Is there a difference between the effects of one-point and three-point indirect moxibustion stimulation on skin temperature changes of the posterior trunk surface?

Acupunct Med. 2012 Mar;30(1):27-31. doi: 10.1136/acupmed-2011-010069. Epub 2011 Dec 26.


Objective: To determine whether any difference exists in responses to indirect moxibustion relative to thermal stimulation sites.

Methods: Twenty one healthy men of mean±SD age 22.5±6.1 years were randomly divided into two groups, one receiving a single moxibustion stimulation in three locations (the three-point stimulation group, n=10 participants) and the other receiving three stimulations in one location (the one-point stimulation group, n=11 participants). The thermal stimulation sites were GV14, GV9 and GV4 acupuncture points. A thermograph was used to obtain the skin temperature on the posterior trunks of the participants. To analyse skin temperature, four arbitrary frames (the scapular, interscapular, lumbar and vertebral regions) were made on the posterior trunk.

Result: An increase in skin temperature on the posterior trunk was observed following both one- and three-point moxibustion administrations. The skin temperature of the lumbar region showed a significant increase after three-point stimulation compared with single-point stimulation (p=0.011). There was also a significant increase in skin temperature of the spinal region after three-point stimulation compared with one-point stimulation (p=0.046).

Conclusion: Administration of single moxibustion doses on the GV14, GV9 and GV4 points produces greater changes in skin temperature than three applications of moxibustion to the GV14 point only.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Back*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Moxibustion / methods*
  • Skin Temperature*
  • Young Adult