Moxibustion is a traditional combination of herbs in the shape of a stick called a moxa. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years to facilitate healing and is typically used in conjunction with acupuncture. The purpose of moxibustion is to strengthen blood flow and bring healing to the deeper muscles.
After the moxa is lit, the acupuncturist holds it close to the treatment point, or sometimes a small piece is lit and put on an acupuncture needle. As heat passes down the needle, the patient experiences a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin and increases blood flow. If the heat is too strong, the strength can be adjusted accordingly.
The smoke from moxibustion is safe to breathe and, unlike cigarette smoke, has its own positive health benefits, such as stress reduction and improving autonomic nervous system activity1. While on the surface it may seem similar to an infrared heat lamp, they serve different functions in the treating of a patient.
1 Effects of Moxa (Artemisia vulgaris) Smoke Inhalation on Heart Rate and Its Variability, Chinese Medicine, 2011, 2, 53-57
Jane Rong Rohrs, L.Ac.
Using knowledge of the ages to treat patients in the present.