Precautions and Contraindications of Moxibustion

Precautions of Moxibustion

  • In order for the patients to gradually get accustomed to moxibustion, the heating intensity of moxibustion fire should start with low heat and then high heat; the amount/number of moxibustion should be fewer at the beginning and then increase. The degree of moxibustion should start from mild to more intensive.
  • Scarring moxibustion should be performed according to the law and with the consent of the patients who have understood the process of the therapy thoroughly.
  • The body hair should be shaved off if there is too much on the site of moxibustion. The consent of the patients is needed.
  • Before treatment, explain the situation that may arise to the patient. Special care should be taken for moxibustion patients with unclear consciousness, sensory disturbances, mental confusion, local circulatory disorders, and diabetes.
  • Management needs to be done after the direct moxibustion to prevent infection. For example, avoiding water, and keeping the treatment area clean.
  • Be aware of the occurrence of fainting due to moxibustion.
  • Do not treat patients when they feel nervous, hungry, sweaty (dehydrated), and fatigued.
  • Be cautious of the occurrence of falling ash and moxa cones which may burn the skin or the clothes. When moxibustion treatment is finished, the rest of the moxa stick should be put out to prevent its burning elsewhere. Clean up any fallen ashes onto the bed to avoid damage to bedding.
  • When moxibustion is used on infants, the acupuncturist should put his/her index and middle fingers of one hand beside the site of moxibustion to experience the temperature of the heat to avoid burning the skin of the infants.

Contraindications of Moxibustion

  • Scarring moxibustion is forbidden on the face, regio Colli anterior, precordium, joints and tendon, nipples, genitals, part with the superficial great vessel, affected skin, and acutely-inflamed part. Direct moxibustion is also forbidden on nipples and genitals.
  • Patients with symptoms such as heat-stroke and hypertensive crisis, and late-phase tuberculosis with plenty of hemoptyses are not suitable for moxibustion treatment.
  • Scarring moxibustion on the lumbosacral and lower abdominal areas is to be avoided during pregnancy.

Management of Fainting due to Moxibustion

If a patient faints due to moxibustion, treatment should be stopped immediately. Have the patient lie down and stay warm. Most patients can recover after resting for a short while or after drinking some hot water. Stimulation at Shuigou (GV26), Neiguan (PC6), and Zusanli (ST36) may help recover. If the patients don’t recover, treat as syncope. If the symptoms persist, it is necessary to refer to a professional doctor. The acupuncturist must follow the law of his/her country when engaging in the above-mentioned manipulation of moxibustion.