New Research: Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is autoimmune in nature 2011-crohns-diseasemeaning that your body mistakenly attacks itself.  A GI doctor can test for Crohn’s using various scans (CT or MRI) as well as scopes and cultures. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease- biomedical physicians often recommend dietary and lifestyle changes along with medications or infusions to suppress the overactive immune system.

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea (or could be constipation)
  • Mouth ulcers

New Research Shows Acupuncture &  Moxabustion can help…

A new study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology (Bao.2014) reports that the combination of acupuncture and moxibustion is effective for Crohn’s disease. The study randomized 92 patients into a blinded treatment group and control group. Acupuncture was provided three times a week for 12 weeks, with follow up for 6 months.

Outcome measurements were the Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) along with lab tests including hemoglobin (HGB), C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate, quality-of-life, endoscopic ratings, and intestinal histology scores.

Moxibustion was applied to acupuncture points Tianshu (ST25), Qihai (CV6) and Zhongwan (CV12). Acupuncture needling was done to Zusanli (ST36), Shangjuxu (ST37), Gongsun (SP4), Sanyinjiao (SP6), Taixi (KI3), and Taichong (LR3) to a depth of 20 – 30 mm and retained for 30 minutes.

Results  indicated that the total treatment efficacies of the treatment and control groups were 83.72% and 40.48%, respectively, with a statistically significant difference (p = .000). More specifically:

  • CDAI scores from both the treatment group and the control group were significantly reduced compared with those measured at baseline (p = .000).
  • However, patients in the treatment group reported significantly larger decrease in CDAI scores than the control group (p = .000).
  • Only the CDAI scores in the treatment group remained significantly lower during follow up (p = .000).
  • Quality of life scores were higher for the treatment group and the difference between treatment and control group was statistically significant (p = .017).
  • CRP levels (C-reactive protein) of the patients in the treatment group were significantly reduced (p = .007), the CRP of the control group was not.
  • HGB levels (hemoglobin) of the patients in the treatment group were significantly increased (p = .026), the HGB of the control group were not.

These results support past studies that Chinese Medicine can offer relief to Crohn’s patients. Although a chronic disease, consistent treatment with appropriate follow up can significantly reduce symptoms and improve overall physical well-being and quality of life. To read a copy of the full publication, Bao.2014.

At Wildwood Acupuncture Center–we are a family owned medically based clinic who will work in collaboration with other treatments you are receiving to enhance your treatment results.

Call us today to schedule a consultation: 301-530-5308


Bao, C. H., Zhao, J. M., Liu, H. R., Lu, Y., Zhu, Y. F., Shi, Y., … & Wu, H. G. (2014). Randomized controlled trial: Moxibustion and acupuncture for the treatment of Crohn’s disease. World journal of gastroenterology: WJG, 20(31), 11000.