Here in the west acupuncture is becoming more popular and a viable form of treatment. What many people don’t know about here in the west is that acupuncture is much more than just putting needles in. There are adjunct therapies that can be included with acupuncture or stand alone therapy. One adjunct therapy that is often combined with acupuncture is moxibustion.
Moxibustion along with acupuncture has been used for over 3,000 years. In fact in the ancient Chinese medical classic Yellow Emperor’s Internal Medicine it states
“In the north we have high mountains. The majestic energy of solemn solitude is similar to the season of winter, where the atmosphere is one of calm and reserve. The weather is cold and snowy, Native people here are often nomadic and live amidst nature, exposed to the weather. Their diet also consists of meat and milk products. In this environment, their internal organs are often invaded by cold, and their conditions are excess and distended. The proper method of treating these conditions is moxibustion. It is therefore said that the method of moxibustion comes from the north.”
In Chinese, acupuncture consists of two characters zhen jiu (針灸). The first character zhen means needle, and the second character jiu means moxibustion. Moxibustion has always been part of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
So what actually is moxibustion? Moxa is a Chinese herb called Artemesia Vulgaris or mugwort. There are several properties, characteristics, and functions of mugwort.
- Mugwort is bitter, acrid, and warm
- Warms the womb and stops bleeding for prolonged menstrual bleeding and uterine bleeding due to cold from deficiency
- Used for infertility due to a cold womb
- Can help with restless fetus and threatened miscarriage
- Disperses cold to help with pain
- Chemical analysis indicates that mugwort is rich in protein, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, aluminum, magnesium, adenine, choline, and vitamins A,B, C, and
In general moxibustion will warm and dispel cold, induce the smooth flow of qi and blood to allow healing, and strengthen and protect your body from illness. Bian Que an ancient Chinese medical physican said “When a healthy man often has moxibustion to the points of Guangyuan, Qi Hai, Ming Men, and Zhong Wan, he would live a very long life, at least a hundred years.” We can see that moxibustion is very useful for prevention of disease and to keep you healthy.
There are many different health conditions that moxibustion is useful for. We have treated low back pain, arthritis, stomach pain, asthma, and fatigue utilizing moxibustion.
The most common way moxibustion is administered is by heating up a moxa stck. It is basically a stick that is has the herb rolled up. The practitioner will usually light up the stick and then go over areas where there is pain or specific points on the body to help heal the body and improve blood flow.
Another common method to administer moxibustion is by putting some of the herb on the end of the acupuncture needle and heating it up. The herb will warm the needle to allow the therapeutic actions to take place.
There is also other methods that include direct and indirect methods. All of the methods and use of moxibustion are very effective and will allow your body to heal and become more balanced.
At Master Lu’s Health Center in Salt Lake City, we will use moxibustion for many different conditions including turn breech babies. Yes, moxibustion will also help turn the baby into the proper position. We will use moxibustion for diarrhea , pain, and arthritis. It is effective for pain especially when the weather changes.
Moxibustion is an effective form of therapy and an adjunct to acupuncture to help heal the body and to prevent from illness. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how moxibustion can help you call us at Master Lu’s Health Center anytime.