The relief and relaxation of Moxibustion
Moxibustion is the name given to the burning of the herb Artemesia Vulgaris, commonly known in English as Mugwort, in Chinese as ai rong - meaning ‘velvet of mugwort’, and in Japanese as mogusa or Moxa.
It is used either on or above the skin to warm and invigorate the channels of the body and to expel Cold. It can be used to encourage the smooth flow of Qi and Blood and to strengthen the Yang, as well as to tonify the body and to prevent disease.
While is it a warming technique and therefore is especially good for the Yang, it can be used by the skilled practitioner when there is 'heat' as well. This heat is considered an inflammatory kind of heat. Low level inflammation is a constant irritation to the immune system, which is never quite fully resolved. Sometimes moxa is used to increase the 'yang' aspect of the body in these conditions of inflammation to really 'switch on the protective cellular components of the immune system to improve its functioning. There are many different techniques used in the application of moxibustion, several different kinds of moxa, and each technique and kind has a specific role to play in the overall treatment of a person’s condition.
Moxibustion can be used to:
Warm areas in the channels of the body that have become Cold
Invigorate the Yang Qi (the energy of the person)
Improve circulation of Blood
Promote movement of breech presentations
Break a fever and
Regulate the immune system
Disperse swelling and bruising
One of the most famous preventative health therapies using moxa is to treat a point on the lower leg called Zu San Li [ST 36], which means "Foot Three Miles" and is known to increase endurance, promote digestive power, and stimulate the immune system. Using moxa at this point everyday is said to promote longevity and wellbeing.
“A person without disease should moxa themselves for a long time (ie, regularly)…
Although one cannot obtain immortality,
one can achieve longevity of more than 100 years.
— Bian Que, 500 BC From the Bian Que Xin Shu (“Bian Que's Book of Heart Teachings”)