Can Moxibustion Treat Childhood Asthma?
This question of whether moxibustion can help treat a child’s asthma condition is a good one. Why? Because moxibustion is a non-drug remedy. And the research says yes, it can treat childhood asthma.
Childhood asthma affects millions of children around the world. This is worse in places where the home or school is built with toxic materials such as formaldehye or the air in the home or school is otherwise polluted. Mice infestations can also produce asthma in children according to other research.
What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a process whereby a ‘cigar’ or ‘cone’ of rolled mugwort herb is burnt and after it smolders, it is pressed against the skin at acupuncture meridian points. Burning the skin is prevented by using a variety of protective devices, making it completely safe.
Mugwort comes from the Artemisia argyl herb. This herb commonly grows in Asia and has been used for thousands of years not only as a medicinal herb, but for moxibustion. The mugwort herb is dried and bundled into a cigar-like shape. After burning the herb, a number of medicinal compounds become available, which transfer onto the skin.
Moxibustion can also be used by heating acupuncture needles with lit mugwort herb before using the needles. Suspended moxibustion does not incorporate the needles.
Moxibustion has a great track record of success in Chinese Medicine, and has been the subject of thousands of clinical trials.
Moxibustion tested for childhood asthma
Researchers from China’s Southern Medical University and Hospital of Integrated Chinese have determined that moxibustion applied to acupuncture points with or without a new massage apparatus successfully treats asthmatic infants.
The research tested sixty infants with asthma. They were randomly split into two groups of 30 patients each, and given either standard suspended moxibustion to six points or moxibustion with the moxibustion-massage apparatus to the same six points. The treatments were given daily for a period of three months.
After the three months, the moxi-massage apparatus group had a “total effective rate” of 90% (27 out of 30 patients), while the moxibustion-only treatment resulted in a total effective rate of 83%.
The acupoints used by the researchers were Fengmen (BL 12), Feishu (BL 13), Geshu (BL 17), Pishu (BL 20), Juque (CV 14) and Zhongwan (CV 12).
Total effective rate was gauged on whether the treatment resulted in a significant reduction of asthma attacks and asthmatic symptoms.
The researchers concluded that:
“It is held that the combination of new moxibustion-massage apparatus and Chinese medicine for infantile asthma in remission stage has obvious therapeutic effect, which can reduce the attack of asthma and alleviate symptoms. The result is better than suspended moxibustion.”
No adverse side effects
The research also found that moxibustion treatment resulted in no adverse side effects. No adverse effects is quite an accomplishment for a healing program This is typical for acupuncture and moxibustion. Acupuncture also helps manage Parkinson’s disease according do other research.
Learn more about natural solutions for asthma, including Traditional Chinese Medicine:
Tian XF, Xu ZL. Treatment of infantile asthma with Chinese medicine and moxibustion-massage apparatus. Zhongguo Zhen Jiu. 2012 Feb;32(2):163-5.
Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies. “My journey into writing about alternative medicine began about 9:30 one evening after I finished with a patient at the clinic I practiced at over a decade ago. I had just spent the last two hours explaining how diet, sleep and other lifestyle choices create health problems and how changes in these, along with certain herbal medicines and other natural strategies can radically yet safely turn our health around. As I drove home that night, I realized this knowledge should be available to more people. So I began writing about health with a mission to reach those who desperately need this information. The strategies in my books and articles are backed by scientific evidence along with wisdom handed down through traditional medicines for thousands of years.”