Moxibustion therapy mainly refers to the use of moxibustion fire heat and moxa to burn on acupoints or diseased parts and to warm the body. Moxibustion is an external therapy for the prevention and treatment of diseases by means of conduction through meridians. The main material of moxibustion therapy is moxa floss. Moxa floss is made of moxa leaves after removing the coarse stalk. Moxa floss is fragrant and easy to burn. Moxa floss has mild heat and can penetrate the skin directly and deeply through various channels and cure all diseases.
Principles of Treatment
Warming the meridian and dispersing cold promotes the lung, regulates breath, and enhances immunity.
126.96.36.199.1 Moxibustion Materials
Moxa is easy to get, as it is derived from a wide range of sources. In ancient times, moxa floss was officially recognized as the material to preserve the seeds of fire. The ancients accumulated rich application experience for us. In the Compendium of Materia Medica, it was said, “Mugwort leaves are slightly bitter when they are born, slightly bitter when they are ripe, and pure yang when they are warm and when they are ripe. Warm and hot, pure yang is also. You can take the sun true fire, you can turn back the Yuan Yang. ... Moxibustion is through the classics and cure 100 kinds of disease evil, the people who rise and sink are healthy, its work is also great”. In Bian Que’s Book, it was said, “Moxibustion is the first way to protect one’s life, the second is the Dan medicine and the third is the aconite”. Moxibustion can help warm yang-, invigorate breath, xuanqi, and blood; promote blood movement; dispel cold and moisture; enhance the power of breath and blood circulation; and change the human internal environment.
Modern pharmacological studies have proven that artemisia argyi contains a variety of volatile oils, with disease-resistant microorganisms, and have sedative, antitussive, expectorant, antiasthma, antiallergic, and other effects. Therefore, in Shen Jiu Jing Lun, it is said, “taking moxa as a wick, can pass Shierjing, into Sanyin, regulate breath and blood, in order to treat all diseases easily”.
188.8.131.52.2 Therapeutic Mechanism of Moxibustion
Introduction to Medicine Acupuncture and Moxibustion stated that “If the medicine and acupuncture are not enough, it must be moxibustion”, which indicates that moxibustion plays an important role in clinical practice. It is often combined with acupuncture and medicine to supplement each other. Cases of Moxibustion also recorded, “When you go to Wu Shu, you often need three or two moxibustion on your body. Don’t let the sores go temporarily, then warm malaria gas cannot go into you”, which explains that moxibustion can be used to prevent the spread of plague.
Moxibustion therapy, is the fire attack of moxibustion,which can strengthen the yang qi and benefit the trueyzn. Artemisia argyi, which is aromatic, is a rare medicine that can pass shierjing, regulates breath and blood circulation and cures all diseases. As recorded in New Compilation of Materia Medica, “folium artemisiae argyi is bitter, warm, hot and pure yang. It can return the sun, pass Shierjing, Sanyin, combing breath and blood, expel cold and dampness ... Moxibustion fire, can penetrate all the meridional and get rid of all disease.” Li Chan, in The Introduction to Medicine, it is said, “use moxibustion to restore Yuanyang for the weak.” This shows that moxibustion has a strong role in invigorating breath and generating blood. Breath, blood, jin, fluid, and essence depend on the warmth and gasification of yang qi, so that the yin fluid of the whole body can run normally, and the water and grain can be used by people. Therefore, moxibustion can warm the yang and production qi, and warm the cold and dampness. In addition, the yang qi of the critically severe patients is deficient, thus gasification can be easily lost, and if coupled with various external attacks, it may lead to “yangqi is sudden deficient thus xie qi bursts out.” The rise and fall of yang qi determines the susceptibility and prognosis of individuals with COVID-19. In this pandemic, most of the patients are based on pandemic virus, which is mixed with cold and dampness evil spirits. Therefore, it is an important method in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 to return to the yang to reverse the adverse situation, restore health, and dispel the evil.
Selection of Acupoints
184.108.40.206.1 Main Acupoints
Chize, feishu, and taiyuan
- 220.127.116.11.2 Match Acupoints with Symptoms
- 1) Medical observation period
- • Fatigue with gastrointestinal discomfort: Matching with zusanli.
- • Fatigue with fever: Matching with quchi.
- 2) Clinical treatment period (not applicable for severe and critical cases)
a. Mild cases
i. Syndrome of cold dampness and stagnation of the lung: matching with dazhui.
ii. Lung syndrome of dampness and heat: matching with quchi.
b. Average cases
i. Syndrome of dampness - toxic stagnation of the lung: matching with yinling quan or Quchi.
ii. Syndrome of cold dampness obstructing the lung: matching with dazhui or yinling quan.
c. During convalescent period
i. Deficiency of the lung and spleen: matching with pishu, qihai, zusanli.
ii. Deficiency of qi andyz’n: matching with qihai, yongquan.
Warm moxibustion box for 30 minutes at feishu, pishu, and qihai; mild moxi-bustion with moxa at remaining points
Mild moxibustion method: ignite one end of the moxa stick and place it about 3 cm away from the skin so that the patient experiences a warm sensation at a certain area but without any burning discomfort. Generally, conduct moxibustion for 5-7 minutes at each place until a certain degree of redness on the skin is reached. This should be done once a day for 10 days for 1 course of treatment.
18.104.22.168.1 Posture Selection
According to the choice of acupoints for each moxibustion session, it is recommended to choose a body posture that is easy to operate, easy to maintain, and relatively safe.
22.214.171.124.2 Operation Order of Moxibustion
Moxibustion operation is generally performed in the following order: top to bottom, back to abdomen, head and main body to four limbs, the yang meridians to the yin meridians.
126.96.36.199.3 Applied Amount of Moxibustion
The applied amount of moxibustion gradually increases, from small moxa sticks to larger ones and from a mild level of burning to a stronger level, to build patients’ tolerance.
188.8.131.52.4 Moxibustion Duration
Moxibustion should be controlled within 30 minutes if possible. If the moxibustion duration is too long, patients would experience dry mouth, sore throat, constipation, and other symptoms, and should drink water accordingly.
Contraindication of Moxibustion
184.108.40.206.1 Contraindicated Demographic
Moxibustion should not be performed for those who are overworked, hungry, full, drunk, frightened, terrified, angry, or are suffering from extreme exhaustion. Moxibustion should not be performed on those who suffer convulsions or are allergic to artemisia argyi or have frequent skin allergies.
220.127.116.11.2 Contraindicated Area
Moxibustion should not be performed on the lower abdomen and lumbosacral of women during pregnancy and menstruation. Moxibustion should not be performed on the failure of the fontanelle in children, facial features, heart, great vessels, joints, testicles, nipples, pudendal parts, or where the skin is broken or scarred.
18.104.22.168.3 Contraindicated Existing Condition
Moxibustion should not be performed if the patient has solid heat syndrome and displays high fever, thirst, red face, constipation, urine yellow, etc. Moxibustion should not be performed if the patient has syndrome of yin deficiency fever and displays hot flushes, night sweats, dry mouth, dry throat, thirst, a small amount of yellow urine, dry stools, etc. Moxibustion should also not be performed on patients who have been diagnosed with hypertensive crisis, advanced tuberculosis, organic heart disease with cardiac insufficiency, schizophrenia, scarlet fever, measles, erysipelas, infectious skin diseases, etc.