Moxibustion is another supplemental therapy in Chinese Medicine used to treat and prevent disease by applying heat to specific points on the human body. This type of treatment is commonly called “moxa” and has strong medicinal value for many illnesses. The Chinese classics state, “when a disease fails to respond to herbal medication and acupuncture, moxibustion is suggested.” Moxibustion uses the application of the herb Artemesia Vulgaris, a dried and aged form of chrysanthemum. This herb is applied to specific acupuncture points on the body to create warmth and stimulate healing.
Moxibustion benefits the body in several ways. First, it regulates the smooth flow of Qi and blood in the body, similar in function to cupping. Second, moxibustion warms the meridians, expelling cold and dampness from the body. This allows moxa to be used in conjunction with cupping to treat disorders caused by cold and dampness discussed previously. Third, the warming of certain points produces a slow heat that penetrates deeply into sore and painful muscles. Lastly, moxibustion stimulates the immune system to prevent disease and keep the body healthy.
Common disorders aided by moxibustion include digestive illness, arthritis, low back pain, numbness in the finger and toes, and menstrual cramping. Your acupuncturist can determine the amount and type of moxibustion that should be performed. Overall, moxibustion therapy calms and warms the body, allowing for increased circulation and decreased pain.
General fatigue and susceptibility to cold and flu can also be helped with the application of moxibustion. Moxa strengthens the bodies Qi, providing for increased energy throughout the day. Often mood swings and energy slumps in the afternoon can be prevented. Moxa increases the bodies resistance to colds and flu and can be especially helpful to patients who catch contagious viruses that circulate in the winter. A compromised immune system not only causes sensitivity to increased colds and flus, but can lead to more serious illnesses. A systematic 1-2 month treatment with moxibustion can significantly improve the strength of the immune system and the bodies resistance to disease.
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