Moxibustion must improve in quality(experts)

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Moxibustion, a type of traditional Chinese medicine therapy, is becoming fashionable but much more needs to be done to maintain its popularity and improve the quality of moxibustion products, experts said at a Beijing forum in September.

The forum was attended by government officials, medical professionals, moxibustionists and business people involved in the field.

Moxibustion is a TCM therapy that involves the burning of mugwort to facilitate healing. The ancient practice fell out of favor in recent decades.

With TCM growing in popularity among Chinese people, the traditional practice is enjoying a revival in popularity.

"Moxibustion is popular with ordinary people now, and there are a lot of healthcare institutions providing such services," says Wu Gang, deputy director of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

"Yet, there are lots of problems worth noticing."

For one thing, with thousands years of evolution, there are now seven forms of moxibustion that have gained approval from health authorities, which address different types of health conditions.

However, while some of those forms are quite famous and popular, most of them are not known to ordinary people, Wu says.

Gao Qing, a Beijing resident, agrees.

She has been learning about moxibustion since a friend cured her acute gastroenteritis with it last summer.

Practitioners like Gao believe that moxibustion directly replenishes yang energy in the body to alleviate conditions caused by a deficiency of the yang factor, such as indigestion, fatigue and menstruation pain.

The woman in her 20s says many young people she knows perform moxibustion on each other at home, because it is difficult for one to treat moxibustion on their own.

Zhang Feilong, manager with a moxibustion-related materials and tools company, says the biggest problem hindering the popularity of moxibustion is the lack of official and mandatory standards.

Unlike other health care products, there are no official standards for moxibustion-related materials and tools.

Each manufacturer has a different understanding of what quality products are, leading to consumer confusion.

Moreover, some manufacturers may take advantage of this, and sell low-quality products at high prices.

Zhang also says although there are so-called moxibustionists in private clinics, most of them are not well-educated and have little training in TCM before entering the profession.

Many of them are not qualified to provide moxibustion to clients, Zhang says.

"People have growing interest in moxibustion, but the industry needs more supervision from the authorities," Zhang says.

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