Thermal Distribution in Living Tissue during Warm Needling Therapy

온침 시술 시 생체 조직 내 열분포 분석에 관한 연구

  • Kim, Jongyeon (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Korean Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Lee, Jong-Soo (Department of Rehabilitation Medicine of Korean Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University)
  • 김종연 (경희대학교 한의과대학 한방재활의학과교실) ;
  • 이종수 (경희대학교 한의과대학 한방재활의학과교실)
  • Received : 2014.06.16
  • Accepted : 2014.07.08
  • Published : 2014.07.31


Objectives This study aims to analyze a thermal distribution in biological living tissue during warm needling therapy by using a finite element method. The analysis provides an understanding of warm needling's efficacy and safety. Methods A model which consisted of four-layered tissue and stainless steel needle was adopted to analyze the thermal distribution in living tissue with a bioheat transfer analysis. The governing equation for the analysis was a Pennes' bioheat equation. A heat source characteristic of warm needling therapy was obtained by previous experimental measurements. The first analysis of the time-dependent temperature distribution was conducted through points on a boundary between the needle and the tissue. The second analysis was conducted to visualize the horizontal temperature distribution. Results When heat source's peak temperatures was above $500^{\circ}C$ and temperature rising rates were relatively slow, the peak temperature at skin surface exceeded a threshold of pain and tissue damage ($45^{\circ}C$), whereas when the peak temperature was around $400^{\circ}C$, the peak temperature at the skin surface was within a safe limit. In addition, the conduction of combustion energy from the moxa was limited to the skin layer around the needle. Conclusions The results suggest that the skin layer around the needle can be heated effectively by warm needling therapy, but it appears to have little effect at the deeper tissue. These findings enhance our understanding of the efficacy and the safety of the warm needling therapy.


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