Moxibustion therapy is the burning of a Chinese mugwort plant to address hundreds of conditions and ailments. Mugwort is an herb with healing qualities that holds essential oils such as thujone or wormwood oil or cineole and is commonly used in traditional Chinese, Korean, and Japanese moxibustion to resolve a wide range of health problems.
Energy renewal as well as the depletion of vitality as one ages is typically the reason why illnesses begin to appear and arise in the body. Mugwort is an herb with medicinal properties that can help improve a person’s illness through heat and herbal essence generated and released by the mugwort during moxibustion therapy. Hence, the essential core of health maintenance in moxibustion theory is to prevent illness before it manifests any symptom.
Throughout history, practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have promoted the benefits of moxibustion in the elimination of dampness, improvement of vitality and circulation, and enhancement of overall health and well being of a person.
The TCM technique of moxibustion stimulates healing through warmth and heat that emanates from a burning mugwort and applied by the practitioner directly or indirectly on the patient’s skin. The nature of the heat is utilized to produce a certain level of thermal stimulation effect. Depending on what type of ailment that’s being treated, moxibustion therapy is used on certain pressure points on the body to produce the most effective therapeutic effects. The therapy’s objectives are to stimulate the flow of vital energy known as qi or chi, boost vitality and to reinforce the flow of blood in the body.
Various health problems can be cured with moxibustion treatments. Because this procedure is dry and hot, it is very useful for several types of health conditions in which there are anomalies to the flow of chi. Moxibustion has been shown to help treat joint pain and arthritic conditions including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. With regards to gynecological conditions (issues related to women’s health), it has been scientifically proven to resolve dysmenorrhea, female infertility, menstrual cramping, and PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) among others.
Moxibustion therapy can help increase overall blood flow in the body and boost the number of healthy red blood cells, hemoglobin, and white blood cells. It is used to alleviate stress, relieve menstrual pain, reduce pain and relax the muscles.
The therapy is also known to help treat conditions such as abdominal and digestive problems, depression, insomnia, and anxiety. It is known to work against diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and digestive enzymes related conditions. This form of heat therapy can also be a solution for tension headache, migraine, sciatica, low back pain, and even impotence, and poor sperm motility.
The Principle of Moxibustion: To Condition Health by Boosting Vitality
Thousands of years ago, imperial doctors have observed that as people reach the age of 40 and beyond, their energy levels start to weaken. Therefore, it is essential that from 30 years old onward, increasing energy restoration and vitality is crucial to guarantee general well being and a healthy body until old age.
Traditional moxibustion was widely practiced during the Song dynasty to maintain a healthy body and augment blood flow and vitality. The two most common uses of moxibustion treatment are as follows:
1. To provide a slow but deliberate therapeutic remedy for people with existing conditions.
2. To prevent the occurrence of illness by preserving a healthy person’s overall health and well-being.
Moxibustion is believed to treat disease by regulating and restoring the balance of the energy forces in the body. Good health is preserved when the body’s energy is in balance. To promote healing, this treatment, In fact, makes use of a thousand year old TCM principle founded on the System of Meridians.
As mentioned before, moxibustion is a form of heat therapy that is applied to the pressure points in the body. Moxa sticks (infused with herbal properties as well as mugwort) are specifically prepared to include aromatic and therapeutic essential oils to augment the healing effects of the heat from the moxa. The practitioner holds a burning moxa stick over the body providing the body with a warm stimulating effect to the pressure points. The heat and aroma help boost blood circulation leading to the release of natural feel-good chemicals in the body called endorphins that relieve pain and stress and loosen and relax tight muscles.
Types of Moxibustion Treatment
1. Moxa stick with herbal properties: Various herbal remedies are added to the moxa stick that provide tonifying, moving, and warming properties facilitating the smooth flow of chi, the building of blood, and overall enhancement of general health.
Moxa can be used to strengthen the body’s immune system and dispel cold and damp conditions from the body.
2. Pressure Points for Moxibustion Therapy (Not Using Needles): Identifying the location of the meridian (Jing Luo) and pressure points to treat health conditions and ailments.
This technique leads to the effective absorption of healing attributes of the herbs in the prepared moxa.
3. Volcanic Clay Application: Aids in oxidation, eliminates body odors, absorbs and then filters out heavy metals and toxins from the skin and entire body, absorbs debris and oil and transports them to the skin surface, stimulates blood circulation, and produces a healthy beautiful glow to the skin. Volcanic clay application is commonly used for the internal cleansing and detoxification of the entire body.
4. Essential Oils Application: Heals the body emotionally and mentally, directly works through our body chemistry that impacts the various systems of our body, and soothes and relaxes the body. The essential oils provide positive psychological effects to the person when inhaled.