Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mug wort, a small, spongy herb, to promote healing with acupuncture. The purpose of Moxibustion is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health.
Moxibustion is used on people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The practice expels cold and warms the meridians, which leads to smoother flow of blood and qi. In Western medicine, Moxibustion has been used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. There are two types of Moxibustion: direct and indirect. In direct Moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. Broken down further, direct Moxibustion can be scarring or non-scarring. In scarring Moxibustion the moxa burns on the acupuncture point until it does out completely. In non-scarring Moxibustion, the moxa is placed on the point and lit, but is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. Patients feel a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring unless the moxa is left in place for too long. Another method of indirect Moxibustion uses an insulating layer of salt or garlic between the cone and your skin. Moxibustion has most healing and calming effect.