Moxa is an important tool in Traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for thousands of years. Moxa is made from the herb Mugwort in English and Artemesia Vulgaris in Latin. Therapists use moxa, a dried form of the herb, to warm specific areas of the body, focusing especially on pressure points. The purpose of moxa treatment is to stimulate circulation through the points and encourage a better flow qi, or energy through the body's meridians, by combating cold and dampness.
Most clients describe the feeling of the treatment as a calming and warming sensation that helps them to feel relaxed.
Moxibustion can be performed using two main methods. Indirect moxa, which is used here at Stone Wellness, can be performed several ways depending on what is called for. One way includes lacing a thin disc of garlic, ginger or salt on the naval and topping it with the moxa herb which is then lit until it reaches the second medium. This helps to moderate the amount of heat that enters the skin and involves the added benefit of a second medium to the treatment.
Another method is to use a cigar shaped moxa stick that is held close to the skin, or close to the needle. Indirect moxa burning avoids any risk of skin blistering and allows a larger area of the body to be warmed at the same time.
One of the active ingredient in moxa is borneol, a substance that is known for its analgesic and antiseptic properties. Borneol is often included in topical remedies to reduce pain and inflammation. This ingredient helps benefit patients suffering from muscle tension, chronic pain, arthritis and strain injuries. Moxa has also been shown to be effective at stimulating blood flow to the pelvic area and uterus and to help regulate menstruation. This can help with cramping, fertility, scar tissue growth and pelvic inflammation.
Moxa can be used safely and effectively on people of all ages, including young children. The advantage of using moxa alone is that it can be used for children who are particularly apprehensive of needles that are used in acupuncture.