A study, published in Journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, states that Moxibustion potentially helps remedy insomnia. The research was led by Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The researchers compared Moxibustion with both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. To serve the purpose, published material comparing Moxibustion to other forms of therapy were analyzed.
In order to determine its effectiveness, the researchers also scoured medical databases such as CENTRAL, PubMed, and EMBASE, including those in China like Wanfang Data for randomized clinical trials.
What does the study say?
Moxibustion is a kind of heat therapy including burning dried mugwort on particular points on the body. It uses traditional Chinese medicine that serves as an alternative to prescription medication for people suffering from insomnia.
The researchers not only focused the effectiveness of the therapy against insomnia but they also pondered upon its adverse outcomes.
The data collected in the research finds Moxibustion effective in treating insomnia than conventional medicine. Moreover, it reveals that Moxibustion works better than other forms of traditional Chinese medicine as well.
The researchers declare Moxibustion significantly safer as compared to Western medicines. Thus, it may serve as a safer alternative to drug therapy when it comes to treating insomnia.
A report by the researchers says that Moxibustion was more effective for insomnia than western medications, oral Chinese medicine, and other TCM therapies.
Note that most of the trials were conducted using small sample sizes. This underlines the need for high-quality trials with larger sample sizes to fully conclude the benefits and long-term implications of Moxibustion.
The researchers added that Moxibustion should be considered as a novel therapeutic option for insomnia. However, there is still a need for more rigorous clinical trials of Moxibustion therapy to assess its effects.
Understanding the benefits of Moxibustion
Moxibustion employs burning of herbs and the resultant heat, which comes off, is applied to specific points on the body. The traditional Chinese medicine says that the heat generated allows the body to increase its qi or vital energy. It does so through certain pathways called meridians. This concept is somewhat similar to that of Acupuncture. Some people use a combination of the two for treatment.
Moxibustion is generally of two types i.e. direct or indirect.
- Indirect Moxibustion
It is one of the popular procedures and most of the people are normally familiar with it. It involves burning moxa on top of an acupuncture needle. Moxa is a mixture of dried mugwort and wormwood. Variations may involve holding the heat source above the skin or putting it above a layer of salt or garlic on the skin.
- Direct Moxibustion
This type of Moxibustion involves placing the burning moxa directly on the skin. It is not popular among people and is rarely used because it causes pain and scarring.
Studies often relate Moxibustion to provide the following benefits,
- Relieves and reduces the severity and frequency of hot flashes
- Helps with arthritis and back pain
- Alleviates migraine and menstrual cramps
- Eases digestive problems
- Treats tendonitis and muscle stiffness