Moxibustion - Essence Acupuncture & Wellness - Traditional Chinese Medicine Healthcare


Moxibustion - Essence Acupuncture & Wellness - Traditional Chinese Medicine Healthcare

Moxibustion or Moxa is the burning of a Chinese herb “Ai Ye” otherwise known as Mugwort. This herb has many healing properties including warming the body, increasing blood circulation, and helping the body promote energy movement. It is especially useful in gynecological disorders caused by cold and to turn a breech baby. Moxa can be applied in many ways and is great for pain-related conditions, digestive disorders, and more.

Moxibustion or Moxa is a heat therapy technique used in traditional Chinese treatments. The goal of moxibustion is to warm the body and to bring circulation back to the channels. Moxa is made from dried mugwort that is compacted densely in the form of a cone or a stick. It is then burned near the surface of the skin. The resulting heat is believed to help stimulate the targeted points and improve the smooth flow of energy and blood. When there is good flow of energy and blood, pain and inflammation is reduced and balance is achieved.

Benefits of Moxibustion

  • Pain Management – the theory behind pain in traditional Chinese medicine is due to a blockage of circulation. Once there is blockage, the body’s immune system has a difficult time accessing the stagnated area. The heat from the moxibustion therapy is able to penetrate the skin to improve the circulation and thereby allowing the body to heal. This includes arthritic pain due to cold weather.
  • Malposition of Fetus – one of the more common uses of moxa is to help with the turning of breech babies during pregnancy. Moxibustion is performed on a popular point called BL67 and is usually performed starting at 34 weeks. Moxa is used daily until the baby turns itself. Moxa is known to warm the womb and calm the fetus. In combination with BL67, which is also an empirical point for malposition of the fetus, the heat therapy reaches the womb and motivates the fetus to turn for optimal delivery.
  • Menstrual Pain – using moxibustion on certain acupuncture points can help reduce menstrual pain effectively. The common reason for menstrual pain is because cold is trapped in the uterus. That is why often times using a heating pad helps with cramps. Unlike a heating pad, moxa is a more powerful remedy to assist with expelling cold and increasing blood circulation.
  • Digestive Issues – when applied to certain points, moxa can assist with abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. The digestive system in traditional Chinese medicine relies on the function of the spleen and stomach to work in harmony. This delicate balance is often times weakened due to poor food choices or indirect stress to the system. Moxa is useful because it enters the spleen channel and can help improve nutrient absorption and overall digestive strength.
  • Boost Immune System – wind and cold enters our body easily resulting in seasonal allergies or cold/flu. Not only does moxa warm the channel but it expels pathogenic cold from the body. Moxa assists the body to help fight off colds and the flu quicker. In combination with ST36, it is known to increase the production of white blood cell count because moxa improves the overall blood and lymph circulations and the capacity to produce antibodies.

The use of moxa has been around for thousands of years because of the wide variety of benefits. Overall, it is a relaxing therapy that helps strengthen the body and improves the body’s energy.

Moxibustion FAQ's

Moxibustion can be used to prevent diseases and maintain health as part of your treatments to help strengthen the organs and immune system. It warms the meridians and expels cold. It can be used to promote blood circulation over areas of chronic pain and muscle tension, increase metabolism, enhance Qi, detoxification of the body, and more.

Most moxa will smell similar to marijuana when burned and patients should be forewarned. Higher grades of moxa produce less smoke and have less of the marijuana scent. Some varieties, such as smokeless moxa, avoid the marijuana smell altogether and, in the case of smokeless moxa, produce almost no smoke.

In general, moxibustion is easy to use at home and will not cause side effects most of the time. Warm the area or acupoint using circular movements for the amount of time specified by your acupuncturist. The moxa will produce ash, so tap into an ashtray, mug, or ceramic dish as to not allow ash to fall on skin and burn. When finished, seal your moxa stick in a glass jar, depriving it of oxygen so it stops burning.
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