Moxa for optimal baby positioning

Moxa Instructions:

Click HERE for a video demonstration.

*Moxa poles are available at Sage. 

Moxibustion (Moxa) is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has been used for thousands of years to strengthen the body and stimulate the flow of blood. The plant Artemisia Vulgaris is compressed into a pole shape and lit until there is an ember on one end.  It’s then used to warm specific areas and facilitate healing. 

The moxa stimulates receptors that integrate with the central nervous system influencing the nerve-endocrine-immune network and the circulatory system. This initiates a healing reaction that can have effects locally and throughout the body.

There are many conditions that moxibustion has been shown to treat including optimal positioning for labor. Moxa and acupuncture stimulate the production of maternal hormones (placental estrogens and prostaglandin), create space in the pelvis, and encourage the baby to adjust to a head-down position. 


Moxa on the outside of each baby toenail (the fifth metatarsal) for 15-20 minutes total, one to two times per day. This should be combined with approximately three to five acupuncture treatments over the 10-12 day protocol.

  • Light the Moxa pole using a candle until the end is red and there is no flame (just like incense). 
  • Apply the Moxa using a pecking or circular motion so that the area is warmed without getting uncomfortably hot. 
  • Keep the stick at least one thumb width away from the skin. Never touch Moxa directly to the skin. 
  • Tap the Moxa pole on a mug or ashtray frequently to avoid ashes falling on the skin. 
  • When finished, smudge until the pole is completely extinguished and place it in a sealed glass jar to guarantee that the embers have been completely put out. 
  • The moxa pole may be re-used. 

It is common to feel fetal movement during or after a treatment and often the most activity occurs around days 5 and 10.

Spend time walking to open up the pelvic girdle and generally be mindful of having good pelvic posture such as keeping your knees below your pelvis when possible.  You can also try kneeling with your forearms resting on the floor and your head on your arms.  Adding 5-10 minutes of gentle pelvic rotations or rocking motions while in this position is recommended.

These instructions are meant only for Sage Acupuncture patients. Confirm that your pregnancy is low-risk and receive your OBGYN, MFM, or midwife’s consent before utilizing acupuncture and moxibustion for breech presentation. Do NOT utilize these techniques if you have any risk factors including, but not limited to reduced/excessive amniotic fluid, known fetal abnormalities/growth issues with the baby, or pregnancy complications such as vaginal bleeding, placenta praevia, bicornuate uterus, gestational diabetes, hypertension, or a history of premature rupture of membranes or premature labor.

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