Home | Register | Login | Inquiries | Alerts | Sitemap |  

Advanced Search
JKM > Volume 40(3); 2019 > Article
Bora, Juyeong, and Jungnam: The Effect of Moxibustion Treatment for Cardiac Arrhythmia : A Systematic Review



The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of moxibustion treatment for Cardiac arrhythmia through a systematic review.


Electronic database including Cochrane library, Pubmed, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Embase, DBpia, and Korean studies Information Service System were searched by combining the keywords such as “arrhythmias”, “cardiac arrhythmias”, “心律失常”, “moxibustion” and “艾灸”. Through the searching, 5 randomized controlled trials(RCTs) were included except animal testing and cellular experiment etc. The quality of each RCTs was assessed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool.


We included 5RCTs involving 468 participants. Two RCTs compared moxibustion versus conventional treatment, another RCT compared moxibustion plus acupuncture versus conventional treatment, another RCT compared moxibustion plus herbal medicine verus conventional treatment, the other RCT compared moxibustion plus herbal medicine and ointment versus conventional treatment. These studies were evaluated by the efficacy rate of treatments. Studies measured outcomes in efficacy, heart rate, electrocardiogram and symptoms. Each of 5 trials statistically showed a significant differences in efficacy rate. One study reported about side effects and another study reported about complications. The overall risk of bias was unclear in 5 studies.


The evidence suggests that moxibustion treatment may help to reduce cardiac arrhythmia, however, it is limited, low-certainty and we cannot rule out benefits or risks with this treatment. High-quality studies that report adverse effects are needed.

Fig. 1
Flow chart of the trial selection process.
Fig. 3
Risk of bias summary.
Fig. 2
Risk of bias for included studies.
Table 1
Number of studies searched for Arrhythmia and Moxibustion.
Database No. of studies
Cochrane 16
PubMed 23
Embase 4
DBpia 0
Table 2
Characteristics of Randomized Controlled Trials Included in the Systematic Review.
Study Paricipants Sample size (range of age) Experimental group Control group Outcome measurements Results
Intervention Duration/Dates of session/ No. of session Acupoint
Liu10 (2010) CA A: 32/32
B :32/32 (16≤age≤75)
MOXA Moxa : 1 session : 30min/day(10days)+5days rest
total : 2~4 session
BL14, BL15, BL16, BL17 (Bilateral) Amiodarone, Metoprolol aspirin Digoxin
  1. Heart rate

  2. ECG

Yu11 (2013) CBA A: 30/30
B: 30/30 (54≤age≤75)
MOXA Bamboo salt moxa: 50min/1day
total : 10 days
BL15 , CV14 xinbao-wan
  1. Heart rate

  2. ECG

  3. ST-T changes

  4. tongue and pulse condition

Zou12 (2009) CA A: 38/38
B: 37/37 (16≤age≤69)
MOXA+ACU Ginger moxa: 1 session : 1time/day+5days rest/ 1 set : 10 session
total : 2~4 set
  • Moxa: PC6, SP4, HT7, PC5, HT5, BL15, BL20, BL14, BL17, ST36

  • Acu: PC6

Amiodarone, Metoprolol, aspirin, Digoxin
  1. Heart rate

  2. ECG

  3. atrial fibrillation

A: 97.4% (35/38)
B: 81.1% (30/37)
Qu13 (2018) CBA A: 49/49
B: 49/49 (20≤age≤85)
MOXA+ Herbal Medicine Salt moxa: 1 seesion : 1time/day+ 1day rest (3Zhuang/1time)/ 3 session
Drug: You gui-wan 1session : 3time/1day (4 weeks)
total : 3 session
CV17, CV8, CV4 Atropine sulfate tablets
  1. subjective symptoms (heart palpitation, chest tightness, weakness, dizziness, Reduced memory)

  2. Heart rate

  3. ECG

A : 89.8% (44/49)
B : 81.6% (40/49)
Feng14 (2013) CA A: 86/86
B: 85/85 (65≤age≤90)
MOXA+ Herbal Medicine+ Ointment Moxa: 40min/1day
Zhi gancao-tang
Zhi gancao-tang
Ointment: 6H/1day / total : 1month
  • Moxa: CV8, CV12, CV6, CV4

  • Ointment: CV8, CV12, CV6, CV4

  1. Heart rate

  2. ECG

A : 93.02% (80/86)
B : 69.41% (59/85)

* CA : Cardiac Arrhythmia;

† CBA : Cardiac Bradycardia Arrhythmia;

‡ MOXA : Moxibustion ;

§ ACU : Acupuncture;

|| A: Experimental group; B: Control group.

ECG : electrocardiogram, A>B* : P value < 0.05, A>B** : P value < 0.001


1. Cho JG. Recent Advancement in the Management of the Cardiac Arrhythmia. J Korean Med Assoc. 2010; 53:3. 190–195.

2. Jang HJ, Lim JS. Detection of Arrhythmia Using Heart rate Variability and A Fuzzy Neural Network. Korean society for internet information. 2009; 10:5. 107–116.

3. Kwon SS, Lim KM, Shim EB. The three dimensional analysis for the arrhythmia of the atrium. The korean society of mechanical engineers. 2008; 11:1669–1673.

4. Association of korean medicine professors for cardiovascular and neurological medicine. Cardiovascular and Neurological Medicine in korean medicine revision. Seoul: Woori medical books;2018. p. 192–228.

5. Chan EW, Lau WCY, Siu CW, et al. Effect of suboptimal anticoagulation treatment with antiplatelet therapy and warfarin on clinical outcomes in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation: a population-wide cohort study. Heart Rhythm. 2016; 13:8. 1581–1588.

6. Textbook Compilation Committee of The jounal of korean acupuncture & moxibustion society. Acupuncture medicine. 4 edition. Seoul: hanmi medicine publishing company;2016. p. 105

7. Li C. Original introduction to medicine. Seoul: Daesung Publishing Company;1990. p. 529

8. Liu Y, Park JE, Kim AR, Jung HJ, Choi SM. Review of moxibustion treatment for hypertension in clinical trials. The jounal of korean acupuncture & moxibustion society. 2011; 28:5. 87–96.

9. Xiao YC, Fang L. The Moxibustion Sensations and the Therapeutic Effects. China Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2005; 25:2. 95–96.

10. Liu SW, Liu T. Clinical Observation of Moxibustion on Beiyu Point for Arrhythmia. Occupation and Health. 2010; 26:14. 1656–1656.

11. Yu LZ. Clinical Efficacy of Moxibustion with Salt in Bamboo Circle for Treatment of Bradyarrhythmia of Heart Yang Deficiency. Fujian university of traditional chinese medicine;2013.

12. Zou M. Clinical observation on therapeutic effect of combination of acupuncture and ginger-partition moxibustion. Chinese Acupuncture & Moxibustion. 2009; 29:11. 876–878.

13. Qu F, zhang YP, jie Liu. Therapeutic Observation of Salt-partitioned Moxibustion plus Oral Administration of You Gui Wan for Bradycardiac Arrhythmias. Shanghai J Acu-mox. 2018; 37:3. 286–288.

14. Feng HW. Treatment of 86 cases of senile chronic arrhythmia with internal and external combination. China’s naturopathy. 2013; 21:10. 42

15. Rhee KS. The Role of Antiarrhythmics in Atrial Fibrillation. Journal of The Korean Association of Internal Medicine. 2016; 90:3. 198–205.

16. Kirchhof P, Franz MR, Bardai A, Wilde AM, Giant TU. Waves precede torsades de pointes in long QT syndrome: a systematic electrocardiographic analysis in patients with acquired and congenital QT prolongation. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009; 54:143–149.

17. Connolly SJ, Camm AJ, Halperin JL, et al. Dronedarone in high-risk permanent atrial fibrillation. N Engl J Med. 2011; 365:2268–2276.
crossref pmid

18. Køber L, Torp-Pedersen C, McMurray JJ, et al. Increased mortality after dronedarone therapy for severe heart failure. N Engl J Med. 2008; 358:2678–2687.

19. Oh SI. Catheter ablation for treatment of tachyarrhythmia. Journal of Korean Medical Association. 2016; 59:5. 374–378.

20. Kim JY. Drug therapy for arrhythmia. The Korean Journal of Medicine. 2006; 71:5. 589–592.

21. Oh YS. Indications for pacemaker therapy in bradycardia. The Official Journal of Korean Heart Rhythm Society. 2014; 15:3. 31–34.

22. Kim KM, Jeong GS, Kim YG, Kwon JN. A Investigation into Arrhythmia between East and West medicine. Korean J Orient Int Med. 2000; 21:05. 747–763.

23. Liu J, Li SN, Liu L, Zhou K, Li Y, Cui XY, et al. Conventional Acupuncture for Cardiac Arrhythmia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Chin J Integr Med. 2018; 24:3. 218–226.
crossref pmid

24. Fei Y, Fei R, Zhang J, Sun Y, Yu Q. Systematic Evaluation of Efficacy and Safety of Acupuncture Treatment for Patients with Atrial Fibrillation. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019; 7:3. 461–466.
crossref pmid pmc

25. Wen WX, Li XS, Guo XF, Zhou L, Lv WH. Effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for supraventricular tachycardia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion. 2014; 34:11. 1146–50.

26. He M, Lv Z, Yang ZW, Huang JL, Liu F. Efficacy and safety of Chinese herbal medicine Wenxin Keli for ventricular premature beats: A systematic review. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2016; 29:181–189.
crossref pmid

27. Tian CH, zang JQ. Chinese moxibustion method collection. Shenyang: Liaoning Science and Technology Publishing Company;1987. p. 21–28.

28. Yuan YS, hao XJ. Moxibustion Health. Shenyang: Liaoning Science and Technology Press;1996. p. 9–200.

29. Hwang MS. Study on the Treatment Mechanism of Back-Shu Points for Organ Dysfunction. Korean Journal of Acupuncture. 2016; 33:3. 95–101.

30. Lee BG. great achievement of acupuncture and moxibustion. Seoul: Acupuncture korea;2005. p. 616

31. Choi HJ. Yellow emperor’s inner canon. Seoul: Jayou Publishing Company;2004. p. 40

32. Qing Y. Pharmacological action and clinical research of Xinbao Pill. China Prescription Drug. 2004; 10:69–70.

33. Yu XX, Zhou XS, Wu YH, Ou AH, DING BH. Systematic Evaluation of Xinbao Pills in Treating Chronic Heart Failure. Journal of Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2019; 36:2. 153–169.

Editorial office contact information
3F, #26-27 Gayang-dong, Gangseo-gu Seoul, 157-200 Seoul, Korea
The Society of Korean Medicine
Tel : +82-2-2658-3627   Fax : +82-2-2658-3631   E-mail : skom1953.journal@gmail.com
About |  Browse Articles |  Current Issue |  For Authors and Reviewers
Developed in M2PI