The traditional Chinese medicine technique known as moxibustion involves the burning of a small, spongy herb called to promote healing. Moxibustion has been used thousands of years all over Asia. Interestingly, acupuncture’s actual Chinese character literally translates to “acupuncture-moxibustion.” As with practically all forms of traditional Chinese medicine, the aim of moxibustion is to stimulate the flow of blood and qi, tonify the blood, and preserve general well-being and health.
Does Moxibustion Hurt? What Are The Types of Moxibsution?
Moxibustion has two types: direct and indirect. In the first type, a small amount of moxa shaped like cone is placed directly on top of an acupuncture point in the body and burned. There are two types of direct moxibustion: non-scarring and scarring. In non-scarring moxibustion, the moxa is placed on the acupoint and lit, but before it burns the skin it is the fire is extinguished and the moxa removed. The patient experiences a heating sensation that’s extremely pleasant and that deeply penetrates deep the skin. The patient does not get scarred or blistered nor experience any pain provided the moxa is removed at the appropriate time. The moxa, in scarring moxibustion, is placed on an acupoint, lit, and remains on the acupoint until it completely burns out. This usually results localized scarring and blisters after treatment.
Obviously indirect moxibustion is the more popular form of moxibustion therapy as it has much lower risk of burning and pain. During indirect moxibustion, the practitioner burns one end of a moxa stick that’s the size and shape of a cigar, and several minutes holds it close to the treatment sites until they become reddish. Another type of indirect moxibustion combines the use of moxa and acupuncture treatment. A needle is applied into an acupoint and left in place there. The needle’s tip is then wrapped in moxa and lit up, producing heat into the acupoint as well as on the surrounding area. After results are felt, the fire is killed and the needle is taken out.
What Are The Uses of Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a component of traditional Chinese medicine that is used to treat stagnant or cold conditions in people. Moxa is burned to warm the energy vessels (meridians) and remove cold in the body resulting in smoother flow of qi (energy) and blood. Moxibustion is sometimes used in Western medicine, to help turn breech babies and bring them into a normal head-down position just before delivery. In 1998, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a landmark study that showed up to three quarter of women with breech presentations prior to delivery after receiving moxibustion at a Bladder meridian acupoint had fetuses that turned to the normal position. Other research showed that moxibustion in pregnant women led to an increase in the movement of their fetus, and when used alongside traditional acupuncture therapy in Vancouver, can lessen menstrual cramping symptoms.