Some great new research by Spanish researchers shows that acupuncture could be saving the NHS money if it were to be routinely offered to mother’s with babies in breech presentation. A baby should ideally present in a head down position for a healthy labor. If the baby is in a different position, especially with feet down, then a costly caesarian section operation may be necessary. Now that we know vaginal delivery is essential in seeding the infant’s resident bacteria (microbiome) it is even more imperative to try and avoid c-sections.
As well as needling acupuncture points acupuncturists will also heat the point by warming it with burning herbs (a perfectly safe and comfortable procedure) – a technique known as Moxibustion.
Moxibustion at acupuncture point Zhiyin BL-67 can correct non-vertex presentation (breech presentation), reduce the number of caesarean sections performed and achieve cost savings for the healthcare system, compared with conventional treatment. Analysis by Spanish researchers showed that moxibustion prevents 8.92% of deliveries with non-vertex presentation compared with conventional treatment, resulting in an average cost saving of €107.11 per delivery (mainly due to the costs saved by avoiding the need for caesarean section). Analysis also showed an incremental cost per delivery ranging from €68 for moxibustion versus €640 for conventional treatment.
Cost effectiveness of using moxibustion to correct non-vertex presentation. Acupunct Med. 2015 Apr;33(2):136-41.