New Enemy of AtherosclerosisMar. 6,2014
Atherosclerosis (AS) is a multifactorial disease. It mainly affects large- and medium-sized arteries, causing varying degrees of stenosis and blockage of the vascular lumen, which then leads to tissue ischemia and necrosis distal to the blockage. It is a chronically progressive disease characterized by the gradual accumulation of lipids on the arterial wall.
At present, an increasing number of studies have reported anti-atherosclerosis effects of moxibustion，but the majority of the studies have focused on lipid-lowering effects of moxibustion and highlighted its effects on the treatment of hyperlipidemia.In recent years, some progress has been made by the Laboratory of Combined Acupuncture and Medication of Nanjing University of Chinese Traditional Medicinein the study of the lipid profile modulation and anti-atherosclerosis effects of moxibustion.This paper, titled by "Effects of Warm Moxibustion on CD40–CD40L Axis in Rabbits with Atherosclerosis" and published in the 1stissue of 2014 of Chinese Acupuncture &Moxibustion, was jointly finished by Hai-hongCai, Ling-lingWang and several other experts at Laboratory of Combined Acupuncture and Medication.
Warm moxibustion belongs to the hanging moxibustionof moxa roll moxibustion, keeping one inch of distance between a burning end of the moxa stick away from sleek skin and making the patient warm without burning pain.In syndrome differentiation of Chinese traditional medicine, atherosclerosis is usually diagnosed as obstruction of phlegm and dampness together with qi and blood stasis. Blood and meridians are the usual locations for pathological changes. The obstruction of meridians and collaterals leads to blocked flow of qi and blood. Warm moxibustion can have warming and dredging effects; its effects on normalizing and regulating the flow of qi and blood as well as dredging the meridians can be used to treat the pathological state of obstruction of meridians and collaterals and blocked flow of qi and blood in atherosclerosis.
Studies indicate that, besides modulating the lipid profile, warm moxibustion can also lower the serum fasting glucose, urea and nitrogen levels. Hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis are common among middle-aged and old-aged people. These patients usually have some other underlying diseases which narrow down the choices of drug therapy. Consequently, moxibustion may be an important treatment option for these patients. Furthermore, treatment of moxibustion is easy with good compliance in patients; thus it is an excellent long-term treatment option for the patients.