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Mechanisms underlying the analgesic effect of moxibustion on visceral pain in irritable bowel syndrome: a review.

Abstract
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional bowel disorder that causes recurrent abdominal (visceral) pain. Epidemiological data show that the incidence rate of IBS is as high as 25%. Most of the medications may lead to tolerance, addiction and toxic side effects. Moxibustion is an important component of traditional Chinese medicine and has been used to treat IBS-like abdominal pain for several thousand years in China. As a mild treatment, moxibustion has been widely applied in clinical treatment of visceral pain in IBS. In recent years, it has played an irreplaceable role in alternative medicine. Extensive clinical studies have demonstrated that moxibustion for treatment of visceral pain is simple, convenient, and inexpensive, and it is being accepted by an increasing number of patients. There have not been many studies investigating the analgesic mechanisms of moxibustion. Studies exploring the analgesic mechanisms have mainly focused on visceral hypersensitivity, brain-gut axis neuroendocrine system, and immune system. This paper reviews the latest developments in moxibustion use for treatment of visceral pain in IBS from these perspectives. It also evaluates potential problems in relevant studies on the mechanisms of moxibustion therapy to promote the application of moxibustion in the treatment of IBS.
AuthorsRenjia Huang, Jimeng Zhao, Luyi Wu, Chuanzi Dou, Huirong Liu, Zhijun Weng, Yuan Lu, Yin Shi, Xiaomei Wang, Cili Zhou, Huangan Wu
JournalEvidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM (Evid Based Complement Alternat Med) Vol. 2014 Pg. 895914 ( 2014) ISSN: 1741-427X [Print] United States
PMID25093032 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)

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