A traditional Chinese medical practice that involves the burning of herbs to stimulate acupuncture points (moxibustion) is found to be effective in stimulating fetal movement and in correcting breech presentation, according to an article in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" (JAMA).
Francesco Cardini, M.D., a private practice physician in Verona, Italy, and Huang Weixin, M.D., of the Jiangxi Women's Hospital in Nanchang, China, found that 75 percent of fetuses in the group treated with moxibustion changed their position to the correct "head-first" position compared to 48 percent of the fetuses in the control group. The researchers found that there was more fetal activity on average for fetuses in the treatment group.
All 260 study participants from the outpatient department of two hospitals in Jiangxi Province, China, were pregnant for the first time and in the 33rd week of pregnancy. All participants had fetuses in the breech position, which was determined by ultrasound.
JAMA. 1998;280:1580-1584 Thanks to Tamara Amey for finding this article.