Traditional Chinese medicinal practices are no longer such a rarity here in the West. You may have tried treatments like acupuncture and foot massage for yourself already. You may have even tried a practice called cupping, which is the practice of lighting a match within a cup to create suction, and then placing the cup on the patient’s back.
It might sound a bit strange, but there’s a theory behind it. The element of fire is an important one to the Chinese concept of qi, or the life force energy that flows through all things, including us humans. Traditional Chinese medicine men believed that fire and heat could stimulate the flow of the body’s blood and the body’s qi to jump-start your health.
So what do cupping and moxibustion have in common? Well, like cupping, moxibustion incorporates the element of fire. Moxi actually comes from the Japanese word for mugwort, while -bustion comes from the Latin for “burning.”
Okay, but what IS moxibustion, you ask? Moxa, or dried mugwort, is lit just like incense and applied to acupuncture points all over the body. Sometimes the burning mugwort is placed directly on the skin, or sometimes it is separated from the skin by a thin layer of ginger or mud. The effect is believed to be much the same as acupuncture treatment, so it is a great alternative for those of us with a fear of needles!
What does moxibustion treat? Moxibustion is used primarily to treat women’s health issues of all kinds. It is purportedly most effective for those women going through menopause, and offers an alternative, supplemental relief to Western hormone therapy treatments.
Besides menopause, moxibustion also offers relief for:
- Chronic Pain & muscle soreness
- Immune system disorders
- Scar tissue & and other skin blemishes
- High blood pressure
- Arthritis & inflammation of the joints & nerves
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Digestive issues
- Kidney & gallbladder stones
- Fertility issues
- Menstrual cramps
- Prostate issues
- Can also detoxify the body
Where can I find local moxibustion treatment centers? Simply search the internet for certified Chinese Traditional Medicine practitioners in your area, or try “homemade” moxibustion by purchasing a moxibustion stick and an instructional book below: