What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves the burning of dried plant materials called "moxa" on particular points on the body to relieve chills from the body and to help naturally rebalance the person's vital energy called "qi". It is traditionally used with acupuncture and aims to warm the body and eliminate stagnation to help the body restore its optimal health.
How Does Moxibustion Work?
Moxibustion is used for relieving pain due to injury or arthritis, digestive problems, gynecological and obstetrical conditions, and to ward off cold and flu strains. Moxibustion practitioners often perform moxibustion and acupuncture in the same session when it is appropriate to the diagnosis and treatment plan. They also believe that these therapies increase each other's effectiveness when combined together.
Moxibustion involves the burning of an herb called mugwort. The moxibustion treatment starts after the practitioner has completely assessed the patient's body and identified the areas of ill-health. Once the mugwort has started to burn, the practitioner will either place the grain type moxa directly on the patient's skin to provide direct healing or use a moxa roll slightly above the skin to provide indirect healing. These treatments both help in removing dampness and cold from the body.
What are the Benefits of Moxibustion?
Moxibustion improves blood circulation and supports the body's natural ability to self-heal. The heat obtained from the burnt moxa can treat sore muscles and a wide range of health conditions, including:
- Muscle cramps and strains
- Digestive problems
- Painful menstrual periods
- Sexual issues
- Poor concentration
- Memory loss / fogginess
- Sports related injuries
- Pain that worsens with cold like old injuries, sprains or breaks
- Colds and flu
What Can You Expect From Moxibustion?
Although it's performed above or on the surface of the skin, the healing effects of moxibustion penetrate deep into the flesh, tendons and muscles to address any part of the body that is unwell. During a treatment session, the client lies down fully clothed on the treatment table and then the practitioner performs different types of moxibustion techniques to clear and energise the meridians, otherwise known as energy channels, of the body.
The treatment duration varies according to the condition being treated. One area usually takes 20 to 30 minutes, so a session that focuses on three acupoints can last an hour to an hour and a half. Pregnant women should consult their doctor first before booking a moxibustion session, while people with asthma must advise the practitioner of their condition so that a smoke-free moxibustion can be performed on them.
The number of moxibustion sessions you need to attend depends on the severity of your condition. Some people obtain positive results after a single session, but those with serious conditions will require more.