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What Is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the therapeutic burning of dried mugwort leaf (Folium Artemisiae Argyi) over, or on, certain acupuncture points.  It has an entirely different effect than acupuncture, and though it is often done at the same time as acupuncture, it is also done by itself.

In its most common form, moxibustion is performed using a roll of dried mugwort that looks like a cigar. One end of the roll is lit to smoulder and held close to the acupuncture point, which may or may not be where the symptom or pain is located. This is done carefully so as not to burn the skin, with the goal of making the heat sensation strong or mild depending upon the desired therapeutic effect.

Dried mugwort leaf also comes in the form of loose fluff, which is called moxa wool. Depending upon what symptom is being treated, a slice of ginger or garlic or even a mash of herbal paste may be placed over an acupuncture point and then a small pile of moxa wool is burned over top.

Though this technique may sound peculiar and primitive, the power of its effect at treating difficult diseases and pain should not be underestimated.

Moxibustion Can Relieve Non-Bacterial Inflammation

Contrary to the principles of modern medicine, moxibustion relieves inflammation despite that it creates heat. Chiropractors, physiotherapists, massage therapists, and medical doctors typically recommend icing regions of chronic pain, but the ancient knowledge and theory of Chinese medicine knows that this is often ineffective and can further delay long-term relief.

Moxibustion Is Not Only Effective for Symptoms Aggravated by Cold Weather

Generally speaking, anyone whose symptom is aggravated by cold weather will benefit from moxibustion.  However, for some people who feel hot, like menopausal women for example, moxibustion can also be of benefit, but the technique and point on the body where it is done will be different.  

What Can Moxibustion Treat?

Moxibustion is used to treat a wide variety of symptoms ranging from menstrual cramps, arthritis, fatigue, urinary incontinence, back pain, and many other symptoms, but it is best to be diagnosed by a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor first to determine if it is appropriate for you and rule out any symptom that may make it inappropriate for you.