Moxibustion is a Chinese medicine heat therapy which has been used for thousands of years to strengthen the immunity or treat painful blockages arising from a cold condition within the body. Traditionally, the therapy is performed by the burning of small moxa cones made from the herb mugwort at the location of acupuncture points. The ignited moxa cones are either placed directly on the skin area where the acupuncture points are located until the cones burned out, or being rolled into a stick and held close to the skin area until the area turns red.
The burning of moxa transmits heat into the meridian being treated via the acupuncture points, and is effective in expelling cold and warming the meridians, which then stimulate the smooth flow of qi and blood. Most patients describe feeling a pleasant and warmth sensation internally along the pathway of the meridian being treated.
Moxibustion is commonly performed in conjunction with acupuncture therapy in treating cold and stagnant patterns. A popular way of moxibustion is placing the lit-up smokeless moxa cones on the acupuncture needle head and let the cones burned out. In this way the patients enjoy the full benefit of moxibustion without having to endure the irritation of smoke.
Moxibustion therapy is particularly effective for the following conditions:
- Digestive problems such as watery diarrhea or chronic abdominal pain.
- Pain and numbness due to injury or arthritis, especially if the patient reports that the symptoms are reduced when heat is applied to the problem area.
- Gynaecological conditions such as menstrual cramps and irregular or absent periods.
- Frequent cold and flu due to poor immunity.