Moxibustion therapy is a traditional medical treatment of China using Moxa, the dried leaf of the aromatic plant called Mugwort. Though there is no scientific evidence that it is successful in preventing or healing cancer or any other ailment, it plays a vital role in the conventional medical systems of China as well as Tibet, Korea, Japan, Mongolia and Vietnam. Even in Sydney, where Live Well Clinic is located, moxibustion treatment has become more popular.
Usually, the suppliers age the mugwort and crush it up to a fluff, and practitioners burn the fluff and further process it into a stick similar to the shape of a cigar. They can use the stick indirectly, among acupuncture needles, or burn it on the skin of the patient.
The purpose is to warm and stimulate the flow of Qi, the vital energy in the body, disperse some pathogenic influences, make the blood stronger, and maintain the general health.
How the Moxibustion Therapy Works?
There are two kinds of moxibustion, such as:
1.) Direct moxibustion
2.) Indirect moxibustion
In the direct moxibustion therapy, a small quantity of moxa in the shape of a cone is placed over an acupuncture point and smoldered. This nature of moxibustion is further classified into two categories, such as:
Scarring moxibustion: In this moxibustion treatment, the moxa is placed on top of a point, burned, and allowed to continue onto the point pending it burns out totally. This may show the way to restricted scarring, blisters and scarring subsequent to healing.
Non-scarring moxibustion: In this moxibustion treatment, the moxa is placed on top of the point and lit, but it is allowed to extinguish or remove earlier than it burns the skin. The patient will feel a pleasant warming sensation that goes deep into the skin, but the patient will not feel any soreness, burning or scarring, except the moxa is left in position for too long.
Currently, the indirect moxibustion therapy becomes an increasingly popular form of treatment because there is a much minor risk of soreness or burning. In this method of treatment, a practitioner at our TCM clinic ignites one end of a moxa stick, approximately the size and shape of a cigar, and holds it near the area of the skin being treated for minutes together pending the area becomes red.
Another type of indirect moxibustion therapy uses both moxa and acupuncture needles. A needle is introduced into an acupoint and it is retained. Then, the tip of the acupuncture needle is wrapped in moxa and lighted, creating heat to the acupoint and the nearby area. Following the preferred effect is achieved, the end of the moxa stick is extinguished and the acupuncture needle is removed.
Generally, our practitioners hold a blazing moxa stick near the surface of the skin of the patient, but not really touching it. In the Moxibustion therapy, the moxa material is formed into a pole or stick, which can be lit and allowed to burn, creating a distinctive form of extremely penetrating heat.
The burning moxa stick is held above specific areas of the skin of the patient, repeatedly, while not always, related to particular acupuncture points. The burning end of the moxa stick is held about one or two inches above the skin surface until the area becomes red and turns into suffused with heat.
What You Would Experience
It is common for patients getting moxibustion to report a swift flooding of heat that rapidly radiates along a particular pathway, generally corresponding to the jing luo path that is being treated, away from the place of application. This is a good effect because it signifies the onset of the Qi and indicates that the Qi flow and xue has been flowing in the path.
There is a little inconvenience related to the moxibustion therapy in terms of the smoke and smell. Even though there are so-called smokeless moxa varieties, the ideal true moxa, which is prepared from mugwort, will produce lots of smoke when smoldered. Nearly all TCM clinics are well prepared with a good aeration and air cleansing system, so this is not a huge problem.
However, unfortunately, the lasting smell produced from smoldering mugwort smells similar to marijuana to some extent. Most practitioners in their TCM clinics place warnings around their workplace, informing visitors and patients regarding the true nature of the smell that they may be observed.
Uses of the Moxibustion Therapy
In Sydney, our Live Well clinic offers the Moxibustion therapy for:
- Soreness due to arthritis or injury, particularly in cold patterns where the soreness feels better in nature with the application of warmth.
- Digestive setbacks and uneven elimination.
- Obstetrical and gynecological disorders, as well as breech appearance in late period pregnancy.
- Defense against flu and cold strains.
Practitioners at our TCM clinic often perform both moxibustion therapy and acupuncture therapy during the same session when suitable for the diagnosis and treatment plan. This is because we consider that the treatments will boost the effectiveness of each treatment when applied together.
Precautions You Need to Know
Even though the moxibustion therapy has been safely exercised in conventional Chinese medicine for centuries, it is not intended for everybody. This is for the reason that it is used particularly for patients suffering from stagnant or cold conditions, and it is not supposed to be used on anybody, who is diagnosed with much heat.
Smoldering moxa will produce much of smoke and a pungent smell, as well. Patients having respiratory disorders may demand their practitioner to use moxa sticks without smoke as a substitute.
How to Choose Your Moxibustion Practitioner
Nothing like acupuncture that is almost carried out by a skilled practitioner in a clinic setting at all times, the same moxibustion therapy can be done at home easily. It is common for the medical practitioners of China to teach their patients to apply moxa on themselves to make the effect of the medical sessions stronger between appointments.
Usually, the moxibustion therapy is educated as a part of a competent acupuncture or conventional medicine degree program in China. Even though there are no licensing or official recognition necessities related to the practice of moxibustion, a practitioner is required to have an acupuncture certificate in order to carry out the moxibustion therapy.
Rest assured that in our Live Well TCM Clinic at Sydney, Master Wang who is a certified Chinese medicine practitioner will be conducting the treatment himself.