Moxibustion is therapy involving the application of heat to acupuncture points as well as specific regions of the body which can tonify qi and structural tissues, dispel the stagnation of cold, stimulate circulation and improve blood flow.
Heat is produced primarily by burning an herb called mugwort (though at times the mugwort will be combined with other therapeutic herbs to address a particular pathology). The herb is prepared differently depending on the desired function. It can be left loose with all twigs and coarse leaves removed for a very fine and soft cotton like texture which is ideal for rolling into very small pieces called ‘rice grain moxa’ for direct application on the skin. When left slightly more coarse, mugwort can be used rolled into a larger role to be applied on acupuncture needles or to be used above the skin for a more general warming sensation. Mugwort can also be placed in a ‘moxa box’ which is then placed on the abdomen or back to warm a larger surface area, this is particularly effective for pelvic and uterine problems as well as lower back pin.
When moxa is applied to specific acupuncture points it can treat cold-obstruction (arthritic pain worsened by cold), digestive problems, weak immune systems, poor circulation, infertility, spasmodic pain, prolapse due to deficiency of qi or sinking qi, and many more symptoms arising for a cold pathological factor and/or deficiency in qi/blood.