moxibustion

moxibustion from The Moxa Punk

By: The Moxa Punk  13-Sep-2013
Keywords: Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Natural Therapy

Moxibustion is the burning of dried mugwort to give therapeutic warmth. Moxa is an english word for mugwort used for burning in this way, taken from the Japanese mogusa, and the loose herb is known as moxa punk. What could be a better name for an old punk's Chinese medicine practice? Moxa may be attached to a needle to warm it, or used without the needle to warm an acupuncture point. To do this a roll of moxa like a long cigar is used. That's what is sticking out from the moxa punk's head. People often find that warmth from a hot water bottle or wheat bag helps their back, abdominal or menstrual pain, and the use of hot rocks for relaxation in spa therapies is popular. But somehow burning stuff seems less 'medical' than acupuncture with its sterile, fine needles and precise point location. Moxibustion is thought to stimulate acupuncture points just as acupuncture does. Perhaps the warmth increases local blood flow to trigger the same signal transmission that acupuncture initiates. So why burn this stinky herb rather than just using warmth. The herb, ai ye, has properties that make the treatment more effective. It warms the channels, disperses cold, and relieves pain, and is used in herbal decoctions for these properties. It is a very important gynaecological herb. Even the moxa punk acknowledges that it seems a bit juju that the therapeutic properties of the herb can be introduced to the body by burning it nearby, but that's the reason it's done. It seems like juju that burning moxa near a specific acupuncture point can turn a breached foetus, but clinical trials have shown that it works.

Keywords: Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Natural Therapy

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