Article Text

Heat sensitisation in suspended moxibustion: features and clinical relevance
  1. Dingyi Xie1,
  2. Zhongyong Liu1,
  3. Xiaoqin Hou1,
  4. Bo Zhang1,
  5. Jun Xiong1,
  6. Ming Yi2,
  7. Rixin Chen1
  1. 1The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangxi University of TCM, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, Peoples Republic of China
  2. 2Department of Neurobiology, Neuroscience Research Institute, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, Peoples Republic of China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Rixin Chen, The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangxi University of TCM, 445 Bayi Avenue, Nanchang, Jiangxi Province 330006, Peoples Republic of China; chenrixin321{at} or Dr Ming Yi, Department of Neurobiology, Neuroscience Research Institute, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University, 38 Xueyuan Road, Beijing 100191, Peoples Republic of China; mingyi{at}


We have observed a ‘heat-sensitisation’ phenomenon in a large proportion of patients receiving suspended moxibustion treatment. Patients become thermally sensitised to moxibustion stimulation at certain locations on the body, indicated by sensations of strong warmth or heat penetrating into the body (heat penetration), warmth spreading around the stimulation site (heat expansion), warmth conducting in certain directions and reaching some body regions or even internal organs remote from stimulation sites (heat transmission), or other non-thermal sensations such as aching, heaviness, pressure etc. These heat-sensitised locations are not fixed, but may, during the progression of disease, dynamically change within a certain range centred on acupuncture points. Each condition seems to have its specific set of such sensitised acupuncture points and such phenomena are not commonly observed in other body regions or in healthy subjects. A number of clinical trials have shown that the appearance of heat sensitisation is correlated with better therapeutic effects in various diseases, indicating the clinical significance of such responses. Further investigation is required to elucidate the epidemiological characteristics and biological mechanisms of the heat sensitisation in suspended moxibustion.


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