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Moxibustion Therapy

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years and is a TCM treatment which uses burning dried herb (known as moxa) close to the skin to heat particular acupuncture points on the body. The herb most commonly used for moxa is made from the aromatic leaf of the mugwort plant (Artemisia vulgaris). The purpose of moxibustion is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi, and to maintain good overall general health by strengthening the organs and immune system.

Moxibustion complements acupuncture (indeed the Chinese character for acupuncture translates as acupuncture-moxibustion) and there are two types: direct and indirect. In direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and ignited. It can be allowed to burn completely or be removed before the moment when the skin might be burned and thus cause pain. In indirect moxibustion (currently the more popular method of treatment) a moxa stick is lit and held close to the area being treated for a few minutes. Both methods give the patient a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the tissue - though direct moxibustion may cause light scarring.


What can moxibustion be used for?

After an initial diagnosis, I evaluate what kind of treatment is most suitable and which combination of techniques will be the most effective. For example, I may choose moxibustion in combination with acupuncture to treat and/or relieve the following complaints or conditions:


  • Urinary incontinence

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Cold hands, cold feet

  • Painful menstruation, cramps and abdominal pain

  • Joint pain

  • Sports injuries

  • Being overweight

  • In pregnancy: breech position of the fetus

  • Asthma and coughing

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