Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials are burned near the surface of the skin. The plant materials are called “moxa” and are usually made from Chinese mugwort. Moxibustion is regularly administered in Asian countries and has been practiced since ancient times. Moxibustion is often done in conjunction with acupuncture, as practitioners believe the therapies compliment each other when used together.
Health Conditions improved by Moxibustion
- Pain Relief
- Protection against cold and flu.
- Gynecological conditions including breech baby correction.
- Digestive problems.
- Better blood circulation.
The purpose of moxibustion is to stimulate the flow of qi. Mugwort has been reported to stimulate blood flow to the pelvic area, hence its ability to correct breech problems and menstural cramps.
How Moxibustion is Administered
There are two different types of moxibustion, direct and indirect. With direct moxibustion, a small amount of moxa is put on an acupuncture point and burned. This type is broken down further into scarring and non-scarring. With scarring, the moxa remains on the acupuncture point until it burns out. With non-scarring, the moxa is removed before it burns the skin. The patient should not feel any pain, provided the moxa is not left on the skin too long. Indirect moxibustion consists of the practitioner lighting one end of a moxa stick and holding close to the skin until the area starts turning red. In conjunction with acupuncture, the moxa can be burned onto the tip of the needle, extinguished and removed. The patient is reported to experience a pleasant heating sensation.
Research has shown that moxibustion can be beneficial to stem cell treatments, inducing differentation of neural stem cells into the neuron. The combination of acupuncture and moxibustion may also improve proliferation of neural stem cells. High dose vitamin C benefits are increased when combined with moxibustion, as well as numerous benefits when used in conjunction with the popular gerovital h3 injections.
Moxibustion should be used with caution and never on a patient diagnosed with too much body heat. Because of the burning moxa, it should not be used on patients with respiratory problems. Moxibustion is rarely used in hospitals because of the fumes emitted from buring of the moxa. Devices have been developed, however, that do not emit fumes and have temperature control features for safety.