Moxibustion is an alternative therapy involving the burning of herbs and applying the smoldering herb on certain points on the body. It is a healing tradition used in Tibetan and traditional Chinese medicine typically administered alongside acupuncture treatment.
Moxibustion – Its Applications
According to practitioners of alternative medicine in Jacksonville, the heat produced in moxibustion therapy helps boosts the circulation of chi or vital energy within the body through energy pathways called meridians.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, achieving wellness and health can be achieved by stimulating the flow of chi. In fact, mental and physical health conditions are believed to arise partly due to obstructions in the circulation of chi.
Promoters of alternative medicine assert that moxibustion can effectively treat the following health issues:
- Back pain
- Digestive problems
- Muscle stiffness
- Menstrual cramps
Different Types of Moxibustion
The two main types of moxibustion are direct moxibustion and indirect moxibustion. Indirect moxibustion is the most commonly used moxibustion technique today. It involves the burning of moxa (which is created from dried leaves of the wormwood or mugwort herb) on the head of an acupuncture needle. However, in certain instances, practitioners may place the smoldering moxa over a layer of salt, garlic, or ginger set on the patient’s skin to prevent the skin from being burned. Other methods may involve the application of heat to acupoints from hovering a burning moxa for several minutes just above the skin and to the use of an electrical source.
In direct moxibustion, the skin is in direct contact with the burning moxa. Today, this technique is very rarely used since it can result in scarring and pain.
The Benefits of Moxibustion
At the present time, studies showing the efficacy and safety of moxibustion therapy in the treatment of any health condition have been scarce.
Some of the health issues that are known to respond to moxibustion include:
1. Breech Birth
Moxibustion practitioners often tout their therapy as a way to reduce the chance of a breech birth. However, in a 2005 published report, researchers were unable to find evidence that moxibustion can correct a breech presentation. The authors of the report assessed three clinical trials (involving the participation of 597 women) and came to the conclusion that more studies are needed before moxibustion should be considered by women seeking a way to avoid a breech birth.
However, the authors were unable to find that moxibustion can lessen the need for specific medical procedures commonly used to rectify breech presentation.
2. Ulcerative Colitis
In terms of scientific evidence, there is no still definite conclusion of moxibustion therapy having a real effect on ulcerative colitis.
3. Hot Flashes
In a clinical study conducted in 2009, researchers discovered that the 51 postmenopausal women who participated reported a decrease in the severity and frequency of their hot flashes after 14 sessions of moxibustion.
Moxibustion is not recommended for people suffering from diabetes. Also, when taken internally, oils from wormwood and mugwort can lead to adverse reactions.
Make sure you first talk to your doctor before undergoing moxibustion therapy if you’re considering using it for any type of health condition. If you’re pregnant, it’s extremely important to consult with your doctor first if you’re considering undergoing moxibustion therapy.