Moxibustion: Herbal Heat Therapy
Moxibustion or Moxa is a technique that involves the burning of the herb, Ai Ye, a small spongy herb to facilitate healing. It can be used directly on the skin using different techniques, like "rice grain moxa", or used indirectly with fire wands that do not touch the skin.
Known to western herbalists as Mugwart or Artemesia Vulgaris. In East-Asian Medicine we depend on this herb to strengthen the blood by nourishing it and moving it through the body. In addition Moxa also stimulates the flow of Qi through the channels, expelling cold and warming the meridians. Moxibustion has a profound effect on the immune system because it strengthens the body’s core energy it has the ability to fortify its defense systems.
This therapy is particularly useful in treating acute or chronic musculoskeletal disorders. The heat expands blood vessels and stimulates the circulation of blood which relieves swelling, pressure and pain. It speeds healing from trauma by knitting connective tissues back together and prevents adhesions and scar tissue from forming.
In Chinese Medicine, arthritis is the build-up of dead or damaged tissue in the joints. By simply using moxa and increasing circulation over the affected area, arthritic joints can be freed from feeling stiff, achy and painful and can increase range of motion.
Digestive disorders often benefit from restoring fire to the alchemical process of breaking down food, as well as aiding in the elimination process to dispose of excess waste products that can accumulate in the tissues. Digestive weaknesses, from a wholistic standpoint, create conditions of stagnation and dampness. This condition can benefit from a drying and warming therapy that will get fluids moving, and takes pressure off of the digestive system.
Moxa is also effective at treating chronic conditions, especially those conditions rooted in deficiency or weakness. This is because Moxa adds new energy in the form of heat or fire directly into the body. For this reason it is a useful therapy for treating stress, fatigue and exhaustion.