Acupuncture is often used to treat a wide range of digestive, abdominal and intestinal complaints. A sub-technique of Chinese Medicine is moxibustion which is often used in conjunction with acupuncture and/or as a home treatment. Clinical results indicate effectiveness for these conditions and other studies have tried to illustrate the chemical changes which happen from acupuncture and moxibustion that aids these conditions. In this study, researchers from the Shanghai Institute of Acupuncture-Moxibustion and Meridians within the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine looked at the chemical changes from applying moxibustion on a widely used acupuncture point – ST 25 – which is regularly used to treat a range of intestinal issues. In this case researchers were looking at the effects on colitis (inflammation of the large intestine which can be chronic/autoimmune or more acute).
53 rats were randomly divided into a moxibustion treatment group, a disodium cromoglycate treatment group, and a control group and then colitis was induced with trinitro-benzene-sulfonic acid. The rats received moxibustion at ST 25 bilaterally for 10 minutes daily for one week. Inflammation levels in the colon was observed by evaluating the rate of degranulation ratio changes in the mast cells (i.e. indicating lowering levels of inflammation). Researchers found significantly lower levels of inflammation in the moxibustion group than in the control and disodium cromoglycate treatment groups.
By: Chad Dupuis, Chattanooga Acupuncture and Wellness Center located in Tennessee