Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese therapy which has been in use for more than 2500 years.1 Similar to cupping therapy, this treatment uses therapeutic heat on specific acupoints to balance and support the body’s functional systems and treat chronic disease.
Let’s explore this ancient technique and the wide array of conditions which benefit from moxibustion treatment.
The Three Types of Moxibustion
Based on traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion is a warming technique which historically uses the burning herbs mugwort and Ai Ya, also known as “moxa,” to allow the qi (chi or life force) to flow more smoothly.
This highly effective technique has become part of modern functional medicine both in the pure traditional form and by incorporating new technology to create these variations:
- Direct Moxibustion. When the smoldering moxa wool is applied directly to the skin at the acupressure point in the traditional manner
- Indirect Moxibustion. When the end of the burning moxa stick is held very close to the acupoint without direct contact, or when an insulating material such as ginger, garlic, aconite, or salt is used
- Drug (or Irritant) Moxibustion. When an irritant drug or substance like cantharis or garlic is used to heat the target location, rather than a burning herbal stick
What Are the Beneficial Effects of Moxibustion?
While you may not be adept at recognizing the improved flow of your life force, you will notice that moxibustion:
- Relieves chronic pain
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Promotes faster wound healing and post-surgical recovery
- Normalizes appetite and enhances weight loss
- Regulates digestion and promotes healthy bowel function
- Enhances immune system function
- Supports the body’s natural detoxification systems
- Improves sexual function and enhances fertility
- Reduces addiction cravings and substance dependence
- Supports healthy hormonal balance
- Expands blood vessels and improves circulation
What Is Moxibustion Used For?
Moxibustion has been traditionally used to treat more than 360 different diseases,1 including:
- Urinary incontinence and retention
- Kidney stones
- Diarrhea, colitis, and abdominal pain
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Foot and heel injuries
- Depression and anxiety
- Menstrual cramps and PMS
- Male and female infertility
- Weakness, chronic fatigue, and chronic pain
- Repositioning or turning breech babies
That Soothing Smell
Despite safe ventilation and air purification, the smoldering herbal components of this treatment may leave a lingering scent in the air. The smell of burning mugwort can remind some people of marijuana, but the plants are not related. Your functional medicine practitioner may post signs explaining the legitimate source of the relaxing odor.
Enhancing Energy From Within
When other treatments are leaving you with the feeling that something is missing, consider discussing moxibustion with your functional medicine doctor. As part of an individualized treatment plan, this traditional therapy might be the key to unlocking your natural vitality and the free flow of energy, a truly life-changing experience.
Helping you incorporate the benefits of functional medicine into your daily life is our primary focus at Pollack Wellness Institute. To identify the perfect combination of ancient and modern therapies to achieve your wellness goals, schedule an appointment today and come to visit with us in Commack or Plainview!