Moxibustion is another treatment method of Chinese or East Asian Medicine. The literal translation of the word means ‘burning herb.’ It refers to the stimulation of acupuncture points via an external heat method. The most commonly used substance to perform moxibustion treatment is a common weed called mugwort whose pharmaceutical name is Artemisia Vulgaris or Argyi. Mugwort was utilized because it grows readily in the China countryside and because it could easily be dried, compressed into cones or cigar-shaped sticks, and then burned to produce a deep, penetrating type of heat.
Moxibustion is Used to Help Treat:
Historically, there have been a variety of ways to apply it to stimulate acupuncture points, but the safest and most common method used today is referred to as indirect moxibustion. This means that the ignited moxa itself does not come into direct contact with the skin; instead, it is elevated above and directed towards a specific acupuncture point to provide the necessary stimulation. Like acupuncture, moxibustion has a wide variety of therapeutic indications but is more commonly used for conditions that are classified as chronic, cold, or deficient as well as disorders or diseases affecting the digestive, immune or reproductive systems. Moxibustion is also well known for its ability to help turn a breech baby into the proper delivery position.
As moxibustion often needs to be performed two to three times per week to achieve the maximum benefit, I often teach my patients which acupuncture points need to be stimulated and how to apply the moxibustion safely so that they may perform it at home. Many of them find it to be a very relaxing ritual as part of their weekly routine. It is also a simple and effective way to increase your energy, vitality and boost your mood.