, the technique works by stimulating specific acupuncture points on the body using moxibustion—a traditional Chinese therapy that involves burning an herb called mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) near the skin to generate heat.

How does moxibustion work?

In Chinese medicine, the balance and flow of qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy, is believed to be essential for good health. It is thought that breech pregnancy occurs when the flow of qi in the mother’s body is deficient, blocked or disrupted in some way, leading to an imbalance in the energy channels that run through the body. Moxibustion is thought to work by stimulating the flow of qi in the body, which can help to correct imbalances and restore harmony. By applying heat to specific acupuncture points on the body, the technique is believed to activate the energy channels that run through the uterus and pelvis, encouraging the baby to turn into the optimal head-down position for delivery.

The specific acupuncture points used in breech pregnancy moxibustion are known as the “Bladder 67” points or Bl-67 (ZhiYin—Extremity of Yin) in pinyin. They are located on the outer corner of the little toe on each foot. These points are thought to be connected to the uterus and can stimulate the baby to move into the proper position for delivery.

Is moxibustion safe?

A moxibustion treatment for a breech position pregnancy is a safe and non-invasive treatment that requires only a single appointment. Your practitioner will perform the first treatment and demonstrate how to continue therapy at home. However, as with any medical procedure, it is important to consult with a qualified acupuncturist before attempting this technique.

What does the research say?

Applied to acupuncture point Bl-67 (ZhiYin – Extremity of Yin) bilaterally, research by Cardini and Weixin (1998) suggests that treatment at 34 weeks will turn the foetus in approximately 75% of cases—more than 27% more effective than no intervention whatsoever. While it is best to seek treatment as close to 34 weeks as possible, treatment may still be successful up to 39 weeks.

To find out more about your moxibustion treatment for breech position pregnancy, please contact the clinic today. Alternatively, book your appointment now by clicking here.


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Can acupuncture help me?

For the most up-to-date research and evidence on the efficacy of acupuncture, please visit the British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) website.

If you would like to learn more about how acupuncture or moxibustion may be able to help you, please contact us today.

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