Moxibustion is a technique within Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been used as an adjunct to acupuncture treatments for thousands of years. In fact it is such an integral part of the practice of acupuncture that the Chinese character for acupuncture actually translates to “acupuncture-moxibustion”. The technique involves burning ‘moxa’ (fermented mugwort) and applying it near the region being treated in order to bring warmth to the area. Traditionally it was seen as a means to warm the acupuncture channels and move stagnation of Qi and blood. In medical terminology this means dilating blood vessels and improving blood flow, thereby promoting healing.
Traditionally a mix of fermented mugwart was used in treatment, however these days a smokeless charcoal version is often used. The application of heat to any region of the body improves circulation and promotes the healing process, particularly is there are regions of the body that harbour stagnant energy or are affected by cold. New research also shows that heat application stimulates heat shock proteins (HSP) that promote healing and regeneration of tissues. Moxibustion is commonly used to treat injury and muscle pain by promoting the healing process, but is also used for acne and skin infections, and has even been found be effective in aiding a breech baby to return to the normal positioning by using moxa on the point BL67 on the tip of the little toe.
Learn more about the benefits of moxibustion in this extended article.