Moxibustion and What You Should Know
What is moxibustion?
Moxibustion is referred as the burning of mugwort. The plant mugwort is used widely throughout different cultures in the world, specifically for food, such as Ssukguk clam soup in Korea or Mugwort mochi from Japan and China. However traditionally, mugwort is more used along with acupuncture as an important healing method in Eastern medicine.
As a classic treating modality in Chinese medicine, the use of burning mugwort can be traced back to Eastern Zhou time(256 B.C.) according to the bamboo and silk documents excavated from Mawangdui (马王堆) tomb, Henan China.
How can moxibustion be used?
Among all the heating treatments in Chinese medicine, moxibustion is considered one of the strongest sources of heat connected to Fire. Mugwort can be rolled into a stick and lightened and directly put close to the acupuncture point on the body.
Fine and loose mugwort can be made into a triangle tower or a rice grain size, and applied either directly on the skin, or on top of a barrier that touches the skin such as a ginger slice, ointment or salt.
In some treatment methods, burned mugwort is wrapped around the acupuncture needle so the heat can be combined with the healing power of the needle itself. Over the thousand’s years of practice and development of different lineages, moxibustion has become not only a crucial healing modality in Asian medicine, but also a form of art integrated with smelling, visual, touching and temperature sensations.
What moxibustion can be used for?
As with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, the purpose of moxibustion is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health. Specifically, the application of heat from the burning of the moxa can expel cold sensations, and relieve symptoms caused by excess cold or yin, such as edema, slow digestion, fatigue, aversion to cold, collapse of uterus, low libido, and so on.
Another popular uses of moxibustion is turning the baby from breech position(bottom first) to cephalic position(head first) for labor.
Why moxa therapy in the summer?
Because summer is considered the golden treatment period of moxibustion. Also known as San Fu Tian (Three Crouching Period三伏天), this period usually starts from mid-July and ends mid-August according to the lunar calendar. This is a time of the year when the Yin is being repressed underground by the Yang, making those days the hottest of the year.
With the use of moxa, this is the time when winter diseases are being treated, especially immunity related such as allergic rhinitis, bronchitis, asthma, cold hands and feet. For more information, please check this wonderful video on San Fu Tian moxa by AcuHeidiLovie or this article by Six Fishes.
What types of moxibustion can you find at The Herb Depot?
Check our moxibustion section on our website here. All orders over $99 qualify free shipping. We deliver across Canada and internationally.