Moxibustion
Cupping and moxibustion are healing techniques employed across the diverse traditions of acupuncture and oriental medicine for over 2,000 years...

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Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Bell's palsy: One study suggests acupuncture plus moxibustion, with or without conventional treatments for Bell's palsy, may have benefit. However, more studies are needed to verify this finding.
Grade: C

Cancer: Preliminary evidence from one study of patients with nasopharyngeal cancer suggests that moxibustion (without needles) may reduce side effects of chemotherapy or radiation therapy. More studies are needed before concrete recommendations can be made.
Grade: C

Cervical spondylosis: There is some evidence from two studies of groups of patients with cervical spondylopathy indicating that moxibustion combined with acupuncture may contribute to reduced symptoms. However, no controlled studies have been conducted. There is insufficient evidence on which to base concrete recommendations at this time.
Grade: C

Colitis: Evidence from several small studies suggests moxibustion with acupuncture may have potential in treatment of colitis. However, there is insufficient evidence on which to base concrete recommendations at this time.
Grade: C

Crohn's disease: One study suggests acupuncture combined with moxibustion may benefit symptoms in Crohn's disease. More and better-designed studies are needed to verify this finding before concrete recommendations can be made.
Grade: C

Lymphedema: Preliminary evidence from one small study suggests moxibustion and acupuncture may reduce symptoms of lymphedema caused by intrapelvic lymph node dissection in gynecological cancer. However, evidence is insufficient for making concrete recommendations at this time.
Grade: C

Peripheral facial paralysis: Preliminary evidence suggests an integrated protocol of herbs, acupuncture, moxibustion and Western medicine may benefit peripheral facial paralysis. However, there is insufficient evidence on which to base concrete recommendations at this time.
Grade: C

Pregnancy - breech presentation: Moxibustion is a long-used traditional remedy in China for cephalic version (a way to try to turn a baby from breech position to head-down position while it's still in the mother's uterus), including as a self-administered technique at home by mothers. The available evidence confirming its efficacy, while showing some promise, is mixed. More studies are needed to verify whether there are predictable benefits in moxibustion for cephalic version.
Grade: C

Rheumatoid arthritis: There is preliminary evidence suggesting that patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disorder, may experience improved immune function as a result of acupuncture and moxibustion. However, evidence is insufficient at this time for making concrete recommendations.
Grade: C

Schizophrenia: A report of a series of cases observed at a hospital in Mongolia suggests that schizophrenia may respond to a treatment regime including acupuncture and moxibustion. However, there is no systematic evidence available on which to base any recommendations for or against such treatment in schizophrenia.
Grade: C

Stroke: One study suggests electro-acupuncture may reduce spasticity in patients who have experienced stroke, but there was no evidence that moxibustion offered any additive benefit. More studies are needed to determine whether or not moxibustion may contribute to recovery from stroke.
Grade: C

Surgery: There is evidence from one small study suggesting that moxibustion may help accelerate the return to normal gastric functioning after anesthesia and surgery. However, there is insufficient evidence for making concrete recommendations for or against moxibustion in recovery from surgery.
Grade: C

Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections (children): Moxibustion is widely used in China for respiratory tract infections in children. However, at this time evidence is insufficient for making concrete recommendations.
Grade: C

Trigeminal neuralgia: One small study reported treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (sharp shooting pain found in the forehead, face, or jaw region) with cupping to have a significant therapeutic effect. However, there is insufficient available evidence on which to base recommendations for or against cupping in trigeminal neuralgia.
Grade: C

Urethritis: There is preliminary evidence from one study suggesting that moxibustion combined with acupuncture may help reduce urological symptoms in women with urethral syndrome (inflammation of the urethra resulting in painful urination). However, more studies are needed before definitive recommendations for or against this approach can be made.
Grade: C

Weight loss: Evidence does not support use of moxibustion to aid in weight loss at this time, although it may contribute to increased psychological well-being and improved eating attitudes in obese patients. More studies are needed to determine whether or not moxibustion may play a role in weight loss.
Grade: C

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