So, what exactly is moxibustion?
Hailing from traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion is the practice of using ‘moxa’—dried leaves from an Asian species of mugwort—as a holistic treatment for multiple ailments. The dried herb is usually ground into a fluff, which is either burned as is or processed further into a cigar-shaped stick. It is typically used indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or burned on to the patient’s skin.
What’s it used for?
It is very similar to acupuncture. The burning moxa is often applied to the body’s meridians and their acupuncture points. This is an excellent practice for stimulating your chi and blood flow, and useful for the treatment of the common cold, flus, joint pain, arthritis, or digestive problems. Moxibustion is also used, in some cases, to aid in turning a breech baby (unborn baby close to birth, but is feet-first instead of head-first).
Apart from it’s clinical uses, inhaling moxa’s distinctive aroma can regulate your chi and blood flow as well as warm up and remove dampness from your meridians.
Cool! But what are these ‘meridians’ you speak of?
In Chinese medicine, the meridians are networks that flow throughout the body. These are the networks in which life-energy, known as ‘qi’, travels. Qi is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts.
What does it feel like?
Patients receiving moxibustion therapy usually observe a sudden flooding of warmth that radiates from the site of application. This heat apparently indicates the arrival and flow of qi.