Moxibustion is an alternative form of medicine that burns moxa wool over the body. The lit moxa produces various degrees of heat required to generate healing. In women, some of moxibustion’s uses include calming a fetus, stopping bleeding, normalize menstruation, warm the abdomen and spleen to eliminate stagnation, and to warm the uterus. Depending on your health conditions or symptoms, it can be utilized as part of your treatment protocol.
How Does Moxibustion Work?
The pungent scent of moxa reaches the energy channels or meridians to stimulate blood and Chi (energy) expelling cold from the meridians. Heat and/or Cold impacts the movement of Chi in the body – Heat quickens Chi while Cold stagnates or slows down its flow. Pain arises when blood or Chi stagnates or slows down. Pain can only be relieved when stagnation is removed from the body. Moxibustion decreases pain because it helps warm the meridians and clears out stagnation facilitating the flow of blood and Chi. Moxa is designed to invigorate the blood, alleviate pain, prevent illness and maintain health.
Functions of Moxibustion
1. For maintaining health and preventing disease.
A description in Precious Prescriptions states: “a person traveling in China’s southwestern regions, such as Szechuan and Yunnan provinces, should administer moxibustion at 2 or 3 points to avoid pestilence, epidemic diseases, and pernicious malarias well as to refrain from developing boils and sores.” It’s often stated, “if a person desires to be healthy, he should have moxibustion over the point Szusanli often.” In Notes on Moxibustion by Bian Que, there’s a passage that goes, “when a person who is healthy man has moxibustion to the points of Ren 4 (Guanyuan), Ren 6 (Chihai), Du 4 (Mingmen) and Ren 12 (Shongwan) points often, he would live a hundred years at least or a life longer than that.” Medical practice has shown that moxibustion is can be a very useful way to keep healthy and prevent disease.
2. To strengthen yang from collapse.
The foundation of the human body is Yang Chi. If there is adequate Yang Chi in the body, the person lives a long life; if the body has no Yang Chi, death occurs. Disorders in Yang is caused by having too much yin in the body which results in exhaustion, deficiency, and to cold of the primary chi that’s characterized by a deadly pulse. To prevent the body from collapsing and to strengthen yang chi, yin and yang deficiency should then be addressed with moxibustion.
3. To activate the smooth flow of blood and chi.
One of the functions of moxibustion is to stimulate the downward or upward flow of chi and blood. For instance, moxa is used on k1 point to treat the illnesses caused by excess cold in the lower part of the body, and symptoms of liver yang symptoms caused by the upward flow of yang chi in order to direct downward the flow of blood and chi. In the book miraculous pivot, it states in chapter 64 “when an excess of Chi occurs in the upper area, then needle the point in the lower area.” If the illness is caused by inadequacy in the upper area and excess in the area of the body and caused by sinking of chi from prolonged diarrhea or prolapse of uterus, then yang qi flow should be directed upwards.
4. To warm the meridians and dispel cold.
Irregular circulation of blood and chi in the body usually lead to a variety of problems and disorders in the body. Heat causes the rapid flow of chi while cold makes the flow slow or causes stagnation. Regular stimulated blood flow while cold slows down the smooth flow of chi. Because blood and chi stagnation is usually addressed by warming the chi, moxibustion is the appropriate treatment to bring about the smooth flow of chi through the use of burning moxa wool. The 75th chapter of miraculous pivot states, “if warming-up with moxibustion isn’t enough to treat blood stagnation, acupuncture may also not be enough to treat the condition.” In the 48th chapter of miraculous pivot, it says “since depression is caused by blood stagnation caused by cold, symptoms of depression should be resolved with moxibustion alone. The stagnation should be addressed with moxibustion.” It’s not hard to understand that moxa works by facilitating blood flow and warming up the energy channels in order to promote blood circulation. Hence, moxibustion is used mostly in clinics to treat illnesses resulting from cold-dampness and lingering diseases caused by harmful cold reaching deep into the muscles.
Practitioners may utilize needles used in acupuncture made from various materials along with moxibustion, based on the direction of chi circulate flow they wish to activate.