Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort (artemesia vulgaris) to facilitate healing. It strengthens the blood, stimulates the flow of qi (vital energy), dispels cold and maintains general health.
Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years; in fact, the actual Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means "acupuncture-moxibustion."
What is Moxibustion used for?
The burning of moxa is believed to expel cold and warm the meridians, which leads to smoother flow of blood and qi. Which means less pain, better circulation and more energy.
It is used for pain that is fixed, localized and not inflamed or hot.
It can help in reducing back pain, stiffness overall body pain in people suffering from cold, stiff limbs and joints.
It helps in gynecological instances to promote circulation in the womb which relieves stasis and allows for the menses to flow.
It reduces menstrual cramps.
When applied on a specific point in the SI. it can help promote lactation.
When applied on a specific point in the UB. it can help a breech baby go into the right position for labor.
It helps to stimulate the energy in the body.
It can be very relaxing.
Frequent Questions & Answers
Does it hurt? No. At our clinic we only use indirect moxibustion techniques. In indirect moxibustion there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. We light one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and hold it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area becomes warm. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupuncture point and retained. The tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) removed.
How do I know it’s safe? Although moxibustion has been safely used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it is not for everyone. Because it is used specifically for patients suffering from cold or stagnant constitutions, it should not be used on anyone diagnosed with too much heat. Burning moxa also produces a great deal of smoke and a pungent odor. Therefore we use smokeless moxa sticks as an alternative for patients who find the smoke and smell offensive or those who have respiratory problems.