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What Is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort which is a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. The purpose of Moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese Medicine, is to strengthen and warm the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi, and maintain general health.

How Does It Work?

The mugwort is burned over the body, directly or indirectly in order to warm the body and bring more energy and blood flow to particular organs, organ systems, and particular areas of the body.

Like most things in nature, the energy in our bodies react to cold by contracting and heat by expanding.  Mugwort is warm and therefore expanding.  By warming the meridians and the body, it is able to help enhance energy and blood, and improve circulation.

Indirect Moxibustion: Indirect use of moxibustion is performed using a moxa pole.  The moxa pole looks a lot like a cigar. It is lit at one end until it is smoldering hot, and then it is held over an acupuncture point or region of the body to warm it.  The moxa pole never comes into direct contact with the skin.  Moxa poles can also be useful tools for patients to use outside of their treatments to enhance healing.  ~ See photo above (left)

Direct Moxibustion: Direct moxibustion means that the moxa is applied directly onto the body.  This method involves a small bunch of moxa being put onto the body, usually in the shape of cone, and burned down until the warmth is felt by the patient, and then removed. Many rounds of this would be done until a very strong sense of heat was felt at the point. ~ See photo above (center and right)

What About The Odor From Moxibustion?

There is a smoke and odor that is produced from moxibustion.  The odor can have a tendency to linger, but can be eliminated by showering and washing clothing.  The odor from moxibustion varies, depending on the grade and form of mugwort being used.  It varies from having an incense smell similar to burning sage to smelling somewhat like marijuana.

Though some patients do not prefer the odor of moxibustion, the majority of patients find the healing of it and aroma of it relaxing and soothing.  The odor can trigger brain receptors that associate the smell with treatment, and therefore patients have an euphoric response.

Is Moxibustion Safe?

Although moxibustion has been safely used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it is not for everyone. It is specifically used for patients with cold, deficient and/or stagnant constitutions and should not be for patients diagnosed with too much heat. Burning moxa also produces a great deal of smoke and a pungent odor. Patients with respiratory problems may request that their practitioner use smokeless moxa sticks as an alternative.

What Can Cupping Be Used For?

  • Acne
  • Anxiety
  • Breech Babies
  • Common Cold
  • Depression
  • Digestive Issues
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Gynecological Disorders
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • High Blood Pressure & Low Blood Pressure
  • Hormonal Imbalances
  • Impotence
  • Infertility
  • Muscle, Joint and Tendon Injuries
  • Pain/Stiffness: Neck, Shoulder, Back, Abdominal, Muscle and Joint
  • Poor Blood Circulation
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Short Term & Long Term Memory Issues
  • Skin Disorders
  • Sleep Problems
  • Sore Throat & Fevers
  • Sun-Strokes
  • Urinary Problems
  • Weight Issues