An alternative therapy and popular Traditional Chinese Medicine practice, moxibustion involves the burning of mugwort leaves at specific acupuncture points. Once dried, the leaves are most commonly rolled into a tight cigar-like sticks before being burned.
There are several types of moxibustion:
- Indirect Moxibustion occurs when the herb is placed in a metal casing, held above the skin and moved along the area being treated. This is most effective when treating a larger area.
- Direct Moxibustion is when mugwort leaves are rolled loosely into tiny cones before being placed directly on the skin’s surface. An anti-burn cream is utilized to prevent any harm. This method is only used when a very specific point in the body needs healing.
- A Warming Needle is an alternative method that places the herb on the tip of the needle at a specific acupuncture point.
Often done in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion and acupuncture have been known to increase each other’s effectiveness when used together. According to “The Mechanism of Moxibustion: Ancient Theory and Modern Research,” an article published in the National Institute of Health, moxibustion “has been used to prevent and cure diseases for more than 2,500 years.”
What is Mugwort?
Despite being classified as a weed, mugwort has many healing properties and is aromatic in nature. Both the leaves and the root of this herb have been put to use by many cultures as a way to boost energy, treat gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, depression, anxiety, restlessness, the common cold, allergies and menstrual problems.
The Healing Powers of Moxibustion
Moxibustion works to increase the flow of energy (known as one’s “qi”) throughout the body’s many pathways (also known as our meridian system). While heat is often used to increase blood flow and circulation, when combined with mugwort, moxibustion can help cleanse the body and strengthen the immune system. This is due to the many healing characteristics of the herb. Conditions treated with moxibustion includes chronic pain, arthritis and muscle tension, specifically during cold or damp weather conditions. Studies have also shown positive results when using moxibustion to move unborn infants from the breech position before delivery.
At River City Wellness, moxibustion is used alongside acupuncture therapy to energize and warm the body and promote circulation. If you’re looking to consider moxibustion as your next treatment strategy, feel free to schedule an appointment by visiting us online or contacting us at (502) 822-0626.