Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy which consists burning of an herb called Mugwort (moxa)on particular points on the body. It plays an important role in the traditional Chinese Medicine. It is often used in conjunction with acupuncture to enhance the effect of the treatment. Mugwort is considered to be warm, acrid, and bitter when used in herbal prescriptions. When burnt, it has similar properties and, thus, its warming nature is useful for helping to expel cold and damp from the body as well as warming the body’s channels. The bitter and acrid aspects of Mugwort help to break stagnation, clear phlegm, and smoother flow of blood and qi. It is useful in helping with a wide range of conditions, including aches and pains, colds and flu, and even poor digestion.
Moxa can take many forms, including cigar-like moxa rolls, raw rice grain size pieces, and compressed smokeless sticks and cones. The raw moxa can be burnt as rice grain sized pieces directly on acupuncture points in order to stimulate the function of the point. It can be burnt over the point as a moxa roll in order to indirectly warm the point and meridian. Moxa can be placed in a moxa box in order to warm an area such as the lower abdomen or the back. It can also be burning moxa on ginger or salt, or placed on the end of an inserted acupuncture needle in order to strengthen the stimulation of an acupuncture point.