During the cold, wet northwest winter season, a decreased immunity can mean the difference between you becoming ill (and missing work and family life) and staying healthy (to enjoy the winter wonderland available. From a traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, there is no better way to boost immunity than through the use of moxibustion. 6
How to Boost Your Immune System using Moxibustion
Moxibustion has been used to boost the immune system for centuries. According to classic Chinese medicine texts, applying indirect moxibustion at Zusanli (ST36, bilaterally) and Dazhui (GV14) once per day for five minutes at each acupoint is an efficient way to boost the immune system. 6
Zusanli (ST36) is one of the most famous acupuncture points. According to legend, a weary traveler (during the time when travel was predominantly on foot) would moxa Zusanli and become energized enough to be easily complete many long journeys. 6
From a Chinese Medicine standpoint, moxibustion on Zusanli increases our body’s ability to absorb the nutrients, improves our energy, and ultimately boosts our immune system. 6
“Scientific research has been done in order to investigate the regulative effect of moxa-cone moxibustion on the phagocytic function of macrophages and provide experimental data for the study of other moxibustion methods. A group of 130 mice were divided into a normal control group – a moxibustion group- a hypoimmune-model group, and a hypoimmune-plus-moxibustion group. Flow cytometry and smear examination were adopted to observe phagocytosis of macrophages in these groups. The results showed that moxa-cone moxibustion of acupoint Dazhui (Du14) had no significant influence on phagocytosis of macrophages in the normal mice whereas it exerted marked enhancing effect on phagocytosis of macrophages in the hypoimmune mice.3 The study reported that moxibustion on Dazhui (Du14) can strengthen the respiratory function including allergy cases.
Some researchers’ results showed that moxibustion of Dazhui (GV14) can restrain the secretion of interleukin 4 (IL-4), relieve the inflammatory reaction of immunoglobulin E (IgE), and enhance the ratio of interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) to IL-4 in asthmatic rats, which presents an increased tendency of the curative effect along with the extension of the treatment time from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. Excessively long time (>60 minutes) of treatment is not necessary.4 6”
Manipulation of Moxibustion Therapy
Moxibustion therapies have been used in China for generations. Moxibustion with moxa cones, moxa sticks and with warming needle are common. When moxibustion is applied over Dazhui (GV14) and Zusanli (ST36), the heat from moxa penetrates the body and deeply boosts the immune system. When applied to specific regions and points, the body absorbs the heat into the deepest cellular levels, and thereby augments the body’s natural WBC defense systems. 6
- Zhu Wenlian, Liu Renguan. Effects of moxa-cone moxibustion at Dazhui acupoint on the phagocytic function of macrophages in hypoimmune mice. Journal of Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine 2005;28910:89-90.
- Zhang W, Chen MR, Xiong J. Effects of different quantity of moxibustion at “Dazhui” (GV 14) on cellular immunity in asthmatic rats. Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2012 Jun;37(3):202-5, 217.
- Xin-nong Cheng. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion. Foreign Languages Press; Third Edition 2010 edition (May 1, 2010). ISBN-10: 7119059947.