Temperature and Safety Profiles of Needle-Warming Techniques in Acupuncture and MoxibustionReport as inadecuate

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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2012 2012, Article ID 168393, 6 pages

Research Article

School of Chinese Medicine, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China

Department of Electrical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Received 1 March 2012; Accepted 2 April 2012

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2012 X. Y. Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The needle-warming technique combines acupuncture and moxibustion, and it is commonly practised in China to relieve pain conditions. However, burning of moxa has many disadvantages. This study examined the temperature and safety profiles of such technique. First, skin temperature changes during needle-warming were examined in anesthetized animals to determine the safe distance for needle-warming moxibustion in human subjects. Then, the practical distance for needle-warming in human subjects were verified. Finally, the temperature profiles of the needle during needle-warming moxibustion were examined using an infrared camera. Our results show that during needle-warming moxibustion there is little heat being conducted into deep tissue via the shaft of the needle, and that the effective heating time to the acupoint is rather short compared to the period of moxibustion. These findings suggest that the needle-warming technique is an inefficient way of acupoint thermal stimulation and should be modified and improved using new technologies.

Author: X. Y. Gao, C. Y. Chong, S. P. Zhang, K. W. E. Cheng, and B. Zhu

Source: https://www.hindawi.com/


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