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|Moxibustion is a form of fire heat treatment that stimulates specific acupuncture points of the body. The term is derived from "mogusa" meaning herb (mugwort) and the Latin "bustion" meaning burning.|
There are two types of moxibustion, direct and indirect
A small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned on the skin.
Direct moxibustion is a traditional technique considered to be very therapeutic.
|Direct moxibustion is a traditional technique considered to be very therapeutic. Much of the scientific study has been done on scarring direct moxibustion. The effectiveness of direct moxibustion particularly on immune function has been reported as early as 1927 by Dr. Shimetaro Hara, at the |
Presently however, direct moxibustion may have some undesirable effects such as blistering, burn marks, and even scarring at the moxibustion site. In an attempt to prevent skin damage, some acupuncturists place a medium (slice of ginger, topical paste, etc.) between the skin and the burning moxa or extinguish the burning moxa just before it reaches the skin.
The possible effect derived from this type of moxibustion (sometimes referred to as non-scarring direct moxibustion or categorized as indirect moxibustion) should not be considered the same as the scarring direct moxibustion since the main effect of direct moxibustion is considered to result from actual damage to the skin (thus stimulating the release of immunological mediators resulting in a healing reaction).
The practitioner monitors the heat level, and communicates with the patient to provide a therapeutic level of heat while maintaining their comfort and safety. Indirect moxa is considered to induce a gradual localized vasodilatation response. In addition to increasing the local blood flow, skillful indirect moxibustion is extremely comforting and can create a deep relaxation response.
|Where did moxibustion originate?|
Moxibustion is believed to have originated in the northern part of
What is moxibustion good or not good for?
Moxibustion therapy in conjunction with acupuncture can be very effective for many diseases and conditions including back pain, muscle stiffness, headaches, migraines, tendonitis, arthritis, digestive disorders, anxiety, and female health problems such as menstrual cramps, irregular periods, and infertility.
Moxibustion can be applied in many different ways and the expected physiological reactions from moxibustion can greatly vary depending on the type and technique used. By carefully considering the type of moxibustion, and where and how to apply it, moxibustion can be used safely and effectively for almost all patients.
However, it should be noted that moxa, especially direct moxa, is generally not recommended for patients with diabetes, decreased sensitivity to pain, who are on certain medications such as prednisone, or who have any other conditions involving compromised circulation or a weakened immune system.
|Why is moxibustion such an integral part of acupuncture practice today?|
Up until this century, before the advancement of ''''''''modern medicine'''''''', acupuncturists played the role of physician in
Today, patient populations are quite different compared to in the past. Rarely, acupuncturists encounter serious acute conditions but rather most patients visit with chronic pain conditions, functional disorders, or a variety of stress related illnesses. In the majority of those chronic conditions, the patients have a cold constitution. Even some patients who appear to be manifesting heat, really have underlying chronic cold in their system which creates the heat-syndrome-like symptoms as their body tries to balance.