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Moxibustion is a TCM therapy using moxa, or mugwork herb. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of China. They can use it indirectly, with Acupuncture needles, or sometimes burn it on a patient's skin.

We use moxa to warm regions and acupuncture points with the intention of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a smoother flow of Blood and Qi. Moxibustion can militate against cold and dampness in the body and can serve to turn breech babies.

Medical historians now believe that moxibustion pre-dated acupuncture, and needling came to supplement moxa after the 2nd century BC. Different schools of acupuncture use moxa in varying degrees. For example, a 5-elements acupuncturist will use moxa directly on the skin, whilst a TCM-style practitioner will use rolls of moxa and hold them over the point treated. It can also be burnt atop a fine slice of ginger root to prevent scarring.

Practitioners consider moxibustion to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems, "deficient conditions" (weakness), and gerontology. Bian Que (fl. circa 500 BC), one of the most famous semi-legendary doctors of Chinese antiquity and the first specialist in moxibustion, discussed the benefits of moxa over acupuncture in his classic work. He asserted that moxa could add new energy to the body and could treat both excess and deficient conditions. On the other hand, he advised against the use of acupuncture in an already deficient (weak) patient, on the grounds that needle manipulation would leak too much energy.

A huge classical work, Gao Huang Shu , specialises solely in treatment indications for moxa on a single point.

Note that Taoists use scarring moxibustion along with Chinese medical astrology for longevity.

Practitioners may use acupuncture needles made of various materials in combination with moxa, depending on the direction of qi flow they wish to stimulate.

Moxibustion can be applied directly, by rolling tiny pellets or beads and burning them directly onto the skin on designated acupoints, or placing the pellets on small circular shields on the skin; or indirectly using sticks that come in two types – a soft, smokey kind with loosely-packed moxa (pictured above), or hard, smokeless kind with compressed moxa that is shorter in length and requires a holder once the burning tip gets close to the fingers holding it. Although the smoke from the soft sticks can be somewhat of an irritant, some practitioners prefer it, believing it to carry special healing properties.

Helps relax

Reduces pain

Improves blood flow

Help post-operative recovery

depression and anxiety

Eases pregnancy, delivery and post-partum effects:

depression, anxiety, urination and bowel movements.

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