What Is Moxibustion?



There are many situations in pregnancy in which the moxibustion process has proven beneficia. In addition to helping in the process of turning a breach baby, it has the possibiliiy of moving a placenta-previa. This is the condition where the placenta has attached itself covering the cervix. This can be a highly risky situation if it remains at the time of delivery. The placenta is the physical point of attachment for nourishment and oxygen for the developing baby. The cervix is the muscle holding the baby safely in the uterus. In the process of birth the cervix slowly opens allowing the baby to pass through the birth canal into the world. if the cervix is compromised in any way there is a high risk for hemorrhage. Because of this problem a Cesarean Section would be necessary. The possibility of moving the placenta away from the cervix is greatly desired. Moxibustion/acupuncture treatments offer this opportunity. JUDY

Practitioners believe that heat resulting from the treatments help stimulate the acupuncture points and improve the flow of qi (energy) in your body. According to traditional Chinese medicine practices, this increased circulation can help with a range of health issues.

How is it done?

Moxibustion can be applied directly or indirectly.

In direct moxibustion, the moxa cone rests on your body at the treatment point. The practitioner lights the cone and lets it burn slowly until your skin begins to turn red. Once you begin to feel heat, the practitioner removes it.

Indirect moxibustion is more commonly practiced. It’s also a safer option, since the burning moxa doesn’t actually touch your skin. Instead, the practitioner will hold it about an inch from your body. They’ll remove it once your skin becomes red and warm.

Another method of indirect moxibustion uses an 

insulating layer of salt or garlic between the cone and your skin.

Can I do it myself?

Moxibustion is traditionally done by a skilled practitioner.

If you’re not sure how to find one, consider starting your search by looking for an acupuncturist in your area. Moxibustion is often done alongside acupuncture, and some acupuncturists also do moxibustion.

You can try indirect moxibustion on your own, but it’s safest to have a professional give you a demonstration first. They can show you not only how to do it without burning yourself, but also the best areas to focus on for your needs.

Can it actually help to turn a breech baby?

Moxibustion is perhaps best known for being an alternative way to help with breech presentation. This happens when a baby’s in a bottom-down position during birth, which makes the process much more difficult. 

It’s usually done around 34 weeks with indirect moxibustion around an acupuncture point called bladder67, sometimes called zhiyin or reaching yin. This spot lies on the outer part of your pinkie toe. 

For safety and effectiveness, it’s best to have this done by a professional. Some hospitals, especially in the U.K., even have midwives and obstetricians trained in acupuncture and moxibustion on staff. Acupuncturists should also be licensed by your state. 

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of studies on moxibustion for breech presentation concluded that there is some evidence that it may work. But the review authors also noted that there still isn’t a ton of high-quality research on the subject.

What else do people use it for?

People use moxibustion for a range of issues, including:

  • gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and constipation
  • menstrual cramps
  • pain, including pain from arthritis, joint or muscle pain, and chronic pain
  • cancer-related nausea
  • urinary incontinence
  • asthma symptoms
  • eczema
  • fatigue
  • cold and flu prevention

But again, there isn’t much research to back up these uses. A 2010 evaluation of reviewsTrusted Sourcelooked at the use of moxibustion for:

  • ulcerative colitis
  • cancer
  • stroke rehabilitation
  • high blood pressure
  • pain
  • breech presentation

acupuncture point called bladder67, sometimes called zhiyin or reaching yin. This spot lies on the outer part of your pinkie toe. 

For safety and effectiveness, it’s best to have this done by a professional. Some hospitals, especially in the U.K., even have midwives and obstetricians trained in acupuncture and moxibustion on staff. Acupuncturists should also be licensed by your state. 

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source of studies on moxibustion for breech presentation concluded that there is some evidence that it may work. But the review authors also noted that there still isn’t a ton of high-quality research on the subject.

Is it safe to try?

Even if there isn’t much clear evidence behind it, moxibustion may still be worth a try if you’re exploring alternative treatments. But it does come with a few risks.

The biggest risk comes from how easy it is to burn yourself in the process. For this reason, it’s best to stick with indirect moxibustion, especially if you’re doing it on your own. This allows for some space between the burning moxa and your skin.

In addition, a 2014 review identified some potential side effects of moxibustion, including:

  • allergic reaction to moxa
  • sore throat or coughing from moxa smoke
  • nausea and vomiting
  • fetal distress and premature birth
  • dark patches of skin
  • basal cell carcinoma

In very rare cases, death can result from the procedure.


This review also noted that some women using moxibustion for breech presentation experienced nausea and contractions. Because of this, along with the risk of fetal distress and premature birth, it’s best to do moxibustion under the supervision of a healthcare professional.

Keep your doctor in the loop as well, in case something doesn’t feel quite right. 

If you’re trying it at home, be aware that some people find the odor of moxa smoke to be very similar to cannabis smoke. If you live in place where cannabis use is illegal, this could potentially cause some problems with your neighbors or law enforcement.

The bottom line

Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that people use for a variety of health issues. While there’s not much evidence to back up the potential health benefits of moxibustion, it may be an alternative option for turning a breech baby. 

If you want to try moxibustion, start by finding an experienced practitioner or acupuncturist. You can try it on your own, but it’s still best to have it done professionally a few times so you know how to do it safely.

The Possibility of Turning a Breach Baby

The article below opens up the possibility of turning your breach baby at the end of your pregnancy. It is one of many theories on attempting this outcome. Research indicates many advantages to acupuncture therapies in health situations. Review this information and decide whether or not you believe it will serve you. My goal here is to offer you possibilities. There are many other ways midwives and doulas assist in turning breach babies late in pregnancy. Investigate them. Avoiding a Cesearan Section is high motivation to do so.



How Moxibustion Is Used in Traditional Chinese Therapy


Cathy Wong  Medically reviewed by  Arno Kroner, DAOM, LAc 

Updated on January 23, 2021


Moxibustion is an alternative therapy that involves burning herbs and applying the heat that’s produced to specific points on the body. A technique used in traditional Chinese medicine and in Tibetan medicine, moxibustion can be administered in conjunction with acupuncture, or a stick can be used to apply heat with smokeless moxibustion.


According to alternative medicine practitioners, the heat generated during moxibustion helps increase the flow of vital energy (also known as “qi” or “chi”) throughout the body via certain pathways (known as “meridians“).

In traditional Chinese medicine, stimulating the flow of chi is considered essen

tial to achieving health and wellness. In fact, this approach to healthcare is based on the belief that blockages in the flow of chi contribute to physical and mental health problems.

Alternative medicine practitioners often use moxibustion to help treat the following health problems:1

What Moxibustion Involves 

There are two main types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. Indirect moxibustion is the technique most commonly used today.

  • Burning moxa (a substance created from dried leaves of the herbs mugwort or wormwood) on top of the acupuncture needle
  • The practitioner may set the burning moxa over a layer of ginger, garlic, or salt placed on the patient’s skin
  • Applying heat to acupuncture points from an electrical source.
  • Holding the burning moxa above the skin for several minutes

During direct moxibustion, the burning moxa is placed directly on the skin. Since this technique can cause pain and scarring, direct moxibustion is no longer used very often.1


To date, studies have begun examining the safety and effectiveness of moxibustion in the treatment of health conditions. For example, it has been shown to help some types of kidney disease.2

Here’s a look at some of the evidence related to moxibustion:

1) Hot Flashes

In a 2009 study of 51 postmenopausal women, researchers found that 14 sessions of moxibustion reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes.3

2) Ulcerative Colitis

Available scientific evidence doesn’t support the use of moxibustion in the treatment of ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease), according to a research review published in 2010. The review’s authors analyzed five clinical trials and determined that moxibustion did show some benefits for people with ulcerative colitis. However, all of the reviewed studies were found to be of low quality.4

Additional studies examining the safety and efficacy of moxibustion in the treatment of ulcerative colitis are ongoing.5

3) Breech Birth

Moxibustion has been considered a potential way to decrease the risk of breech birth. But in a report published in 2005, scientists found insufficient evidence to support the use of moxibustion in correcting a breech presentation. The report’s authors sized up three clinical trials (involving a total of 597 women) and concluded that more research is needed before moxibustion can be recommended to women looking to avoid a breech birth. However, the report did find that moxibustion may reduce the need for certain medical procedures typically used to correct a breech presentation.6


Oils from mugwort and wormwood may cause toxic reactions when taken internally.

If you’re considering the use of moxibustion for any type of health condition, make sure to consult your doctor before undergoing treatment. It’s especially important to talk to your doctor if you’re considering the use of moxibustion while pregnant.

Naming Your Baby

How on earth do you select the name your darling baby will carry the rest of his or her life? This is a big responsibility! Yes???? Thank God you have some time to think about it! For some this decision is a piece of cake. There is a family or favorite name you have had on your mind for years. For most this simply isn’t the case. Some cut down the choices by naming each of their children a name starting with the same letter! Some choose names with religious significance. What ever direction you take you have a challenge ahead.

There are books with names, the top ten names list on the internet, names of great meaning, and simply the names your friends and family have selected. When we had our daughter, our fourth, we named her Lindsey, my maiden name. My sister-in-law delivered her first, a girl, three weeks later. I had no idea, but she had selected the same name. She was so gracious, I did not learn this until years later. She chose another name and has her precious Jill. It would have been good for us to discuss what we were planning to name our babies ahead of time. I encourage you to talk about names if you have relatives expecting babies close to the time yours is due. You will save some last minute shuffling!!!

The spelling of names is quite a challenge these days. Example: Our daughter’s name Lindsey can be spelled; Lynse, Lindsay, Lyndze, Linse and on and on. As someone who worked in the postpartum department of several hospitals I encourage you to keep names simple. Especially for boys. Elaborate spellings and numerous names will make life more difficult for your child. Different cultures highlight different things when selecting names. Be sure and your mate have talked about the many possibilities. Talk with your family too. You never know, they may come up with a possibility you absolutely love!!! It is good to let them feel a part of the process. Explain you are looking for ideas, and retain the right to name you baby what you choose! HA!

If you have reached a impasse and simply can not come up with names you like, look into books, novels, internet naming sites, etc. Some couples do not reveal the name until after the baby’s birth. Others share it when the sex is revealed. What ever you choose to do, this is your decision. It is your speecial prevelage. Enjoy it!!!

Happy Baby Naming!!!!! JUDY

Preparing For Birth: Five Things you Do Not Want to Miss

I am a certified postpartum doula. This means I am trained to serve clients post-birth, after their baby is born. I have worked with hundreds of families learning the details of their birth experiences and helping them acclimate to parenthood. I delivered six of my own babies, five vaginally and one Caesarean section. I worked in numerous postpartum wings at local hospitals. My personal experience working with those who have recently delivered is extensive. My title is postpartum doula and I am not professionally trained in deliveries, yet, I can offer much helpful information to you as you prepare to go through labor.

I. Especially if it is your first delivery go, to a hospital.

There the facility prepared for any complications that may arise. My hope for you is a fast and simple vaginal birth. I delivered six babies, my sixth was an induction. He was late, in hindsight I should have waited for labor to start on it’s own. After twenty hours of induced labor it was discovered he was in butt-breach position, he would never have come out. I did not have an advocate with me to ask the doctor why, if my last induced delivery was two hours, this one was taking so much longer? When you are in labor you are not yourself. I wasn’t thinking clearly. That was the question that should have been asked at five hours in. They could have stopped my labor and turned my baby. I felt so betrayed. There is a term in birth circles called “a proven cervix”. What it means is this women has delivered a baby vaginally. My personal recommendation is do not try to deliver a baby at home until you have delivered one vaginally and safely at a hospital. This is simply a wise safe move for you and your baby.

II. Take someone with you who has had their own babies or is professionally trained in birth, and is level headed.

An experienced birth doula or a mid-wife is someone who can walk this path with you and be a massive help. Our first four babies were born at Kaiser hospitals. Kaiser makes it a policy to have professional mid-wives in charge of deliveries. They are trained to watch for issues, offer suggestions, remain with you during you labor. They listen to you and ask pertinent questions. Be sure you have someone with you swo knows you well and knows your thoughts and hopes for your delivery.

III. Take a birth class with your spouse or birth coach.

This is essential to understanding what you and your body will go through during the birth process. It is a great place to ask the questions you will definitely have about a different million things. It also helps you to see you are not alone in the process. The comradery of going through such a class with a well trained teacher and others preparing for birth brings you peace. It is so much fun and it lets you ask the may questions we all share. Statistically those who do not take birthing classes have more difficult labors. They do not know what to expect. They also have a higher rate of C-Sections.

VI. Write up your birth plan.

After attending a birth class you will have a clearer perspective of what to expect and how you want your birth to progress. No one knows exactly what will happen during your particulate birth. Everyone is special and specific to those participating. The goal is a healthy baby and mommy. My recommendation is to avoid medical intervention, let nature take it’s course. Avoid unnecessary treatments. Unless you are overdue or there is a medical complication do not be induced. Again, the incidences of surgery are greatly increased with intervention. Your body knows what it is doing and in 90% of deliveries there is no reason to intervene. It may take a while and be uncomfortable, but recovering from surgery while caring for a newborn is difficult.

V. Take time off work to emotionally and physically prepare for labor.

If you have the privilege of being home with your baby early on enjoy it!! Many women work up to the day they go into labor. The stress of work and responsibilities follow them into the delivery room and beyond. This is a precious time in your life. You and your baby will never have this opportunity again. Being at peace when you go into labor is so much more important than the dollars you will make working a little longer. Take the month before your due date off. Finish your shopping, walk in the park, find your center. Go out to lunch with you friends, it will be a while before you are able to do that again. If you deliver early you are already prepared. Peace is a rare commodity these days. You want to be in the best state of mind possible as you prepare to become a mommy. Give yourself some time!! You won’t regret it!


WOW!!!! Everyone Want’s a Doula!!!

With the restrictions being lifted in California apparently everyone wants a doula!!! There are more jobs than people to fill them!!! It is wonderful to see families open to having trained professional help in their homes as they welcome their newborns!!! We are so happy to be here to serve you!!!

For many months families were uncomfortable asking strangers into their homes. This is heartbreaking to those of us who love to serve you!!! The early days with a new baby are a challenge. Parents are exhausted and disoriented. Everything in new and uncertain. Everyone needs help!

So many young families do not have relatives close by or friends who are available. Just having another person who has ‘been there done that’ is such a relief. The feelings of inadequacy and concern are completely normal. Again, everyone goes through them as they learn to care for their precious little ones. You are developing your ‘New Normal’. It takes time. Having someone around who does this professionally takes the pressure off. I am a night doula and work with families to help mom and dad rest up. Comments like:”I am finally beginning to feel normal.” and, “This is the first time I have slept since she was born” are common.

Know you are not alone in needing help. A few dollars spent now on professional postpartum doula service will bring peace to your home. Please do not hesitate to contact me or an agency near you. We are excited to make our selves available to you!! JUDY