Moxibustion is a method whereby moxa (also called mugwort, a small, spongy herb) is burned on or above the skin at acupuncture points to facilitate healing. Mugwort is an agent that increases blood circulation. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. We can use loose moxa or moxa sticks. The heat strengthens the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi and maintains general health.
Sometimes Moxibustion is more effective than acupuncture, whereas at other times the two have a synergistic effect. In this clinic we use the Indirect Moxibustion method. This method is currently the more popular form of care because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning. During Indirect Moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red.
Another form of Indirect Moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint and the tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) removed. Loose moxa can also be burned inside a brass chamber as shown in the picture below. The warming heat and massage pressure creates a comfortable sensation. A cotton cloth must always be used between the skin and the instrument to protect the patient from excessive heat or burns.
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