Moxibustion – Heat Therapy
Moxibustion (moxa) is a form of heat therapy in Oriental Medicine use by itself or in combination with acupuncture to create a synergistic effect. The term moxibustion comes from the Japanese word “Moe Kusa” translated as “burning herb”. Artemesia vulgaris commonly known as mugwort or Chinese wormwood is the herb used in moxibustion. Traditionally Moxa, as a heat therapy, is used to balance disharmony brought on by cold patterns or yin disorders, which can prove to be difficult to treat using only acupuncture. According to the new Materia Medica (a Chinese herbal text reference), “The moxa leaf is bitter and acrid, producing warmth when used in a small amount and great heat when used in a large amount. It is purely yang in nature and has the ability to restore the primary yang from collapse, open the twelve regular meridians, traveling through the three yin meridians to regulate qi and blood, expel cold and dampness, warm the uterus, stop bleeding, warm the spleen and stomach to remove stagnation, regulate menstruation and ease the fetus When burned, it penetrates all the meridians, eliminating the hundred diseases.”
Moxibustion is most commonly used to treat asthma, diarrhea, arthritis, rheumatic pain, vomiting, abdominal pain, and certain gynecological disorders.
Two general methods of using moxa include direct and indirect contact with the surface of the skin. Indirect moxibustion requires a medium to be placed between the burning moxa and the skin surface. Some of the choice mediums are ginger, garlic, salt, aconite, white pepper paste and mud plasters.