Research on Moxa at Seattle Acupuncture Center

In a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials assessing the effects of moxibustion (a form of heat therapy used by acupuncturists as a tool of Chinese medicine) in patients with ulcerative colitis (a form of inflammatory bowel disease), five RCTs were included in the analysis (n=407) and results found moxibustion therapy to be more effective than the conventional drug therapy, sulfasalazine (risk ratio=1.24).

“Moxibustion for ulcerative colitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis,” Lee DH, Kim JI, et al, BMC Gastroenterol, 2010 April 7; 10(1): 36. (Address: Myeong Soo Lee, PhD, Division of Standard Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon, 305-811, South Korea.

In a study of 12 patients receiving moxibustion and acupuncture treatments after the occurrence of lymphedema, and 12 patients receiving moxibustion and acupuncture treatment immediately after surgery who were between 37 and 71 years of age, 13 had carcinoma of the uterine cervix, 10 had carcinoma of the uterine body and 1 had ovarian cancer. All of those who received moxibustion and acupuncture treatments immediately after surgery had benefit in the reduction of lymphedema, while in those who received these treatments after the occurrence of lymphedema, results showed 6 had marked improvement and 6 had general improvement.

“Effectiveness of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Treatment for Lymphedema Following Intrapelvic Lymph Node Dissection: A Preliminary Report,” Kanakura Y, Niwa K, Kometani K, et al, Am J Chin Med, 2002;30(1):37-43.

One hundred and thirty pregnant primigravidas patients in the 33rd week of gestation received stimulation of the acupoint BL 67 by moxa rolls for 7 days, with treatment for an additional 7 days if the fetus persisted in breech presentation. Results were compared to 130 subjects randomized to a control group who received routine care but no interventions for breech presentation. It was found that the intervention group experienced a mean of 48.45 fetal movements versus 35.35 in the control group. During the 35th week of gestation, 75.4% of the 130 fetuses in the intervention group were cephalic versus 47.7% of the 130 fetuses in the control group. Despite the fact that 24 subjects in the control group and 1 subject in the intervention group underwent external cephalic version, 75.4% of the 130 fetuses in the intervention group were cephalic at birth versus 62.3% of the 130 fetuses in the control group. In this study, it was concluded that among primigravidas with breech presentation during the 33rd week of gestation, moxibustion for 1 to 2 weeks increased fetal activity during the treatment period and cephalic presentation after the treatment period and at delivery.

“Moxibustion for Correction of Breech Presentation: A Randomized Controlled Trial,” Cardini F and Weixin H, JAMA, November 11, 1998;280(18):1580-1584.