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What is Moxabustion?

Moxabustion is a therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine that uses the burning of the compressed herb mugwort, or moxa, to create a warming stimulation.

There are a variety of techniques to employ moxa, generally as direct or indirect moxa.
Direct moxa may include the use of loose moxa shaped in the form of a cone, placed on a point, and it is burned from top down and removed before the skin gets too hot.

Another example is the use of loose moxa in the shape of a grain of rice and placed on a point where it is then burned creating a local, direct stimulation of warmth.

Indirect moxa may include the use of
pole moxa(a) where a cigar-looking pole of compressed moxa is lit and used to warm the area of a point or run along a meridian.

Warm needle moxa(d) is another common technique used where a small quantity of moxa is fixed to the top of an inserted needle and then burned.

These are just a few examples of a variety of techniques involving moxa. Other techniques may include stick-on moxa (c), use of a moxa box, moxa iron, burning bowls (b), and more.

Using Moxabustion as a Healing Technique
Moxa is typically used when a person has a cold condition, weakness, or stagnation. Some instances may include:

  • common colds
  • lack of energy
  • lack of immunity
  • digestive issues such as constipation
  • various musculoskeletal conditions
  • ...and more

Moxa works to the effect of warming, and stimulating the flow of qi. It may be used on a point or along a meridian and there are different techniques that are best for either.

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