Moxa is produced from the dried and compressed leaves of the mugwort or Ai Ye plant. Moxibustion is a technique in which a cone of mugwort, is placed on or above an acupoint or affected area of the body. The cone is then lit and burned, and is usually removed before burning the skin. Moxibustion is used to strengthen the body’s vitality and stimulate its natural capacity to heal and can be used to treat various diseases, disorders, and pain.
Moxibustion and Acupuncture come as a pair in Oriental Medicine. They are in fact two Characters in Chinese or Japanese writing which make one word.
Acupuncture and Moxibustion complement each other to form one mode of therapy, much as two strands of fiber woven together form a rope. The therapeutic effect is boosted or complimented when both forms of treatment are used together. There are many benefits to Moxibustion Therapy. Clinically it increases blood cell counts especially that of white blood cells which strengthens the immune system. The heat produced from the burning moxa penetrates deeply into underlying tissues improving circulation and helping to reduce both pain and inflammation. If done properly, the heat of the Moxibustion can penetrate into the core of the pain location and has results far surpassing that of pain medication. It requires patience, but with long term application of Moxibustion it is possible to revitalize tissue that has had almost irreversible damage. The Parasympathetic nervous system (rest and relax mode) is stimulated with Moxibustion Therapy leading to an increase in appetite, digestion, and bowel function. Stress is reduced, sleep becomes easier, and hormones levels are balanced which improves menstrual issues, infertility, and skin conditions.
My Moxibustion Technique
I need to make it clear that the form of Moxibustion Therapy I will be discussing is Japanese style and not the typical version as practiced in China where it is seen as little more than heat therapy.
I use only the ultra gold moxa from Japan. It is the best quality on the market, soft, bright yellow in color, with a very mild smoke. I start by placing Shiunko ointment on the skin to protect it from the possibility of mild burns. I then place a soft rolled ½ rice grain size piece of moxa standing vertically on the ointment covering the acupoint. Soft hand rolled cones burn quickly thus making the heat tolerable. The moxa is then ignited from the top by a stick of incense. I cover the moxa cone with the open end of the small bamboo tube and press down gently. I use a bamboo tube about 1.5 cm in diameter and 12 cm high with one end of the tube closed at the joint. The oxygen burns out of the enclosed area, extinguishing the moxa and very little pain is experienced. Many of my patients find the heat sensation to be very mild and even pleasant; some actually fall asleep during the process. A small burn equivalent to that of sunburn is possible, and a small blister may form but will heal very quickly. Through practicing the art of Moxibustion, I am able to achieve big results while keeping the heat sensation to a minimum. This type of Moxibustion continued over time, can gradually increase and strengthen the body’s energy, improve appetite and digestion, and optimize the body’s own ability to heal itself. Moxibustion is ideal for elderly patients to strengthen their body’s vitality with the effect of restoring youthfulness. Moxibustion can be applied without limits to present-day diseases such as AIDS, tumors, chronic fatigue syndrome and many other autoimmune and degenerative disorders.