Moxibustion is a safe alternative treatment for insomnia

Researchers from Guangdong Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine have identified moxibustion to be a novel treatment for insomnia. Their findings, which appeared in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, noted the viability of the treatment, given its low rate of adverse effects, compared to other medications.

  • The study was a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that looked at the effectiveness and safety of moxibustion in insomnia treatment.
  • The team used CENTRAL, PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, CNKI, VIP, and Wanfang Data databases for their review. The literature review covered RCTs published from the date of inception of the database to July 2015 which compared the effects of moxibustion against traditional Chinese medicine or Western medicine in treating insomnia.
  • “Effective rate” was chosen as the first outcome method, while “adverse event” was selected as the secondary outcome measure. The researchers included bias evaluation, meta-analysis, sensitivity analysis, publication bias, and adverse events analysis as part of their data collection and analysis.
  • After selection, 22 RCTs (a total of 1,971 patients) were enrolled in the study. Based on the overall meta-analysis, moxibustion had better treatment outcomes that traditional Chinese medicine or Western medication.

Based on the results of the review, the team concluded that while moxibustion can potentially be used as an alternative treatment for insomnia, more rigorous clinical trials are needed to fully understand its benefits.

Read the full text of the study at this link.

Learn more about moxibustion at

Journal Reference:

Sun YJ, Yuan JM, Yang ZM. EFFECTIVENESS AND SAFETY OF MOXIBUSTION FOR PRIMARY INSOMNIA: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 13 July 2016;16(217). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-016-1179-9

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