What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a TCM technique that involves burning of mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris), a small spongy herb, on particular acupoints on the body to facilitate healing. Moxibustion “heat” therapy mainly helps to warm the meridians, improve blood circulation, dispel cold and dampness, and strengthen the immune system. Scientific reviews have reported an increase in red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets around the area of treatment, effectively improving oxygen uptake by the cells of the body and driving the targeted systemic functions. Many patients report a warm, soothing sensation during and after a session of moxibustion.
What conditions is it catered for?
It is usually used on people who have cold or stagnant conditions, such as:
- Joint pain, arthritic conditions
- Women’s health: infertility, menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, breech births
- Deficiencies in energy: low immunity, sluggish digestion, fluid retention
Why is it important to let a registered TCM physician administer it?
There are two types of moxibustion. For direct moxibustion, mugwort cones are ignited after they are placed on the skin. They are removed before they burn down to the skin.
Indirect moxibustion is more commonly used as it has a much lower risk of burning. The moxa stick is kept about 3-4 centimetres away from the skin. The moxa stick is placed above the area of treatment for several minutes until the area turns red. A licensed TCM physician would be able to observe the heating of the moxa stick and gauge the time and distance of the treatment.
What are the precautions of Moxibustion?
- It should not be used on anyone diagnosed with excess “heat”.
- Women on period should not undergo moxibustion.
- Drink sufficient water after each treatment session.
How many sessions are required?
Typically, one course of treatment comprises of 12 sessions (20-30 minutes per session). The physician will advise according to each individual’s needs.
Article by Physician Tan Kang Ting
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Hope this helps!