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Study Suggests Combined Acupuncture And Moxibustion Treatment Can Treat Symptoms Of Ankylosing Spondylitis

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A recent clinical study demonstrates acupuncture’s effectiveness in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in Bellmore, a chronic inflammatory form of arthritis. Acupuncture can alleviate the symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis which is a condition affecting the spinal vertebrae and other body areas. It can deform sufferers into a stooped forward position causing reduced flexibility. People with AS may be unable to lift their head upwards to a level position.

Oftentimes, AS affects the intestines, eyes, sacroiliac joints, pelvis, and spinal joints. In extreme cases, it can cause the spinal vertebrae’s anterior aspect to fuse together. Tendons and ligaments can also be affected leading to tendonitis. Researchers believe that ankylosing spondylitis can be due to genetics. It is also suspected to be associated with a dysfunction in the autoimmune system.

According to a recent study, when acupuncture needles are inserted in the Du meridian or Governing Vessel meridian, and when this procedure is combined with moxibustion therapy, the human subjects suffering from ankylosing spondylitis experienced significant relief in pain. The Du meridian is an acupuncture energy channel that travels to four major areas of the body. One pathway starts in the perineum and goes up toward the spine up to the neck. Then, it traverses the brain and goes up further to the top of the head. It continues along the midline of the forehead across the bridge of the nose and ends at the upper lip. Another pathway begins at the pelvic area and travels the coccyx, genitals, and gluteal area before going back to the spinal column. A third pathway connects to the eyes’ inner canthus before the channel goes up across the forehead to the top of the head. This third pathway then goes into the brain and reappears at the neck where it goes down along the spinal column’s opposite sides to the waist. The fourth pathway of this meridian starts at the lower stomach and goes across the umbilicus, heart and windpipe. It then encircles the mouth and ends under the eye.

The study was extremely specialized and only studied patients who had undergone both the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) differential diagnosis of deficient Kidney Yang and the conventional diagnostic methods that determined ankylosing spondylitis. Deficient Kidney Yang is a pattern of disharmony or a syndrome within the system of TCM that’s marked by loss of hearing, tinnitus, weakening of the knees, low libido, impotence, hair loss, loosening of the teeth, and pain and weakness in the lumbar region. It is often accompanied by typical deficient Yang symptoms such as pallor, low energy, and an overall cold feeling throughout the body. The Du meridian was selected as the focal point of the treatment plan due to its strategic location in the spinal area and its traditional indications for the resolution of spinal conditions. In the study, the researchers observed that the moxibustion therapy on the Du meridian led to significant relief of pain associated with ankylosing spondylitis; however, they also observed that when moxibustion was combined with acupuncture it led to greater results than the outcomes of standalone moxibustion therapy.

Written by Valerie

November 7th, 2017 at 4:54 pm