abstracted & translated by
Honora Lee Wolfe, Lic. Ac., Dipl. Ac., FNAAOM (USA)
Keywords: Chinese medicine, acupuncture-moxibustion, herpes conjunctivitis, bleeding
In issue #5, 2003 of Guang Xi Zhong Yi Yao (Guangxi Chinese Medicine & Medicinals), Huang Ren-xiu published an article titled, "The Treatment of 37 Cases of Herpes Conjunctivitis with Moxibustion Combined with Point Bleeding." This article appeared on page 36 of that journal, and a summary is presented below.
All 37 patients in this study were seen as out-patients at the Chinese author’s hospital in Liuzhou, Guangxi. Among them, there were 15 males and 22 females aged 29-77 years. The shortest course of disease was two days and the longest was 11 days. The diagnostic criteria for inclusion in this study were based on Shi Yong Yan Ke Xue (A Study of Practical Ophthalmology) published by the People’s Health & Hygiene Press, in Beijing in 1999.
Patients were treated either sitting up or lying down on their backs. First the skin was disinfected. Then a three-edged needle was used to bleed the affected side tip of the ear, Tai Yang (M-HN-9), and Yin Tang (M-HN-3). Next, a fine needle was used to puncture the blister. After that, a moxa roll was used to moxa over the lesion for 30 minutes. Bleeding was done once every other day, while moxibustion was done once per day. Five days equaled one course of treatment, and results were analyzed after two courses.
Cure was defined as disappearance of any blistery lesions and associated symptoms with no aching, pain, or other sequelae, no hyperemia of the eye or other pathological changes of the eye and surrounding tissues, and no abnormal changes in vision. Marked effect was defined as scabbing over of the lesion, basic disappearance of pain, no hyperemia of the eye, and no water blisters. Improvement was defined as scabbing over of the lesion, decrease in pain, and slight hyperemia of the eye. No effect was defined as no improvement in any of the signs and symptoms after two courses of treatment as described above. Based on these criteria, 31 cases were judged cured and six got a marked effect. Therefore, the total effectiveness rate was listed as 100%.
According to Dr. Huang, herpes conjunctivitis is due to bodily vacuity with recurrent contraction of toxic evils. In other words, there is a root vacuity and tip or branch repletion. In this case, the righteous and evils mutually struggle. If the evils are victorious, the qi becomes stagnant and the channels and vessels do not flow freely. Rather the evils and qi become depressed in the skin. Li Zhong-zi, in his Yi Xue Ru Men (Entering the Gate of the Study of Medicine), said:
For repletion, moxaing it promotes replete evils following the fire qi and being emitted and scattered... For heat, moxaing it guides the qi of depressive heat outward and emits it.
This is referred to as "heat abducting heat." Therefore, one can use moxa roll heating moxibustion on herpes lesions. This is able to guide or abduct heat evils outward and emit them. This promotes the out-thrusting of internally depressed fire toxins, especially if one first pricks and breaks the herpes lesions. Thus the static and stagnant toxic evils are able to drain to the outside. This protocol is an example of not only using bleeding for the elimination of toxic evils but also using moxibustion for the treatment of a local heat pattern condition. Therefore, contemporary prohibitions against using moxibustion in heat conditions are not categorical and are primarily meant for the uninitiated. The scope of moxibustion is much broader than many contemporary practitioners, both in China and in the West, are aware.
Copyright © Blue Poppy Press, 2004. All rights reserved.