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Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(1):27-33.

Effects of three different stimulations (acupuncture, moxibustion, acupuncture plus moxibustion) of BL.67 acupoint at small toe on fetal behavior of breech presentation.

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Mother-Infant Department, University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, Via del Pozzo 71, 41100, Modena, Italy.


The aim of the study was to evaluate cardiovascular effects and fetal behavior during moxibustion, acupuncture or acupuncture plus moxibustion applied on the BL.67 acupoint of women (beside the outer corner of the 5th toenail) in fetal breech presentation. During the acupoint stimulation (20 min, two times a week), the women were submitted to computerized non-stress test. Fourteen cases were treated by both acupuncture and moxibustion, 15 cases by moxibustion and 10 cases by acupuncture. In 56% of cases, fetal position was converted from breech position to cephalic one; the success share was 80% for moxibustion, 28% for acupuncture, 57% for acupuncture plus moxibustion; the conversion, on average, was achieved after 3 sessions. Statistical analysis indicated that acupuncture plus moxibustion was able to reduce fetal heart rate during the application of stimuli while acupuncture and moxibustion separately did not affect such parameter. Moreover, moxibustion and acupuncture with moxibustion reduced fetal movements while acupuncture only appears ineffective. The present study suggests that fetal movements were reduced by both acupuncture plus moxibustion and moxibustion and that fetal heart rate was reduced just by acupuncture plus moxibustion. The mechanisms leading the effect on fetal heart rate and fetal movements remain to be clarified. Even though further studies are needed, such preliminar report mainly investigated the impact of different stimula on the BL.67 acupoint. Unfortunately these small series of data do not allow us to draw any conclusion about the effectiveness of the different treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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