Moxibustion or heat therapy is one of the cornerstones of Traditional Oriental Medicine. This therapy has been practiced over thousands of years, in fact, it could be said it had been practiced before acupuncture even existed!
Moxibustion comes in various forms, for instance there is direct (which is burning directly on skin) and indirect (which is using a moxa stick). In either case, the herb Ai Ye or Chinese/Japanese mugwort or commonly known as “moxa” is used. This little herb has fantastic properties and a couple will be outlined. One of the properties of moxa is to encourage better circulation of qi and blood in an affected area, when there has been either an acute or chronic condition. In simplistic terms moxa help resolve bruising, improve movement in joints/limbs, when having a cold or even it is used for when helping the expectant mother to prepare for labour! Another benefit of using Moxibustion during treatment is that it generally improves the body’s immune system via increasing the blood cell count, improve gut function and overall health.
Heat therapy is very versatile it can be used at home (particularly for labour preparation) or in clinic. As previously mentioned there are many techniques which are still used today and three will be outlined briefly. One technique used in clinic is stick moxa – is great for getting heat near the skin and into the body. The second technique is called penetrating technique – when moxa is rolled into a size of a rice grain and is placed onto the skin and the heat is then ‘pushed’ into the skin. The last technique used frequently in clinic is needle head moxa – when the inserted needle has moxa sitting on top of it and the heat is referred down the needle.
stick on moxa
mini stick on moxa
Hand holding professional moxa stick