Last night at our childbirth class, the instructor was discussing breech babies. She mentioned that one way to get babies to turn head-down is moxibustion, which, as she described it, is a non-needle acupuncture technique where the provider burns some herbs by the mother’s feet. She said that a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association supported the technique’s effectiveness, even though “western medicine doesn’t know why it works.”
I was skeptical.
Well, a bit of research on the Net when I got home at least confirmed the basics of moxibustion (detailed about halfway down that page – with photos!) and that JAMA had indeed published a study that found moxibustion to be effective. Even Skepdic referred to it (scroll down to the November 11, 1998 section):
I’m surprised, and I’m still skeptical – or at least, I want to know more. Have further studies confirmed moxibustion’s effectiveness? Are there any working theories on why this works – something more substantive than “Chinese medicine works in mysterious ways”?
Please shed some light. I’m very curious. (Note: I am not requesting medical advice in this thread; my wife’s not far enough along to have a breech baby yet, so it wouldn’t apply regardless.)