On the hazard caused by the heat of acupuncture needles in warm needling (Wēn Zhēn)

Tsung Chieh Lee, Tsung Lin Cheng, Wen Jiuan Chen, Lun Chien Lo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Due to its simplicity and convenience, acupuncture has become popular as a complementary therapy. In this Chinese medicine, doctors have to find the traditional meridian acupuncture points before puncturing the needles into them. Moxibustion (Ài Jiǔ) is also an important part of the acupuncture remedy. Treatment by acupuncture can be classified roughly into two types - direct moxibustion and indirect moxibustion. Warm-needling acupuncture (Wēn Zhēn Jiǔ) is classified under the method of indirect moxibustion. In the present study, 10 standard stainless steel acupuncture needles with 10 pieces of cylinder-shaped moxa cone (Ài Zhù) as the heat source of warm needles were used. In order to prevent the practitioners from getting burns, it is necessary to study the temperature changes in some designated parts of the needles. Two sizes, 0.6 g and 1.0 g, of moxa cones were used for comparison of the measured temperatures. The needles are typically divided into two parts - the handle part and the needle body. In our experiment, the temperatures of WNA at different parts of the needles were measured. The larger the size of moxa cone is, the longer is the burning time. Based on the observations we suggest that when 0.6 g moxa is used, the physicians should better pick out the needles around 9 min after ignition; however, while using the 1 g moxa, it might be safer to pick out the needles around 13 min after ignition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

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