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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 8242136, 9 pages
Review Article

Moxibustion in Early Chinese Medicine and Its Relation to the Origin of Meridians: A Study on the Unearthed Literatures

1Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China
2Beijing Huguosi Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Beijing 100029, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Baixiao Zhao; moc.anis.piv@001oaixiab

Received 12 October 2016; Revised 22 December 2016; Accepted 12 January 2017; Published 19 February 2017

Academic Editor: Fabio Firenzuoli

Copyright © 2017 Chang Huang 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 is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It achieved higher level of recognition and had more general application in ancient times than in contemporary life. As the vital historical sources, the records of unearthed literatures offered precious insights to Chinese social life pattern and medical practice in Qin and Han dynasties (221 BC–220 AD). There was no surprise that the bamboo and silk documents excavated from Mawangdui (马王) tomb, Hantanpo (旱滩坡) tomb, and other relics had a large amount of texts relevant to moxibustion. This research sorted moxibustion recordings from seven unearthed literatures and discovered that moxibustion had been developed into different modalities and utilized to treat many diseases at that time. In addition, the indications, contraindications of moxibustion, and the method of postmoxibustion care were also discussed. On this basis, some hints were provided to support the hypothesis that the practice of moxibustion led to the discovery of meridians. All our preliminary results in the research have drawn attention for this old therapy and given a new source for its application in clinic and scientific research.