San Fu Moxibustion is a topical treatment that is effective for people suffering from chronic respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, bronchitis, recurring colds in the winter, and colds when the seasons change. There is a principal in Chinese medicine to treat winter diseases in the summer (dong xia bing zhi), when the yang energy is at its peak. The San Fu days are the days that are expected to have the hottest weather of the year and are sometimes called the “dog days” of summer. It is said that the Yang energy is greatest during these hot days.
What happens during a San Fu treatment?
The San Fu herbs are a mixture of hot and caustic herbs that are made into a paste, applied to the skin at specific acupuncture points, and held on with an adhesive. They can be left on the skin for up to 6 hours. The medicine will irritate the skin and cause redness and possible blistering. This is important because the medicine will enter your body subcutaneously. At the clinic, your practitioner will apply the herbs and send you on your way with instructions about how to remove the paste and care for your skin afterwards. For best results, you should return for all three days of the treatment.
What does the medicine feel like?
How you feel will depend on the sensitivity of your skin. Many people report that they have itching and sweating sensations. Some people have headaches. The paste will leave a mark on your skin that may last from a couple hours to over a year. If the paste leaves a blister, it should be treated as you would treat any other blister.
Can everyone get San Fu?
Most adults and children over the age of 3 can receive San Fu. Young children should only keep the paste on their skin for about 20 minutes, and older children for a couple hours at most. Pregnant women should not receive the treatment, nor should people with active communicable diseases such as the cold and flu, tuberculosis, fever, malignant skin conditions, or any other type of hot condition. People with conditions associated with decreased sensation, such as diabetes, should be cautious with this treatment because they might not be able to feel when the should remove the plaster.
Visit Acupuncture Today for an article about how San Fu is practiced in China.
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