Moxibustion is a traditional technique that involves the burning of Chinese mugwort (Ai Ye), a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. The actual Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means “acupuncture and moxibustion.”
There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect.
In direct moxibustion, a small amount of moxa is shaped into a cone or rice grain shape and placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. In modern moxibustion, the moxa is placed on the point and lit, but is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. The patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain.
In indirect moxibustion, a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, is burned near the acupuncture meridians or over specific areas of pain or injury. Another form of indirect moxibustion is performed by wrapping the handle of an acupuncture needle with moxa and burning it, which pushes the heat down into the point directly.
In either case, the purpose of moxibustion is to use the heat to stimulate the flow of Qi and blood to improve circulation, enhance acupuncture treatments, and create other healing effects in the body.
Benefits of Moxibustion
Moxibustion can treat a variety of conditions including:
Protection against cold and flu strains