Moxibustion is an ancient form of heat therapy at particular points, with glowing Moxa Wool (a finely chopped herb-folium artemisia). There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect.
How does it work?
Practitioner places burning moxa woll on the top of the acupuncture needle. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) removed.
A small, cone-shaped amount of moxa wool is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. Then it is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin.
What conditions can it treat?
It has been successfully used to turn breech babies in a safe, non-invasive way, into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. It helps women to prevent C-sections and encourages them to have natural births. As moxa has a tonifying and warming effect it promotes movement and activity. It gives a warming and raising effect, which is utilised to encourage the baby to become more active and lift its bottom up in order to gain adequate momentum to somersault into the head down position.
Moxibustion has very high success rates in China, U.S. U.K. etc. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the Bladder meridian.
Moxibustion is also very effective in treating: arthritis, increasing immunity, hot flushes (frequent for postmenstrual women), ulcers (ulcerative colitis – a type of inflammatory bowel disease), as well as back pain, migraines, infertility and cancer.
Does it hurt?
Indirect moxibustion is the most popular use of moxibustion because there is a much lower risk of pain or burning.
With direct moxibustion the patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring.