A study from China suggests that a combination of moxibustion and acupuncture can relieve inflammation and repair the damaged intestinal epithelial barrier in patients with Crohn’s disease (CD). Sixty patients diagnosed with mild to moderate CD were allocated to two groups. One group received the drug mesalazine (1g tablets four times daily for 12 weeks), while the other group received moxibustion combined with acupuncture (M&A). In the M&A group two sets of acupoints were used alternately – Set A: Tianshu ST-25, Qihai REN-6 and Shuifen REN-9 for moxibustion plus Zusanli ST-36, Shangjuxu ST-37, Quchi L.I.-11 and Hegu L.I.4 for acupuncture, alternated with Set B: Shenshu BL-23 and Dachangshu BL-25 for moxibustion and the Huatuojiaji M-BW-35 points of from T1 to T6 for acupuncture. Patients received treatment six times a week for 12 consecutive weeks. Intestinal tissue samples taken before and after treatment were examined microscopically to compare morphological and ultrastructural changes relating to CD pathology. Both groups showed improved intestinal morphology following the treatment period, however tissue samples from patients treated with M&A showed more significant levels of improvement than those in the drug group.
Moxibustion combined with acupuncture increases tight junction protein expression in Crohn’s disease patients.
World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Apr 28;21(16):4986-96.