Last Updated on October 29, 2021

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, artemesia vulgaris, above the skin. Moxibustion has been used for thousands of years to strengthen the immune system and stimulate blood flow to initiate healing and maintain general health. The heat easily penetrates joints providing relief for arthritis and joint related pain.

5 things moxibustion helps:

  • Moxa deeply warms the abdomen to alleviate menstrual pain

  • It penetrates deep into sore joints and relieves swelling

  • Moxa can turn breech babies between 34-36 weeks

  • Moxa warms your extremities and relieves Raynaud’s syndrome

  • Muscle pain aggravated by cold can be resolved with moxa

How does moxibustion work?

There are two methods of moxibustion treatment: direct and indirect. Direct moxibustion is the practice of rolling the moxa into small, rice shaped beads. Thess beads are then placed onto salve on an acupuncture point and burned, gently warming the acupuncture point.  Indirect moxibustion utilizes a cigar-like tube of moxa, which is burned 1-2 inches above the skin. Indirect moxa can be held at specific acupuncture points or moved across a muscle body or specific joint. 

Regardless of which form of moxibustion is used, you experience a gentle warming sensation that penetrates deep into the body. You should never feel any pain. Most people find moxibustion to be a pleasant experience.

What is moxibustion used for?

Moxibustion is used when a patient feels cold or when increased blood flow is necessary to facilitate healing. Moxa expels the cold and warms the blood both of which leads to an increase in circulation. This increase in circulation promotes healing by bringing fresh, oxygenated blood to the site of an injury. Moxibustion has proven effective in rotating the position of breeched babies prior to childbirth.  Women with a breech presentation should begin therapy around week 34 of their pregnancy. A 1998 study in the Journal of the American Medical Associationstates that around 70% of women with breech presentation fetuses prior to labor had babies rotate to normal position after moxibustion treatments.

Links with more moxibustion information:

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