12 July 2011

Moxibustion, or moxa as it is known for short, is one of many treatment options created and utilised in the practice of Oriental Medicine. Nowadays moxibustion is performed by most oriental medical practitioners. However in ancient times the different branches of therapy in Oriental Medicine where taught and mastered individually. Moxibustion is a therapy in its own right, applied in the treatment of a broad range of disharmonies including internal, external, acute and chronic ailments. In essence moxibustion is a heat therapy that involves the burning of the herb Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris) on or over meridians, acupuncture points and or areas of injury. Other herbs have been tried and tested throughout the long history of the therapy and it was found that Mugwort had the greatest healing properties. It is said to be “Pure Yang” in nature, yang being hot, dry, expansive and moving. Moxibustion thus acts to warm the meridians and expel cold, induce and correct the smooth flow of Qi (energy) and Xue (blood). In oriental medicine when Qi and Xue are unable to flow freely, disease results. Cold in the body can result in many ways, from external environmental exposure or as a result of a deficiency of the body’s own yang (warm) energy. Cold slows and stagnates the flow of Qi and Xue, Moxa counteracts this and therefore supports and maintains health. Damp (the presence or accumulation of impure fluids) is also known to retard the flow of Qi and Xue, Moxa is both bitter and acrid, these properties are known to energetically disperse and dry any existing dampness which also promotes the free flow of Qi and Xue and therefore wellbeing. Moxibustion is typically utilised more so in winter due to the wet weather and drop in external temperature. People are obviously more susceptible to disharmonies caused or exacerbated by the cold temperature during this season. Moxibustion provides relief for many conditions including certain types of: Rheumatic pain Impotence Numbness/ paralysis Prolapse Vomiting Colds Diarrhoea Menstrual cramps Excessive uterine bleeding NOTE OF INTEREST: Moxibustion is renowned for its successful use in gynaecology, particularly when concerning the correction of breech presentation in pregnancy. See The Journal of the American Medical Association 1998;280: 1580-1584 for more information