Moxibustion Therapy In Conjunction with Acupuncture Has Proven Effective For a Variety of Symptoms
Moxibustion is a form of fire heat treatment that stimulates specific acupuncture points of the body. The term is derived from the Japanese "mogusa" meaning herb (mugwort) and the Latin "bustion" meaning burning.
Practitioners use moxa to warm regions and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of blood and qi. It is claimed that moxibustion is very effective against cold and dampness in the body and can serve to turn breech babies.
Where did moxibustion originate?
Moxibustion is believed to have originated in the northern part of China. In Mongolia, where winters are dominated by icy chilliness and wind, moxibustion has been used to treat various illnesses and degenerative diseases due to the extreme cold climate.
There are various moxibustion techniques.
Direct moxibustion: A small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned on the skin. Direct moxibustion is a traditional technique considered to be very therapeutic. Much of the scientific study has been done on scarring direct moxibustion. The possible effect derived from this type of moxibustion (sometimes referred to as non-scarring direct moxibustion or categorized as indirect moxibustion) should not be considered the same as the scarring direct moxibustion since the main effect of direct moxibustion is considered to result from actual damage to the skin (thus stimulating the release of immunological mediators resulting in a healing reaction).
Indirect moxibustion: Currently, the more popular form of moxibustion in many countries including China is the indirect form, because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick (roughly the shape and size of a cigar) and holds it an inch or two away from the skin, usually around the inserted needles to bring mild warmth to the area without burning, until the skin becomes slightly red. The intensity of the heat is adjusted according to the patient’s condition and comfort. Indirect moxa is considered to induce a gradual localized vasodilatation response. In addition to increasing the local blood flow, skillful indirect moxibustion is extremely comforting and can create a deep relaxation response. Needle Moxa Technique: Contrary to commonly held belief, moxa heat conducted through the needle is very minute and insignificant. Most of the heat is actually through reflective heat just like the moxa stick method.
What is moxibustion good for?
Moxibustion therapy in conjunction with acupuncture can be very effective for many diseases and conditions including back pain, muscle stiffness, headaches, migraines, tendonitis, arthritis, digestive disorders, anxiety, and female health problems such as menstrual cramps, irregular periods, and infertility.