MOXI-BUSTION & Massage Therapy
Moxibustion (Chinese: 灸; pinyin: jiǔ) is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy using moxa, or mugwort herb. It plays an important role in the traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia. Suppliers usually age the mugwort and grind it up to a fluff; practitioners burn the fluff or process it further into a stick that resembles a (non-smokable) cigar. They can use it indirectly, with acupuncture needles, or sometimes burn it on a patient’s skin.
Practitioners 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. Research, for example at Mugwort (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine by Clare Hanrahan) has shown that mugwort acts as an emmenagogue, meaning that it stimulates blood-flow in the pelvic area and uterus.
Medical historians believe that moxibustion pre-dated acupuncture, and needling came to supplement moxa after the 2nd century BC.
Moxibustion is considered to be especially effective in the treatment of chronic problems, “deficient conditions” (weakness), and gerontology.
There are two main types of moxibustion: one of which are direct and one which is indirect. There is a third newer method which does not involve any heat source, which we will discuss later. Let’s first present the two methods which involve using a heat source. The first is direct moxibustion. This is where a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. The moxa is placed on the point and lit, but it is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. The patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain.
The second method is indirect moxibustion which is the most popular form of moxibustion since nothing actually touches the skin. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint and the tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) are removed.
The third newer method uses moxa spray oil. This product is an ultra pure product of highly refined moxa oil, which is sprayed onto the point. This is extra concentrated product which is made from the highest grade pure moxa. In our experience it is a very effective form of moxa application without any risk of burns and eliminates the burning of traditional Moxa in treatment rooms.
It is believed that moxa could add new energy to the body and could treat both excess and deficient conditions.
A huge classical work, Gao Huang Shu (膏肓俞), specialises solely in treatment indications for moxa on a single point (穴).
Various modalities of Traditional Chinese Medicine are incorporated within the scope of Massage Therapy.
Integrative Hospital Associates