Study Shows Moxibustion Is Better Than Acupuncture In The Treatment Of Yin Deficient-Acne

Both moxibustion and acupuncture in Overland Park are effective acne treatment modalities. In a clinical trial conducted by Chinese researchers, the efficacy of moxibustion and acupuncture for the treatment of acne related to internal heat with yin deficiency was determined. While both therapies led to positive results, it was seen that moxibustion was more efficacious than acupuncture in the cure of this specific type of acne.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), acne caused by internal heat and deficient yin has a not-so-simple pathology. This condition can be due to various forms of bodily imbalances. Symptoms manifesting from this condition appear as excess conditions involving damp-heat, toxins, etc. The underlying cause of the condition, however, is deficient yin resulting in internal heat. Because of this, this form of acne is usually insidious and pernicious.

According to the researchers, based on TCM principles, treatment of acne as a result of deficient yin with internal heat require the elimination of excess heat and the nourishing of the underlying deficiency. Effective medical treatments often adhere to the following principles: elimination of toxins and heat from the body, improvement of heat of the internal organs, strengthening of blood flow, and the promotion of balance of yin and yang, in order bring about a balanced state in the body and eventually the curing of the acne.

The acne patients in the study who were treated with acupuncture experienced an 83.3 percent total efficacy rate. The patients treated with moxibustion treatment experienced a higher 90 percent total rate of efficacy. Both groups showed significant improvements in their acne and never experienced a relapse of the condition after the end of the study.

The study involved the participation of 66 patients all suffering from acne caused by internal heat and deficient yin. They were divided randomly into either the moxibustion group or the acupuncture group. Each group received only moxibustion or acupuncture therapy respectively. Six patients were eventually disqualified from the study due to external factors. The acupoints used for both acupuncture and moxibustion were:

➢ Bl 23 (Shenshu)
➢ Cv 4 (Shuanyuan)
➢ Cv 6 (Chihai)
➢ Cv 8 (Shentsue)

Both groups went through similar preparation methods prior to embarking on their respective treatments. The affected sites were first disinfected. A sterile disposable needle was then used to gently pierce a pustule to burst and eliminate the pus. For each pus, a new needle sterile was used. After the removal of the pustule, disinfection was once again performed. From then on, each group went through their respective therapies.

After disinfection, each member of the acupuncture group was needled until a de qi effect was achieved in each of the acupoints. All acupoints (except the Cv 8 point, which was pierced up to a depth of three to five mm) were needled at standard insertion depths of the acupoints. The Cv 8 is usually contraindicated for needling. The needles were left in place for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes during the treatment, the acupuncturist applied the reinforcement manipulation procedure. The treatments were done two times a week, on Mondays and Fridays. One treatment cycle comprised four consecutive weeks. Three treatment cycles equated to the entire course of treatment.

In the moxibustion group, the targeted acupoints were sprinkled with edible grade salts. Then, over the salt, a slice of raw ginger (with a hole in the center) was applied. After that, a conical moxa weighing approximately 20 g was placed over the raw ginger and burned. Regular checks were done with the patients throughout the treatment to make sure they felt warmth and were not subjected to too much heat at the acupoints. The treatment was performed two times a week, on Mondays and Fridays. Similar to the acupuncture treatment, one cycle of treatment cycle was comprised of four consecutive weeks. Three treatment cycles equaled the entire treatment course.

The rate of efficacy of the total treatment was evaluated based on changes patterns of yin deficiency and in improvements of the skin. Improvements in yin deficiency were assessed by changes in the clinical manifestation of symptoms. Improvements in the skin were classified into 4 levels:

1. Ineffective: The condition worsened or less than 30 percent in the decrease of acne
2. Effective: 30 percent to 59 percent decrease in acne
3. Significantly effective: 60 percent to 89 percent decrease in acne
4. Recovery: Only pigmentation change seen or less than 90 percent decrease in acne

The researchers concluded that both moxibustion and acupuncture work well in treating acne caused by internal heat and yin deficiency. However, moxibustion worked much better than acupuncture in terms of rate of efficacy.

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