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December 9, 1974

Moxibustion Warning

Author Affiliations

Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital Philadelphia

JAMA. 1974;230(10):1385-1386. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240100015006

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To the Editor.—  The article by Carron et al, "Complications of Acupuncture" (228:1552, 1974), is an excellent word of caution to practicing physicians. However, it should be pointed out that moxibustion is not acupuncture.Moxibustion is the application of heat to acupuncture points by burning moxa or aii, the dried leaves of Artemesia vulgaris. Heat is applied directly by burning small cones of moxa at the specific acupuncture points, or indirectly by heating an inserted needle with a moxa cigarette, holding a moxa cigarette 1 cm (1/2 inch) above the point, or heating a small moxa on a slice of ginger or garlic placed over the acupuncture point. The moxibustion may be repeated three, seven, ten, or even 15 times, for five to seven days, or other various ways.Accordingly, it is obvious that the end results of moxibustion can be second- or third-degree burns on the various points when