Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) emphasizes that men needs to live in harmony with the heaven (weather) and the earth (environment) (天人合一). Thus, when practicing medicine, TCM doctors make their therapeutic decisions (acupuncture, moxibustion or herbal medicine) not only on the patient’s characteristics but also on the weather conditions.
Within the moxibustion procedures, there is a special kind of moxibustion, called Weather-based Moxibustion, which applied medicated heat patches (not needles) to puncture points at the back for 2-4 hours during the hottest days of the year.
The use of weather-based moxibustion is based on the Chinese Medicine theory that “prevention of winter disease such as asthma should start in the summer” and “summer is the best time to absorb Yang (陽)to strengthen the body.”
The medicated heated patches stimulate the blood flow at puncture sites, resulting in a stronger immune system. Applying moxibustion during the hottest days allows the body to absorb and stored enough Yang (warmth) to ward off the disease during the winter.
In the Chinese Lunar Calendar, there are 3 special days (三伏天) every year when the temperatures are the highest or the Yang is the strongest. These are the best days to undergo weather-based moxibustion.
This year, the hottest days are July 19, 2010, July 29, 2010 and August 18, 2010.
Weather-based moxibustion is indicated to treat chronic bronchitis, asthma, emphysema, seasonal allergy and tuberculosis.
I have heard two cases when patients with chronic asthma have been were successfully cured after 3 years of treatment with weather-based moxibustion.
Even though this procedure sounds intriguing, moxibustion needs to be performed by certified Chinese Medicine Doctors. Furthermore, moxibustion should not be used in patients with acute attack of asthma, fever, sore throat, heart failure, diabetes and sensitive skin. Also, children under the age of 2 and pregnant women should not undertake this procedure.
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