Moxibustion is the heat therapy involving the burning of Mugwort herb (Artemesia Vulgarism) on or around acupuncture points and channels. To make moxa the leaves of Mugword plant are dried in the sun, finely powdered and sifted until a fine and soft consistency is achieved.
The first record on Chinese moxibustion was found in the Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon (Huángdì Nèijīng) which is more than 2,000 years old. Moxa is versatile. It can be used in many different forms depending on what the situation calls for. Most often moxa is burned over acupuncture points or along the acupuncture channels using a long cigar-like roll. Sometimes we put a slice of garlic, ginger, or special herbal balm on the skin and then burn a small lump of moxa on it.
Traditionally moxibastion is used with acupuncture. The two treatment modalities complement each other in many cases. For instance, a small cone of moxa can be put on top of acupuncture needle to conduct bio-heat into the deep regions of the body.
Warming and Cooling
We use moxa to add energy to certain regions of the body and to warm cold and stiff areas. In cases of inflammation and swellings, we use moxa to disperse excess by improving flow of blood and energy throughout the area.
Immunity and Blood
Moxa has a profound effect on the blood. Numerous bio-medical clinical trials confirm that moxa produces positive changes in blood chemistry. Moxa not only helps maintaining high concentration of white blood cells, but also stimulates their ability to perform their main function of defending our bodies from infections. Moxa also positively affects red blood-cell count and blood clotting factors.
Because it’s connection with blood, moxa is specifically useful for treating women’s health issues such as infertility, menstrual difficulty, and gynecological problems.
Moxibustion has successfully been used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women with breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion over a certain point on the Bladder meridian.
Other Health Concerns
Moxa has been widely used to treat the following health problems:
- Chronic gastroenteritis
- Peptic ulcer
- Bronchial asthma
- Rheumatism of muscles and joints
- Infantile diarrhea
- Menstrual disorders
- Chronic pelvic inflammation
- Menopausal syndrome
- Pulmonary tuberculosis
- Asthma – a report of 182 cases of asthma treated with moxibustion resulted in a short-term effective rate of 76.9%, with 70% long-term effective rate on follow-up examination for three years.