What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is the burning of an herb called Mugwort. The herb, or moxa, can take many forms, including cigar-like moxa rolls, raw rice grain size pieces, and compressed smokeless sticks and cones. When burnt its warming nature is useful for helping to expel cold and damp from the body as well as warming the body’s channels. The bitter and acrid aspects of Mugwort help to break stagnation, clear phlegm, and rectify the qi and blood.

How long has moxibustion been used?

The actual Chinese character for acupuncture literally translates into “acupuncture-moxibustion.” More than 3,000 years ago, during the Shang Dynasty in China , hieroglyphs of acupuncture and moxibustion were found on bones and tortoise shells, meaning the practice precedes that date. The root word, “moxa” is actually derived from the Japanese.


What are the benefits of moxibustion?

Moxibustion is used for people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The moxa stick is burned to warm up the blood and qi that are not circulating well. It is particularly known for its ability to turn breech presentation babies into a normal head-down position that is considered safer during childbirth. In a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association , 75% of the pregnant women in the study had breech fetuses that turned in the normal position.

Moxibustion is also used to treat inflammations. It is also highly regarded for menstrual cramps, where the stick is waved over the abdominal area. Often, the cramps disappear immediately.