Acupuncture and Moxibustion for Childbirth and Pregnancy


Hope all is good with you.

I have spent much of this week uploading, downloading, editing and rendering video of Adam Gries treatment of Joe who is recovering from a severe spinal cord injury.

Stay tuned for that one, both Adam and Joe are writing accompanying pieces to go with the video.

Debra Bett’s has asked me a few very relevant questions regarding Traditional Japanese Acupuncture for childbirth and I have done my best to answer her questions.

Hi Alan
Thanks for the positive write up !
Have tried to find the breech moxa but stumbling around on your website – would like to put the list your site and how to get to the breech part on a powerpoint slide – if thats ok with you can you send instructions – I did find the nausea moxabustion – very interesting – will try that with the next stubborn case – I take it that its five rice grain moxa’s per foot – or do you diagnostic criteria for when to use or how many rice grain moxas to use ?
Great to meet you and thanks again for the kind words

Hello Debra,

It appears that I have led you up the garden path re breech moxa video, having 40 odd published videos I can become a little confused about what is published and what is not.

I believe I do have video of the scarring moxibustion for breech babies but will have to search my video library to find it, my apologies.

However the technique is not dissimilar to that used for nausea and morning sickness except we are using BL.67 instead.

Re Nausea I have found the extra point on the sole of the foot below ST-44 to be quite good, however you will notice that in the following excerpt Ikeda sensei recommends alternative points.

I often use up to 20 cones of moxa on this point but that is just my experience.

Re breech rice grain moxa on BL 67 I believe Ikeda sensei is referring to expediting a relatively normal birth when he mentions 3-5 cones of moxibustion.

In clinic I often use many more cones when the baby is in breech position and the Gynecologist is putting the heat on the mother to have a C-section.

I believe it is important for the mum’s psychological well – being to stimulate the movement of the baby ASAP .

Takes a lot of the pressure off, indeed with Megan this was the case especially since she was carrying a big baby weighing in at 10lb 8 oz.

Online Videos by

Here is an excerpt from Ikeda sensei’s brilliant book


Classic Principles in Action


Translated by




It is said that scarring moxibustion at M-LE-1 (ura nai te/li nèi ting) is good for morning sickness, but I have not found it to be particularly useful. I have found that it more effective to treat hard points located just lateral to BL-58 until they soften.

I also personally do not treat points on the upper body if there is nausea, as I believe that these disperse the yang qi, which is a very precious commodity for pregnant women.

However, Fukaya, the master of moxibustion, recommended scarring moxibustion at GV- 11, GV-10, CV-18, and CV-17.

As a preventive measure against miscarriage, salt moxibustion is recommended at CV-8.

This is done by burning moxa cones on a bed of salt that has been packed into the navel until the patient feels the warmth. The treatment can be done either before conception or during the pregnancy.

Edema during pregnancy can be treated by scarring moxibustion at SP-6; however, I find that KI-8 is more effective.

Colds during pregnancy are treated as a pattern of Lung deficiency/yang deficiency/heat.

After the root treatment, contact needling should be administered on the upper back and shoulders.

At the same time, tonifying LU-5 and shunting LI-4 will also deal with the stiff shoulders that develop secondary to a cold during pregnancy.

Applying scarring moxibustion at SP-6 is a well-known technique for nourishing the fetus and encouraging the health of the mother.

To my knowledge, the first person to present this publicly in modern times was Ishino Shinyasu, a doctor who published an article on this subject in the Journal of the Japanese Oriental Medical Society in 1960.

It was also mentioned in Edo period texts.

The technique should begin in the third month of pregnancy. If the mother feels good during the treatment, 30 to 50 moxa cones can be safely burned. However, if the point location is incorrect, the treatment can feel very hot to the mother. This is a sign to stop and relocate the point again.

This is true for moxibustion in general during pregnancy.

Scarring moxibustion at SP-6 is also effective for lower back pain, constipation and hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

If the hemorrhoids do not respond to the treatment, then administer scarring moxibustion on LU-6 instead;

If the constipation does not respond to the treatment, then administer scarring moxibustion on SI-4 instead. The pattern that is commonly seen in cases of lower back pain is Liver deficiency/yin deficiency/heat. In

addition to the root treatment, contact needling and heat perception moxibustion over the

local area, plus needling to BL-58 and BL-59, should be performed.

During pregnancy, I do not retain needles in the lower back.

If the birth looks as if it is going to be delayed, I usually recommend that the mother take leisurely walks, as this helps the fetus to descend and encourages a safe birth.

If this ineffective, the fetus is either in a breach position or this is the mother’s first baby, both of which can result in a difficult birth.

Scarring moxibustion using three to five moxa cones at BL-67 should be administered to facilitate the birth.

I hope this post helps with some of the treatment issues regarding acupuncture and moxibustion during pregnancy and childbirth.

Have a good one,


About Alan

Alan Jansson is an internationally recognized teacher and practitioner of Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. As a staunch advocate of practically based workshops, Alan draws upon his 35 years clinical experience and 23 years post and undergraduate teaching. Alan has presented, convened and hosted more than 70 Traditional Japanese Acupuncture workshops in Australia, Europe, and USA.


  1. I’ve only been reading since the last few posts, but I am enjoying your views more and more. I’ll be back for more and will be sure to subscribe!

  2. Helena Argerich says

    Hi Alan,
    In your present article you are mentioning that scarring moxibustion at SP-6 is also effective for lower back pain. I am concerned about the use of SP-6 during pregnancy. Can you please comment about that?.Thanks a lot, Helena.

  3. Hi Alan,

    I have a client who just entered her 37th week of pregnancy. Her soon to be baby is breech at this point and the doctor is already planning a C-section but the client REALLY want to avoid that. I treated her twice last week, using rice grain on UB 67, doing 2 rounds of around 30 cones on each side (60 cones total on each side). I did not do a root treatment either time. She experienced a lot of movement and cramping after the second treatment although no “turning” occurred. Do you have any suggestions on how to get this process moving along so her baby can be in position at “game time”? I see her again today and probably one more time this week…..

    Thank you, Adam

  4. I was trying to add your RSS feed to my reader, but it didn’t work. =/ Any ideas on other ways to subscribe to your site?

    • Will check with my tekkie re RSS feed.
      Thanks for letting me know.

    • If you go to the top right hand side of the home page there is a subscription box where you can insert your name and email address to become a subscriber to blog updates. Thanks heaps for your interest. Kind Regards,


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