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Moxibustion

There are many forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and many have the same underlying theory: they stimulate non-existent acupuncture points to alter the flow of non-existent qi. For each form of TCM there are many variations on a theme. There are, for example, a half-dozen styles of acupuncture and multiple forms of cupping all trying to move the qi. That qi is an untameable beast, hard to corral into a proper gate even by the best acupoint wrangler.

There is, fortunately, yet another way, moxibustion, to alter that most intractable mysterious life energy.

Moxibustion is the burning of mugwort over acupoints.

What is mugwort? I resist the urge to make a Harry Potter pun about where Muggles go to school. No wait, I just did. Sorry. You know the old saying: yield to temptation, it may not pass you way again. Mugwort is a member of the daisy family, related to ragweed and, like ragweed, a common cause of hay fever. It is also used in food and was used in beer before hops was discovered.

Why mugwort for moxibustion? I can’t find a good reason beyond the argument from antiquity. That is what they have done for thousands of years, so it must be good.

How is moxibustion done? There are multiple styles. There is both direct and indirect moxibustion.

In direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of mugwort is put on an acupuncture point and burned.

This direct moxibustion is further divided into scarring and non-scarring. With scarring moxibustion, the moxa is placed on an acupuncture point and burns until it causes blisters and scarring, what we in medicine would call a deep-partial-thickness second degree burn.

With non-scarring moxibustion, the burning moxa is removed before it burns the skin. How nice.

Indirect moxibustion is a more popular form of since there is a lower risk of pain or burning. There’s a surprise. People want to avoid second degree burns. With indirect moxibustion, a moxa cigar is held over the skin until the area turns red.

Yet another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint then the needle is wrapped in moxa and lit. The needle heats up and so does the skin.

So many ways to try and alter qi. How a second degree burn could be helpful for any process, much less mythical qi, mystifies me.

What is moxibustion used for? Anything and everything. Except, I suppose, as a burn therapy. That would be throwing gas on the fire as it were. Moxibustion is often used in conjunction with other qi-wrangling interventions such as cupping and acupuncture.

It has been used without success for hypertension, pain, tennis elbow, and irritable bowel syndrome, all diseases with a similar underlying cause. I suppose when all you have is a mugwort, everything is a moxibustion. No surprise the studies with positive results are poorly done, are prone to bias, and are often from Asia where no TCM study is ever negative. As one systematic review of moxibustion systematic reviews noted:

In conclusion, this overview of SRs suggests that moxibustion is effective for correcting breech presentation, whereas for other conditions, the evidence does not reach a firm conclusion because of several limitations. All SRs are, however, based on studies with a high risk of bias. Therefore, considerable uncertainty remains about the therapeutic value of moxibustion.

They all suggest that higher quality studies need to be done to determine if moxibustion is actually effective. I would tend to think not. Negative studies never, ever, dissuade proponents. Given the prior plausibility that burning mugwort on or near the skin would have any effect on any disease is somewhere on the order of naught, I would not waste the money. But that is a defining characteristic of SCAM, its proponents develop resistance to disconfirming facts faster than gonorrhea to antibiotics.

The big claim to fame of moxibustion is reversal of breech positioning in the JAMA article “Moxibustion for Correction of Breech Presentation”.

Since ancient times, traditional Chinese medicine has proposed moxibustion of acupoint BL 67 (Zhiyin) to promote version of fetuses in breech presentation. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese method that uses the heat generated by burning herbal preparations containing Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) (the Japanese name is moxa) to stimulate acupuncture points. Acupoint BL 67 is beside the outer corner of the fifth toenail.

They did a non-blinded, small, non-placebo trial in China and it appeared to be effective.

To me it would be nuts to think burning mugwort at the 5th toenail would do anything to cause a baby to shift position in the uterus and I would be inclined to think positive results would be likely to noise and not be reproducible. It wasn’t.

They repeated the study in Italy and, what a surprise, moxibustion did nothing to breech positioning.

A Cochrane Review concluded:

Moxibustion was not found to reduce the number of non-cephalic presentations at birth compared with no treatment (P = 0.45)

Does moxibustion have complications? Yes. Burns are the most frequently-reported complication. Given that some forms of the technique try to cause second-degree burns, I suppose that burns are not technically a bug but a feature. But there has been a review of the issue and they found:

The most common effects identified in this review were allergic reactions, burns, and infections such as cellulitis and hepatitis C. Allergic reactions were reported in six case reports (four case reports related to infections and two related to burns). The other articles were case reports of xerophthalmia, xeroderma, hyperpigmented macules, ptosis and eversion of the eyelids. In clinical trials, various adverse events such as rubefaction, blistering, itching sensations, discomfort due to smoke, general fatigue, stomach upsets, flare-ups, headaches, and burns were reported. Tenderness and pressure in the epigastric region or in one of the hypochondriac regions, unpleasant odor with or without nausea and throat problems, abdominal pain, premature birth, premature rupture of the membrane and bleeding due to excess pressure on the anterior placenta were reported in pregnant women.

Summary: Moxibustion is yet another TCM modality with no utility for the treatment of any illness and has known complications from its use. Given the ludicrousness of its underlying mechanism I can see no reason to waste money on further clinical trials.

Follow-up:

1) The results are in. I prefer the beer in Portland to the beer in the UK for a variety of reasons, but UK beers are a bit flat and creamy compared to Pacific NW beer. And they do not know their hops. I was warned that a beer was hoppy. After a sip I wanted to do my best Crocodile Dundee imitation. ‘That’s not a hoppy beer.’ Pull out an Arrogant Bastard. ‘That’s a hoppy beer.’

2) QED was a fantastic conference. Great people, great lectures, great location.

Posted in: Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine

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52 thoughts on “Moxibustion

  1. Laurens says:

    It gets much worse, Dr Crislip, much worse. In the Netherlands, an acupuncturist was actually allowed to write a Ph.D. thesis about acupuncture and moxibustion, and part of the thesis was about reversal of breech positioning. You can read more about this impressive piece of quackery here:

    http://repub.eur.nl/pub/21816

    (the full thesis is available in English)

    Note that the summary starts with the notorious statement that patients ‘deserve the best of both worlds’, which of course means that skeptics should put out all the red flags they have. Unfortunately, the thesis was accepted and the author now has a Ph.D. However, the thesis was heavily criticized and ridiculed by, well, almost everyone interested in evidence-based medicine. The Dutch Society Against Quackery called the thesis both biased and fraudulent. The dean of the medical faculty that accepted the thesis was awarded the annual Master Kackadoris Prize, a prize given to those who have done their utmost to promote quackery.

  2. Windriven says:

    ” And they do not know their hops. I was warned that a beer was hoppy.”

    Less happy hopophiles might argue that the Brits do know their hops. A pale ale, to pick a style, has traditionally had a fairly specific flavor profile, IPAs another, altbier yet another. Dumping a bushel of Summit hops in a kettle of pale ale does not make a hoppier pale ale, it makes a double (or triple) IPA. I’ve no real objection the the PNW obsession with hopping the bejesus out of everything in a brown bottle, just don’t mislabel it as a pale ale. Where’s the FDA when we really need them?

    ” The dean of the medical faculty that accepted the thesis was awarded the annual Master Kackadoris Prize, a prize given to those who have done their utmost to promote quackery.”

    A splendid idea, the Master Kackadoris Prize, in the era of quackademic medicine. I have proposed a similar prize tentatively named the Pyrite Pintail to be awarded similarly but the proposal has gathered no traction here. Pearls before swans, I guess.

  3. goodnightirene says:

    Who funds all these silly and useless studies from Asia? The entire system seems to be rotten to the core with funders and practitioners alike simply attempting to “prove” what they already believe.

    As to beer, I’ve imbibed in UK, PNW and more lately, the original beer capitol, good old Milwaukee. I love ‘em all and there are some amazing things available here from Germany, and Belgium as well. Having been born and raised in Yakima, I am rather fond of hops as well. When I first saw grapes growing, I thought (at age ten) that they were tiny hops. :-)

  4. David Gorski says:

    But that is a defining characteristic of SCAM, its proponents develop resistance to disconfirming facts faster than gonorrhea to antibiotics.

    Heh. I’m going to have to steal that one. Or I might turn it cancer-specific by referencing resistance to chemotherapy or something like that….

  5. Thor says:

    Mentioned this on Dr. Crislip’s post on cupping, but it’s even more pertinent here.

    Many years ago, I received indirect moxibustion. Now, after reading, I feel cheated since this form is supposed to be less harmful regarding burns and pain. Hah! The red-hot, burning fireball at the tip of the moxa cigar accidentally fell off on my back. I have a scar (a bit smaller than a dime) to this day. I don’t think I’ve ever taken a legitimate medication with that kind of a side effect. Funny thing is that one of the main,”official” stated reasons for utilizing any SCAM is that it does no harm compared to “conventional” medicine, that there are no nasty side effects. More and more we see that the actual harms are, and can be, huge. And all with a smile, an appeal to nature, wholeness, antiquity. One really must wonder about human cognition.

  6. Cupping a is valid, safe and viable therapy when used within a plan assault on Trps and myofascial pain and dysfunction. As are masage, adjustments, yoga, active release, rolling, acupressure, TrP balls and doohickeys, acupuncture, Gunn-IMS, Travell/Simons; dry and wet needling, Tendon and ligament injections of Hackett.

    There is a truth embedded in all of these therapies that is based on the biology, chemical and the laws of nature. Survival of the fittest over a few million years, locked this ability in our DNA.

    Anyone can find the evidence to refute any therapy just by applying your biased searches based on the agenda, beliefs and who is paying you.

    1. Stuartg says:

      And your evidence that these elaborate placebos have influenced human evolution “over a few million years” is exactly… nil.

      1. Your definition of placebo if fraught with inconsistencies. A placebo a way to simulate ineffective therapy used to compare with a true effective therapy. This is to allow passage of chemicals into the industry that have a better effect than others. A placebo simulates nothing.

        Snake oil is nothing or something that is promoted to do something and is sold with a like conscious hypnosis input.

        Cupping absolutely does something. I kinda have put the pieces together as to how that needles further study. Since it will not generate profits it will probably not be investigated.

        Sorry if my alternative ideas bog down the natural flow of your incomplete and narrow viewed scientific site.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Your definition of placebo if fraught with inconsistencies. A placebo a way to simulate ineffective therapy used to compare with a true effective therapy. This is to allow passage of chemicals into the industry that have a better effect than others. A placebo simulates nothing.

          Your definition of “placebo” shows your ignorance. A placebo is a combination of factors that represent all reasons for an improvement in condition that are not attributable to a physiological effect. It does include endorphin-based pain relief. But it’s also things like natural healing, demand characteristics of the interaction, the desire to please your doctor, and more. It includes both actual biological effects (blockable with naloxene) and social characteristics. Read a book.

          Cupping absolutely does something. I kinda have put the pieces together as to how that needles further study. Since it will not generate profits it will probably not be investigated.

          So…you offer these services at a loss then? The company you buy your needles, cupping bowls and mugwort from – they also operate at a loss? How do they stay in business, state sponsorship?

          Sorry if my alternative ideas bog down the natural flow of your incomplete and narrow viewed scientific site.

          I’m more sorry I have to spend so much time refuting your nonsensical and repetitious claims. But you can always shut me up by providing some relevant research supporting your assertions. So far you haven’t.

      2. OneBornEveryMinit says:

        After lurking here a bit, I believe you’ll find it a royal waste to engage with the SRS troll. He rejects the basic idea of reason and evidence in favor of “I do what I d-mn please and I believe what I believe”.

        You can’t have a reasonable argument with someone who rejects reason, especially when they make bank doing it.

    2. Thor says:

      “You’re just like Boy George stepping into a Klan rally”. Bill Hicks

    3. Joe Wear says:

      And the good Doc has absolutely no interest in promoting the very quackery that is his bread and butter. He should have his license taken away and return his medical dipoloma

      1. @joe

        I realize that all this info and insight is foreign to some of you, but don’t take my word for it do your due diligence. (not here, this place is very narrowly conducted)

        I do not subject my patients to the ortho-surgeons blades anymore unless it’s an obvious urgency.

        Do you realize that advising a patient that the only choices for pain in the knee are more pills, rooster comb juice and surgery. THAT’s the definition of malpractice.

        1. IN the real world it is malpractice! You are safe here in this 2D word of blogs, articles and fantasy.

          1. Dave says:

            Have you not read the multiple posts here advising AGAINST certain forms of knee surgery, and FOR more judicious use of antibiotics?

            I agree with you that polypharmacy is a problem. Treatments should have a positive risk-benefit profile. I quoted a warning about this from the FIRST chapter of Harrison’s Internal Medicine textbook a few weeks ago. Why do you think this idea is foriegn to science-based medicine?

            You come across as being as delusional as the people who think doctors are hiding a cancer cure or know absolutely nothing about nutrition.

            1. Sawyer says:

              Yeah, but that’s in the real world. Why haven’t they written about it in the fantasy world of SSR’s brain?

        2. Windriven says:

          “I realize that all this info and insight is foreign to some of you,…”

          Steve, your ramblings cannot be characterized as either informative or insightful. They are in fact very nearly meaningless. If I assert: the surface of Uranus is very nearly covered with a unique form of cryofungi, is that either informational or insightful? I have no proof to support this assertion but I believe it to my core and I repeat it every day to everyone I meet.

          It is not. It is irrational and unsupported by facts. When I peer through my telescope I am SURE that I can see the fungi. So can a handful of others who also point out that ancient Fijians have believed in fungi on Uranus for a thousand years. But no one else seems to be able to see the fungi even using the best telescopes on the planet.

          This does not make me a pioneer or a visionary. It makes me a crackpot. Do you follow the analogy Steve?

    4. Chemmomo says:

      Stephen “Anyone can find the evidence to refute any therapy just by applying your biased searches based on the agenda, beliefs and who is paying you.”

      Who is paying YOU?

    5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      There is a truth embedded in all of these therapies that is based on the biology, chemical and the laws of nature. Survival of the fittest over a few million years, locked this ability in our DNA.

      Sure, the animals just sauntered over to the glass cup tree and waited for lightning to strike it at the right time, igniting the pollen and thus creating a vacuum. Because cupping is just that natural.

      You may be interested to know that evolutionary principles were a factor in changes to biological systems as soon as descent with modification was possible. Slightly more than a few million years ago.

      Anyone can find the evidence to refute any therapy just by applying your biased searches based on the agenda, beliefs and who is paying you.

      That’s not how it works – your claim that cupping or moxibustion does anything is a positive claim – it is the positive claim that requires evidence, since it is impossible to prove a negative. Since you are so great at finding evidence to support moxibustion – why not save us the time and drop in some links here?

      Also, your belief that contributors are being paid seems to be based on the fact that you can’t refute them. May I suggest the problem is not reimbursement by some nefarious, acumen-lacking business entity, but rather your inability to understand the rules of scientific evidence?

      Also, how do we know you aren’t paid by Big Needle (and Mugwort) to continue to fail to support your assertions? Now, I’ve just made a claim with no evidence – does that mean in your mind that magically money has appeared in your bank account?

  7. lee says:

    Perhaps the best that can be said of these particular forms of Asian woo is that they will not directly contribute to the extinction of endangered species such as rhinos, elephants, tigers etc., as does the widely shared, abysmally ignorant belief in the efficacy of these animals’ body parts to cure everything from impotence to cancer.

    1. Dave says:

      SSR, I think you’ve made your opinions clear many times over. Repeating these opinions ten times a day in this blog is not necessary.

      1. I have to repeat them because repetition helps with memory.

        1. Rob says:

          SSR,

          Agreed that repetition does reinforce, So:

          Provide evidence.
          Provide evidence.
          Provide evidence.

          Repeat as necessary when you feel woo-zy.

          1. n brownlee says:

            But first:

            Define evidence

            Define evidence

            Define evidence

  8. Kathy says:

    “What is moxibustion used for? Anything and everything. Except, I suppose, as a burn therapy. ” Unless you are a homeopath treating a burn case I guess … small burns to cure large burns? Crikey Mikey.

    1. Cupping is part of the list of therapy in the myofascial release group for pain.

      1. Oop, moxi … they both work for some types of pain.

        1. Renate says:

          By replacing one form of pain by another form of pain?

          1. Yes, has to do with muscle plasticity, bulk up with straining and thinning out with atrophy.

            Hmmm that’s another barrier to the therapy! Thank!

            Anybody familiar muscles?

            1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              What evidence supports your assertion, and how do we know you aren’t just trying to drum up more business for yourself to maximize profits?

        2. Renate says:

          I ment by replacing one for of pain by another form of pain, something like, I hurt my toe and someone gives me a blow on the head with a hammer, to take my mind of the pain in my toe.

  9. daedalus2u says:

    Some members of Artemisia are nitrogen fixing. Many species that are nitrogen fixing accumulate nitrate in their tissues as a feeding deterrent. Perhaps it was chosen for its combustion properties?

  10. kia says:

    Eight years ago, I was pregnant with my now 7yo daughter. She was breech, and stubbornly so. My midwife* said to me I should try acupunture and moxibustion to try and get her to turn. Now, I wasn’t terribly aware of or into SBM at the time, but it still set my BS meter flying. I asked to see an ob instead and she just sighed and told me “you don’t want to have a caesarean, do you? Trying alternative therapies is your only option”. I happily proceeded on to have a planned caesaerean with an obstetrician (who was young, female, and very understanding). It infuriates me when nurses, working in the hospital system, try and push CAM. It happened again later when I was pregnant with my son (who I successfully had a VBAC with) – because I looked tired one day, a midwife said to me “you really should try acupuncture, it’s amazing”. I just said to her “yeah it’s not my thing” and she left it alone.

    *I’m Australian, where registered midwives (who are either RNs with further training, or formally recognised university qualifications in direct entry midwifery and registration with the nurses registration bodies) deliver most babies born in public hospitals unless medical need dictates the utilisation of an obstetrician.

  11. Peter says:

    Hops was or hops were?

  12. Sasha says:

    It seems ….on fire here.

    No one paying me…. but I have to leave some words.

    I have been doing this threapy ” moxibution ” for almost one month .
    it doesn’t hurt , and you can choose not to be burned .
    you can do it at home if you know where are acupoints and you also need to have some basic knowledges of Chinese Medical .

    I have only one word to describe it : mystery

    This tiny weed has that power.

    what I can say is , you need to experience it before you judge it .

    And what is evidence ? The evidence is…… when your body felt better and pains has gone , wasn’t that enough ??? after taken some different pills and still not been cured .

    I think we need to rethink the direction of what we called : Medical system .

    Asian way /western way, both has their own adventages .

    If you judge something that you never try , that is a pitty.

    A healthy mind sometimes often refected by physical condition .

    A healthy physical condition , mostly from your living / eating habit .

    Amount of that , stay thinking positive and open minded .

    All the best.

    World is bigger than what you thought , and life is full of mysteris .

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      you can choose not to be burned

      Can you choose that if the burning fibers fall off of the needle, onto your skin?

      And what is evidence ? The evidence is…… when your body felt better and pains has gone , wasn’t that enough

      Nope. How do you know you wouldn’t have gotten better anyway? How do you know you didn’t pay the acupuncturist merely to while away the time while your body healed as normal.

      Asian way /western way, both has their own adventages

      Can you tell me what line of longitude at which “Western medicine” stops working? Or is this just a racist way of saying the Chinese are the only prescientific culture that we should simply trust as actually having magic? Chinese life expectancy was flat even in the face of their allegedly magical abilities, it only started rising with the advent of real medicine.

      If you judge something that you never try , that is a pitty.

      Amount of that , stay thinking positive and open minded .

      The whole point of science is seeing if something works. If scientific research shows me that moxibustion doesn’t work, why would I bother spending the money? Being open-minded means asking for proof for unlikely conditions, it doesn’t mean shelling out money whenever someone claims Chinese people have magic powers.

      A healthy mind sometimes often refected by physical condition .

      So sick people are that way because they didn’t think enough happy thoughts? Go into a leukemia ward and tell that to some of the kids why don’t you.

      A healthy physical condition , mostly from your living / eating habit .

      Go tell that to someone with PKU, or a congenital heart defect, or retinoblastoma, you insensitive prick.

      World is bigger than what you thought , and life is full of mysteris .

      I will supply you with two links:

      http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/irlen-syndrome/comment-page-1/#comment-135245

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMvMb90hem8

    2. In the real world all of what you say is truthful and are your beliefs which should be treasured and respected.

      I stopped using moxi a decade ago because the needles are the key that unlock healing.

      The science behind most of modern medicine is a mystery, although tested and proven not to kill you right away. They may not work but those are the risks and benefits.

      1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        In the real world all of what you say is truthful and are your beliefs which should be treasured and respected.

        How do you know what is truthful and what is erroneously-held belief?

        What if the beliefs are manifestly wrong? What if the beliefs of a doctor are that knee pain is best treated through cartilage debridement?

        I stopped using moxi a decade ago because the needles are the key that unlock healing.

        What evidence supports this belief?

        The science behind most of modern medicine is a mystery, although tested and proven not to kill you right away. They may not work but those are the risks and benefits.

        Not really – we know why cutting out a tumor works to preserve life. We know why chemotherapy for blood tumors works (it’s a vitamin analogue for the most part). We know why immunization works. We know why aspirin works. We even know the long-term consequences of many, if not most of these practices. Volumes of peer-reviewed literature can be cited to support these beliefs.

        What peer-reviewed literature supports acupuncture?

  13. Does not matter says:

    You are sooooooo incredibly ignorant it makes me sick!

    1. Chris says:

      What a brilliant rebuttal! So full of evidence, logic and so incredibly convincing. Thank you so much for correcting our misconceptions. We are so indebted to your obvious expertise. We anxiously await for the next time you provide more lovely contributions to the comments.

  14. Doug C. says:

    As an update, In China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, infra-red lights have replaced the use of moxibustion for generating heat in conjunction with acupuncture treatment. Not quite sure why it is popular amongst English speaking TCM practitioners. Perhaps western trained TCM practitioners have an affinity towards “herbal” methods.

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Probably because there’s a market; anglophones can read the English literature which endorses acupuncture and moxibustion for completely different uses. One of the more interesting studies for me was of the differences between how it is used in China versus California – totally different diseases, duration, etc. And historically, until Mao shoehorned it back into the medical system for lack of real doctors, acupuncture was seen as the medicine of hacks and the poor; herbs were seen as the “good” stuff.

    2. @doug
      There are so many variations on the discipline it is mind boggling.

      The key in my opinion is in the stainless steel surgical tools, that is where the power lives.

      1. Windriven says:

        “The key in my opinion is in the stainless steel surgical tools, that is where the power lives.”

        So exactly which type of stainless has the most power, Steve? Do you prefer 316 or one of the martensitics such as 440. Is it the chromium or the molybdenum that works the magic. Or maybe the nickel? Just wondering.

      2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        There are so many variations on the discipline it is mind boggling.

        The funny thing is – in other areas of medicine, after 3,000 studies, one would generally expect a) convergence on a single method and b) some sort of unequivocal evidence that it actually works. I mean – 3,000 is a lot of studies, yet somehow it’s still essentially an open question whether it is an active treatment or placebo? I mean, seeing all of those variations in the discipline, it’s almost like a religion rather than an ostensible medical practice. Almost as if the lack of objective support for even one intervention is causing a series of schisms, based on how many angels can dance on the retracting head of a needle.

        The key in my opinion is in the stainless steel surgical tools, that is where the power lives.

        Yeah, but so what since you can’t actually point to any clinical trials that back up your opinion? I can say that in my opinion dark matter is actually the mucous of the Great Green Arkelseizure, but in the absence of any evidence there’s no reason to believe me.

        Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one but that doesn’t mean they aren’t full of shit.

  15. Stef says:

    I have used acupuncture for years to treat a bad back, I happened to mention that I had bad eczema on my hand, the next minute she strapped this thing on my hand with no explanation as to what she was doing and then lit something and left me for about 30 mins, it got very warm but it didn’t hurt (I do have a high pain threshold though). I struggled with the smoke in the room (I suffer from hay fever) and when I got home I had to have a shower to get rid of the smokey smell. I’m now suffering from a full blown allergic reaction, my eye lids are swollen, I have broken out into a rash over my entire body, my hand that was treated is blistered and has become infected, I am now on prednisone, antibiotics, antihistamine and cortisone cream, I do NOT recommend moxibustion for anybody that suffers from allergies, had I been explained what the procedure was I would of categorically refused knowing that I am extremely sensitive to smoke/perfume/pollen/grasses. I am apart from back and allergies a fit and healthy average weight woman who is now in a complete miserable mess! Be warned, I will never return to that acupuncturist or anyone else that uses mugwort.

    1. Windriven says:

      “I have used acupuncture for years to treat a bad back”

      That is so last millenium. I use lasers to treat a bad back. It is far more modern and it has just as much scientific evidence supporting it as acupuncture. Probably more because of the lasers.

      I was able to buy one of those lasers that planetariums once used to entertain teenagers with light ‘dancing’ to music. I focus it on my back while playing Chuck Berry’s “Twist and Shout” or one of the disco era hits of the castrati-sounding Bee-Gees. Works like a charm. And one time Barry Gibb hit a note so high that it drove the laser beam well below my waist and resolved a long term hemorrhoid. A twofer!

      1. Marketing, deception and profits is what you are witnessing. If the laser works then the needles has to also work. It is all in you mind, both are valid because I use both in the office.

        So you fell into that trap of the 3-card monte, we all get tricked now and again.

        1. Windriven says:

          “So you fell into that trap of the 3-card monte, we all get tricked now and again.”

          Steve. Really? C’mon now, even you can’t be that dense. The whole laser thing is satire, a joke, an effort to get Steph to understand that her acupuncture is as worthless as the moxibustion. I don’t have a bad back, don’t have an old planetarium laser, don’t like the BeeGees, don’t have a hemerrhoid and certainly wouldn’t try to remove one myself with a laser (or anything else) if I did have one.

          Well you have certainly demonstrated that your gullibility isn’t limited to quack cure-alls.

        2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Marketing, deception and profits is what you are witnessing. If the laser works then the needles has to also work. It is all in you mind, both are valid because I use both in the office.

          So you fell into that trap of the 3-card monte, we all get tricked now and again.

          That whooshing sound is you missing the point. How did you ever pass medical school?

          Acupuncture is predicated on marketing, since science doesn’t really support it. Like all CAM, it’s based on having a double-standard for evidence that is lower for all CAM interventions than for real science. For instance, when you claim that something is valid because you use it in the office (anecdotes and case studies) without being able to point to an actual scientific trial. And when this is pointed out, CAM proponents try to change the subject – like you do here.

    2. Andrey Pavlov says:

      Stef:

      Do you think that the moxibustion really had any basis in reality? In other words do you think that if you hadn’t happened to be sensitive to smoke and perfume that it would have fixed your eczema? If not, then why do you think that the rest of the acupuncture is?

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