Moxibustion is a natural alternative healing mode of treatment that utilizes heat from a dried smoldering plant known as “moxa” which is applied near the skin surface of a person. The treatment works by warming and invigorating energy (Chi) and blood circulation within the body to eliminate certain pathogenic elements.

Derived from the dried leaves of the plant Chinese mugwort (Artemesia argyi or Artemesia vulgaris), Moxa may be extracted from other substances as well.

The Administration of Moxibustion Therapy

In the United States, practitioners of moxibustion hold a stick of smoldering moxa very close the skin of the patient but not so close as to avoid the burning end of the stick coming into contact with the patient’s skin.

The moxa stick is created by pressing and shaping the moxa into a stick or pole, shaping it into a cigar. The stick is then ignited and allowed to smolder, creating a healing form of deeply penetrating and powerful heat.

 The smoldering moxa is then placed a few centimeters over the treatment site, usually, but not more often than not, over areas associated with strategic acupoints (acupuncture points). The ignited tip of the stick reddens and saturates the site of treatment with soothing warmth.

 What Can You Expect From Moxibustion?

Patients who have tried moxibustion therapy often report a sudden deluge of warmth that quickly travels along a specific energy channel, that’s associated with the jing luo energy channel remote from the site of treatment. Since the warmth is a sign that the movement of Chi and xue has been released from the energy channel, this indicates a desired healing effect.

What are the applications of moxibustion?

Moxibustion is designed to:

  • Prevent and treat cold and flu strains
  • Relieve pain caused by injury or arthritis, more so when the utilization of heat results in natural alleviation of pain
  • Treat digestive conditions and abnormal bowel movement
  • Address issues affecting women including late term pregnancy breech presentation

Healers typically administer acupuncture and moxibustion treatments appropriate to the diagnosis and treatment plan simultaneously in the same therapy session. The combined use of these modalities amplify each other’s healing effects.

Unlike acupuncture, one can easily perform moxibustion at home. Overland Park Acupuncture is normally conducted by a qualified acupuncturist in a clinical setting. Practitioners of Chinese moxibustion will instruct their patients the proper use of moxibustion so they may administer the treatment on themselves or others in order to augment the benefits of the therapies between sessions of treatment.

 What Aroma Does Moxibustion Generate?

 The smoke and aroma moxibustion generates is one distinct unwanted effect of the therapy. Although there may be “smokeless” types of moxa avaiable in the market, real moxa (created from mugwort), when burned, generate lots of smoke. Several TCM clinics are properly fitted with a good ventilation and air purification system, so this is not a big problem.

Nonetheless, the trademark smoke produced smells somewhat like marijuana, unfortunately. More and more TCM practitioners in the US put up signs in their office walls to inform patients and visitors about the aroma’s real nature that they may be smelling.