Heat therapy has a long history of use throughout history for healing purposes in civilization. Humans have felt the benefits from a hot spring bath, to heating up stones, to burying oneself in warm volcanic ash.
Moxabustion is a therapy that is used in tandem with Acupuncture as a complementary therapy.
It is the therapeutic practice of burning the plant mugwort or artemesia vulgaris on or near the surface of the skin. It has healing, heating and stimulating effects.
There are 2 types of practices with regards to moxabustion. They are indirect or direct application.
Indirect moxa is when it is placed on an area of your body, on a platform or a barrier and it is raised above the skin . For example, if moxa is applied to the navel a bed, of salt or a slice of ginger may be placed there on which the Moxa rests. Moxa may also be placed on the head of a needle so the heat can penetrate deeper into the body .
Direct moxa is when it is burned directly onto the skin with no barrier. These may be sesame sized, rice grain size or cone sized moxa. It is placed directly on the skin where it will smoulder and penetrate heat directly into the body. It is then extinguished and removed before reaching the skin. It is a gentle warmth that pleasantly penetrates the tissue.
Some of the benefits of moxabustion include:
– warms and invigorates the flow of Qi and Blood in the channels
– increases lymphatic circulation and drainage
– it causes the capillaries to dilate and increases movement of blood
– increases the production of white blood cells
– reduces inflammation
– encourages faster healing process.
~ Christina Atkins, Acupuncturist