Moxibustion (‘Moxa’) stimulates acupoints using heat, which is typically generated by burning mugwart (artemesia vulgaris), an herb that has unique burning properties. The herb may be wrapped into a stick that is used to heat acupoints, it may be used in small cones directly on the skin, or it may be used to heat acupuncture needles that are inserted into the body. Sticks of pressed charcoal are often used for moxa treatments because they produce less smoke. Patients typically feel a pleasant, warm sensation as the heat penetrates the skin and slowly heats the acupoints.
Moxa has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. The Chinese characters for acupuncture is literally translated as ‘acupuncture moxibustion’ – they were used as a combination therapy.
For centuries, moxa has been successful in turning breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. Moxa has been used in Western medicine for the same purposes. A published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (1998) found that up to 75% of breech presentations were resolved after receiving moxa on specific acupoints. Other studies show that moxa increases fetal movement in pregnant women, and may reduce menstrual cramps when used in combination with traditional acupuncture.
Moxa strengthens the immune system (specifically increasing the white blood cell count), increases circulation and energy, reduces inflammation, and warms the body. Symptoms from bronchial asthma, arthritis, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and heavy menstrual bleeding respond well to moxa treatments.
As with most forms of Chinese medicine, the primary goal is to prevent disease and discomfort while promoting health and longevity. Of course, treatments are also effective in rebalancing the body to dispel illness.
Are you feeling low on energy, deeply fatigued, or generally rundown and out-of-sorts? Moxa and acupuncture may help to increase your energy, feel more grounded, and function more effectively!
Contact me by message or phone, or just schedule an appointment – I’d love to work with you!