Moxibustion is an indirect warming technique used to stimulate acupuncture points and promote temperature balance in the body. This treatment facilitates healing by strengthening the blood, stimulating the flow of qi and helping to maintain general health. Moxa, as it is commonly referred, is one of the few treatments used in Chinese medicine with the ability to tonify the body. The use of heat from a burning moxa cone or stick (made of the dried herb mugwort) warms the skin at an acupuncture point and is intended to stimulate the flow of qi. The herb is found in different forms ranging from powdered, cone-shaped and many times solidified as a stick shaped into a cigar-like roll. Moxa is applied directly or indirectly to the skin’s surface and mainly used on people with stagnant and cold conditions.
Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint and retained. The tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. Acu-Moxa therapy has a long history of practice and together have complemented each other well through out the centuries. Although moxa has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries it is not indicated for all individuals. The smoke from burning moxa may cause irritation to patients with respiratory conditions, sensitivity to smoke or strong aversion to pungent smells.