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Acupuncture and Moxibustion for COVID-19-An Abstract

COVID-19 is an acute respiratory infectious disease, which is highly infectious and commonly susceptible, and poses a serious threat to people's life and health. It has been included in the infectious diseases of class B prescribed in the Law of the People's Republic of China on Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, and is managed

according to class A infectious diseases.

COVID-19 belongs to the category of "epidemic" disease in traditional Chinese medicine. For thousands of years, traditional Chinese medicine has accumulated rich experience in the long-term medical practice of fighting against epidemics.

Modern clinical and experimental studies show that acupuncture-moxibustion can regulate the human immune function, and act on anti-inflammatory and anti-infection.

Acupuncture-moxibustion plays an active role in the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. In the face of COVID-19, Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion therapy has actively participated in prevention and control, and achieved good results.


Acupuncture will stimulate the acupoints on the limbs through the meridian internal viscera and outer collateral branches, and directly smash the nidus to stimulate and strengthen the viscera and its Qi, so that the invading evil of epidemics can be separated and expelled.

Acupuncture also stimulates the Qi while improving self-protection of the viscera, and to reduce the damage of the organs caused by the epidemic.

The choice of acupoints and methods draws on the evidence from ancient literatures, modern clinical and basic researches, and incorporates acupuncture research results shown in previous studies of improving lung function, regulating innate immunity, anti-

inflammatory and proinflammatory factors, activating the vagal-cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway and regulating the respiratory system and overcoming the damage of lung inflammation.


Methods of acupuncture and moxibustion intervention

ⅰ) Acupuncture and moxibustion intervention during the phase of medical observation (suspected cases)

Objective: to stimulate the vital Qi and the functions of lung and spleen, and to dispel, separate and remove the pathogens of pestilence, to enhance the defense of viscera against the pathogens.

Main points:

(1) Fengmen (BLl2), Feishu (BLl3), Pishu (BL20);

(2) Hegu (LI4), Quchi (LI11), Chize (LU5), Yuji (LU10);

(3) Qihai (CV6), Zusanli (ST36), Sanyinjiao (SP6);

For each time, select 1-2 points in each group of acupoints.

Matching points:

  • symptoms combined with fever, dry throat, dry cough, match with Dazhui (GVl4), Tiantu (CV22), Kongzui (LU6);

  • symptoms combined with nausea and vomiting, loose stool, tongue fat coating greasy, soft (soggy) pulse, match with Zhongwan (CVl2), Tianshu (ST25), Fenglong (ST40);

  • symptoms combined with fatigue, weak, and inappetence, match with Zhongwan (CVl2), the 4 points around umbilicus (1 inch each side from umbilicus), Pishu (BL20);

  • symptoms combined with clear runny nose, soreness on shoulder and back, tongue pale coating white, slow pulse, match with Tianzhu (BLl0), Fengmen (BLl2), Dazhui (GVl4).


ⅱ) Acupuncture and moxibustion intervention during the phase of clinical treatment (confirmed cases)

Objective: to stimulate the vital Qi of lung and spleen, to protect the viscera and reduce damage, to dispel the perverse of pathogens, and to “reinforce the earth to generate metal/gold”, to stop the tendency of the disease, lighten the mood, to enhance the confidence to overcome the disease.

Main points:

(1) Hegu (LI4), Taichong (LR3), Tiantu (CV22), Chize (LU5), Kongzui (LU6),Zusanli (ST36), Sanyinjiao (SP6);

(2) Dazhu (BLll), Fengmen (BLl2), Feishu (BLl3), Xinshu (BLl5), Geshu (BL17);

(3) Zhongfu (LU1), Danzhong (CVl7), Qihai (CV6), Guanyuan (CV4), Zhongwan (CVl2);

To treat light and general cases, for each time, select 2- 3 main points in group (1) and (2); to treat severe cases, select 2-3 main points in group (3).

Matching points:

  • symptoms combined with longtime fever, match with Dazhui (GVl4), Quchi (LI11); or ear tip and fingertip bloodletting;

  • symptoms combined with chest tightness, shortness of breath, match with Neiguan (PC6), Lieque (LU7); or Juque (CVl4), Qimen (LR14), Zhaohai (KI6);

  • symptoms combined with coughing up phlegm, match with Lieque (LU7), Fenglong (ST40), Dingchuan (EXB1);

  • symptoms combined with diarrhea, loose stools, match with Tianshu (ST25), Shangjuxu (ST37);

  • symptoms combined with coughing up sticky and/or yellow phlegm, constipation, match with Tiantu (CV22), Zhigou (TE6), Tianshu (ST25), Fenglong (ST40);

  • symptoms combined with low fever, hiding fever, or even no fever, vomiting, loose stools, tongue pale or pale rose with white greasy coating, match with Feishu (BLl3), Tianshu (ST25), Fujie (SPl4), Neiguan (PC6).


ⅲ) Acupuncture and moxibustion intervention during convalescence

Objective: to remove residual virus, restore vitality, to repair functions of viscera such as lung and spleen.

Main points:

Neiguan (PC6), Zusanli (ST36), Zhongwan (CVl2), Tianshu (ST25), Qihai (CV6).

Matching points:

1. Deficiency of the Qi of lung and spleen:

Symptoms as shortness of breath, fatigue, poor appetite and vomiting, stomach distension, lack of force for defecate, loose stools, tongue slightly fat with white greasy coating.

  • For those with obvious symptoms such as chest tightness, shortness of breath, match with Danzhong (CVl7), Feishu (BLl3), Zhongfu (LU1).

  • For those with obvious spleen and stomach symptoms such as indigestion and diarrhea, match with Shangwan (CVl3), Yinlingquan (SP9).

2. Deficiency of Qi and Yin:

Symptoms as weakness, dry mouth, thirst, palpitations, excessive sweating, poor appetite, low or no fever, dry cough with few phlegm, dry tongue with less saliva, pulse fine or weak.

  • For those with obvious weakness and shortness of breath, match with Danzhong (CVl7), Shenque (CV8).

  • For those with obvious dry mouth and thirst, match with Taixi (KI3), Yangchi (TE4).

  • For those with obvious palpitations, match with Xinshu (BLl5), Jueyinshu (BL14).

  • For those with excessive sweating, match with Hegu (LI4), Fuliu (KI7), Zusanli (ST36).

  • For those with insomnia, match with Shenmen (HT7), Yintang (GV29), Anmian(EX), Yongquan (KI1).

3. Deficiency of Lung and spleen, stasis of phlegm blocking the meridians:

Symptoms as chest tightness, shortness of breath, disinclination of speak, fatigue, sweating when as move, cough with phlegm, and phlegm blocked, scaly dry skin, mental fatigue, poor appetite, etc., match with Feishu (BLl3), Pishu (BL20), Xinshu (BLl5), Geshu (BL17), Shenshu (BL23), Zhongfu (LU1), Danzhong (CVl7).

For those with phlegm blocked, match with Fenglong (ST40) and Dingchuan (EXB1).


Home intervention under the guidance of doctors

To help prevent and control the epidemic of COVID-19, while reducing going out, avoiding cross-infection, blocking the source of infection, and ensuring safety, patients who are under home quarantine and discharged from hospital can perform self intervention through online clinic, guidance, and science popularization and education, under the guidance of professionals.

Moxibustion therapy:

Self-moxibustion on Zusanli (ST36), Neiguan (PC6), Hegu (LI4), Qihaic(CV6), Guanyuan (CV4), Sanyinjiao (SP6). Each moxibustion takes about 10 minutes.

Meridian massage:

Use methods like kneading, pressing, rubbing, tapping, patting on the

lung and heart meridian of upper limb, spleen and stomach meridian below the knee. 15-20 minutes for each operation. It is appropriate to have soreness at the operated part.

Acupressure could also be applied on the acupoints mentioned above.

Foot bath:

Select Chinese herbs with the function of dispelling wind and heat, eliminating pathogens.

Take nepeta, wormwood, mint, houttuynia, indigowoad leaf, eupatorium fortunei, acorus tatarinowii, polygonum flaccidum, radix curcumae, clove, 15g each, together with 3g of borneol to make a decoction. Pour the decoction into a foot bath, add some warm water, wait until it cools down to about 38 ~ 45 ℃, soak for about 30 minutes.


This guidance is formulated by the expert group of the China Association of Acupuncture- Moxibustion.

Counselors: Shi Xuemin, Tong Xiaolin, Sun Guojie Head of expert group: Liu Baoyan, Wang Hua Expert group member: Xiaochun Yu, Wu Huanyu, Gao Shuzhong, Wang Linpeng, Fang Jianqiao, Yu Shuguang, Liang Fanrong, Ji Laixi, Jing Xianghong, Zhou Zhongyu, Ma Jun, Chang Xiaorong, Zhang Wei, Yang Jun, Chen Rixin, Zhao Jiping, Zhao Hong, Zhao Baixiao, Wang Fuchun, Liang Fengxia, Li Xiaodong, Yang Yi, Liu Weihong, Wen Biling

Translated by the Secretariat of the World Federation of Acupuncture Moxibustion Societies

Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

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