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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 426829, 6 pages
Review Article

Development and Clinical Application of a Precise Temperature-Control Device as an Alternate for Conventional Moxibustion Therapy

1Department of Traditional Asian Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
2School of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
3Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-0812, Japan
4Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-0872, Japan
5Department of Medical Engineering and Cardiology, Institute of Development, Aging and Cancer, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-0872, Japan

Received 23 February 2012; Revised 11 April 2012; Accepted 11 April 2012

Academic Editor: Gerhard Litscher

Copyright © 2012 Shin Takayama et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Moxibustion therapy has been used in East Asian medicine for more than a thousand years. However, there are some problems associated with this therapy in clinical practice. These problems include lack of control over the treatment temperature, emission of smoke, and uneven temperature distribution over the treatment region. In order to resolve these problems, we developed a precise temperature-control device for use as an alternate for conventional moxibustion therapy. In this paper, we describe the treatment of a single patient with paralytic ileus that was treated with moxibustion. We also describe an evaluation of temperature distribution on the skin surface after moxibustion therapy, the development of a heat-transfer control device (HTCD), an evaluation of the HTCD, and the clinical effects of treatment using the HTCD. The HTCD we developed can heat the skin of the treatment region uniformly, and its effect may be equivalent to conventional moxibustion, without the emission of smoke and smell. This device can be used to treat ileus, abdominal pain, and coldness of abdomen in place of conventional moxibustion in modern hospitals.