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Exhaustive exercise induces inflammatory response and associates with increased risk of infections. In traditional chinese medicine, Moxibustion is round to modulate immune funciton. In a rat study, Lu et al observed that moxibustion alleviates the inflammatory response to exhaustive exercise. In the randomized study, exhaustive exercise significantly increased the anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1alfa, IFN-gama and TNF-alfa) and decreased the anto-inflammatory cytokines (IL-4 and IL-10). Moxibusion treatment attenuated these change markedly.

If this observation can be confirmed in human, moxibustion applied to elite athletes may reduce their incidence of common respiratory infection after training and competation.

Lu J et al. Moxibustion attenutates inflammatory response to chronic exhaustive exercise in rats. Int J Sports Med 2012 (epub)