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Heavenly Acupuncture on Canicular Days

"Heavenly acupuncture" is the primary form of hot moxibustion in traditional Chinese medicine. In this particular form of acupuncture, drugs are applied to stimulate certain acupoints; as more blood surges to the part of skin above these stimulated acupoints, the skin becomes redden and even blisters, thereby stimulating the main and collateral channels inside the human body and regulating vitality and blood, which in turn can help prevent or cure ailments. As an age-old medical method, "heavenly acupuncture", which features the rubbing of fresh drugs onto the acupoints for treatment, was immensely popular in ancient China.

By duration of application of drugs, "heavenly acupuncture" is normally practiced on the canicular days and the days immediately after the winter solstice. The canicular days are the hottest days of the year. On these sweltering days, drugs effective in alleviating diaphoresis, relieving ailments, stimulating the main and collateral channels in the body, and easing asthma, are rubbed onto the relevant acupoints on one's back to help dissipate internal coldness and enhance the functions of disease resistance of the internal organs.

"Heavenly acupuncture" on canicular days is particularly effective in relieving asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other lung-related ailments, as well as allergic rhinitis. "Heavenly acupuncture" on the days following the winter solstice the days immediately after the winter solstice has significant relieving effects on indigestion, chronic diarrhea and other gastrointestinal diseases, rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, spondylosis, scapulohumeral periarthritis, and protrusion of the lumbar vertebral disc.

Although modern science cannot fully account for the curative mechanism of "heavenly acupuncture", its increasing popularity confirms its effectiveness. Guangzhou has filed an application to list "heavenly acupuncture", a quintessential form of traditional Chinese medicine, as an item of intangible cultural heritage. This further confirms the status of "heavenly acupuncture" among the public.

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