MOXIBUSTION

The ancient healing technique of Moxibustion, believed by some medical historians to pre-date even acupuncture, is approximately 3,000-years-old. It plays an important role in the Traditional medical systems of China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Tibet, and Mongolia.

Moxibustion uses moxa or mugwort herb (artemisia vulgaris), applied directly or indirectly, in order to warm regions and acupuncture points. This combination of heat and herb stimulates circulation, encourages a smoother flow of blood and Qi, and protects against cold and dampness.

Moxa is used for pain and deficient conditions, and has been clinically effective for treatment of common conditions such as acute and chronic pain (frozen shoulder, carpal tunnel syndrome, back pain, headaches, migraines), digestive upset (diarrhea, IBS), degenerative diseases, women’s disorders, and sexual dysfunction (impotence, decreased libido). Moxa is also known to relieve anxiety by creating a deep relaxation response.

There are two types of Moxibustion techniques: Direct and Indirect. Cornerstone Healing employs the Indirect method, which is more closely based in the Chinese tradition. Indirect moxibustion includes the use of “moxa boxes”, ceramic temples that sit above specific areas of the body; “stick moxa”, a cigar-like stick of moxa burned directly above the skin over specific points; and “needle head moxa”, where small cylinders of moxa are placed on the ends of acupuncture needles so that the warmth penetrates deeply into the point without burning the skin. The Indirect method is just as successful as the Direct method.

The Direct method, which is used mainly in the Japanese tradition, requires a small or large cone shaped amount of moxa placed directly on the skin on top of an acupuncture point. Then cone is then burned on ointment or a slice of ginger and removed when the patient feels it hot. Although this technique is highly regarded, it may have some undesirable affects such as blistering, burn marks or even scarring at the site.