Moxibustion Benefits – Traditional vs Modern
Moxibustion is the burning of mugwort leaves, known as Ai Ye (Artemesia vlugaris) directly or near the surface of the skin. Moxibustion is a penetrative heat therapy with medicinal benefits which is commonly integrated in an acupuncture treatment to enhance healing effect. In EMW, we unify both acupuncture and moxibustion in our TCM treatment to fulfil the Chinese character of 针灸 (Zhen Jiu).
What is moxibustion used for and its benefits?
Moxibustion works as an excellent complementary with acupuncture to amplify treatment outcome by improving overall Qi and blood circulation. The nature of the moxa is bitter, acrid, and warm which validate its healing properties to expel cold, remove dampness, stimulate acupoints and promotes energy circulation. Moxibustion is a traditional healing method which has been long used for centuries to prevent diseases, trigger body’s natural healing response, improve functions of the organs, and strengthen immunity as part of its numerous benefits.
Clinically, it has been widely used for:
- Pain management
- Digestive disorders: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), constipation, diarrhea etc.
- Weight management
- Breech babies
- Women’s health issues: irregular menstrual cycle, infertility, uterine bleeding etc.
- Men’s health issues: low sperm count and motility
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are several body constitutions which are suitable to consider for moxibustion treatment:
- Deficiency in Yang
- Phlegm and dampness
- Qi and blood stagnation
Deficiency in Yang:
Individual may present with cold extremities (hands and/or feet), slow metabolism, lack of motivational energy, scanty menstrual flow for the ladies
Phlegm and dampness:
Individual may present with sluggish metabolism, indigestion, abdominal bloating, loose bowel, prefers sweet and greasy food, excessive sebum secretion on face and scalp
Qi and Blood stagnation:
Painful menstrual cramps, clots, emotionally anxious, feels irritated, frustrated, easily triggered by stress, dull complexion, poor digestive function, and poor sleep quality
How it is traditionally done by physicians in clinics
- Moxa wool is rolled into rice-grain thread size before placing it directly on the surface of the acupoints for direct ignition.
- Wooden moxa carrier box is used to contain the pre-cut moxa sticks which is then placed on top of skin surfaces for the moxibustion treatment.
- Buffer substances such as salt, ginger and garlic are placed in the navel before a cone-shaped moxa wool is set above it for the moxibustion treatment.
- Moxa needling is a method where pre-cut moxa stick is attached directly on the tip of the acupuncture needle for a warm needling moxa treatment.
How is moxibustion done with a modernized moxa-carrier and its benefits?
In EMW, while it is important for patients to receive healing benefits from the moxibustion treatment, we also take the safety into consideration to minimize burns which can be caused during the treatment. Therefore, we have incorporated modernized technology into our treatment sessions to ensure safety and efficacy. 6 pre-cut moxa sticks will be put into the moxa-carrier equipment which will be placed above the patient’s abdomen or back during their moxibustion treatment. During the session, patients are advised to breathe slowly and relax their minds to enjoy its full benefits.
Is moxibustion painful?
Moxibustion is a penetrative heat therapy with medicinal values. When it is used on its own, the patient will feel warm at the application site. Throughout the session, patient will usually feel relaxed and comfortable.
What about the moxibustion smell?
Although we use modernized moxa-carrier equipment and have installed a specialized exhaust system to remove the majority of the moxa smoke and smell, there will still be a slight distinct lingering odour after your moxibustion treatment. We strongly recommend you to bring additional loose and comfortable clothing to change before the moxibustion treatment.