She’s got moxi

Posted by on Mar 23, 2009 in hot flash | 0 comments

Have you heard of or experienced moxibustion? Moxibustion is a technique used during acupuncture in which mugwort (or artemsia vulgaris) is burned to warm certain regions or acupuncture points. It can be direct (in which the moxa is placed directly on the acupuncture point) and indirect (in which the moxa is palced approximately 1 to 2 cm above the acupuncture point). The purpose of moxibustion is to encourage better blood and energy flow through the area to promote healing.

A study in the March 13 advanced online edition of Menopause suggests that moxibustion plus acupuncture can reduce both the frequency and severity of hot flashes.

In this study, researchers randomly assigned 51 women, ages 45 to 60 years who experienced at least 5 moderate to severe hot flashes daily to:

  • 14 sessions of indirect moxibustion plus acupuncture at points consistent with evidence from clinical practice experience
  • 14 sessions of indirect moxibustion plus acupuncture at points consistent with evidence from published literature
  • no treatment

To ensure that researchers were able to distinguish between general improvements and improvements resulting from treatment, all study participants had to go through a 1-week period during which time they used not treatments at all.

Study findings showed that compared with no treatment at all, women in both moxibustion groups experienced significantly reductions in hot flash frequency (roughly 60% in both groups), and continuous reductions in hot flash severity through the fourth week of the study (by as much as 50%). 10 participants experienced side effects due to the moxi smoke (e.g. fatigue, stomach upset, flare-up and headaches ) and 5 reported burns to their skin).

Notably, women receiving moxibustion along points directed by published literature also experienced more improvements in quality of life scores, particularly as they related to symptoms and psychosocial issues.

This study appears to indicatethat moxibustion may help to enhance acupuncture’s effect on hot flashes during the menopause. Clearly, more studies with larger samples are needed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *