MOXIBUSTION
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Moxibustion is a technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine in which a stick or cone of burning mugwort is placed over an inflamed or affected area on the body. The cone is placed on an acupuncture point and burned. The cone is removed before burning the skin. The purpose is to stimulate and strengthen the blood and the life energy, or qi, of the body.

Moxibustion developed as a medical practice completely separate from acupuncture, although it is now very much a part of current acupuncture practice in China. It is used to treat specific types of disease and is applied over the same body points (acupuncture points) as acupuncture needles. Some of the acupuncture points, such as those around the eye, are forbidden to moxa.


Usage
Moxibustion is a technique used in traditional Chinese medicine in which a stick or cone of burning mugwort , Artemesia vulgaris, is placed over an inflamed or affected area on the body. The cone is placed on an acupuncture point and burned. The cones is removed before burning the skin. The purpose is to stimulate and strengthen the blood and the life energy, or qi, of the body.

The actual Chinese character for acupuncture literally translates into "acupuncture-moxibustion." More than 3,000 years ago, during the Shang Dynasty in China, hieroglyphs of acupuncture and moxibustion were found on bones and tortoise shells, meaning the practice precedes that date. The root word, "moxa" is actually derived from the Japanese.

Moxibustion is used for people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The moxa stick is burned to warm up the blood and qi that are not circulating well. It is particularly known for its ability to turn breech presentation babies into a normal head-down position that is considered safer during childbirth. In a 1998 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 75% of the pregnant women in the study had breech fetuses that turned in the normal position. Moxibustion significantly increases fetal movements in pregnant women. Moxibustion is also used to treat inflammations. For example, if treating a patient with tendinitis, the moxa stick is burned over the elbow area. It is also highly regarded for menstrual cramps, where the stick is waved over the abdominal area. Often, the cramps disappear immediately.


Origin
A discussion of the history of acupuncture is incomplete without mentioning moxibustion. Moxibustion is the burning on the skin of the herb moxa. The Chinese character 'Chiu' is used to describe the art of moxibustion, and literally means 'to scar with a burning object'. Moxibustion does not now involve scarring, but moxa is still used to provide local heat over acupuncture points. It is made from the dried leaves of Artemisia vulgaris and the Chinese believe that the older the moxa, the better its therapeutic properties.

Moxibustion developed as a medical practice completely separate from acupuncture, although it is now very much a part of current acupuncture practice in China. It is used to treat specific types of disease and is applied over the same body points (acupuncture points) as acupuncture needles. Some of the acupuncture points, such as those around the eye, are forbidden to moxa. In ancient China, moxa was also burnt on specific acupuncture points to keep the body healthy, and was said to act as a prophylactic against disease.

Moxa can be used in a variety of ways. Loose moxa is made into a cone and burnt on the skin, the cone then being removed when it is half burnt, to avoid blistering. 

Help comes with the needles.....
Mugwort
Moxibustion is the burning of mugwort over inflamed and affected areas of the body. The mugwort can come in sticks that closely resemble the circumference and length of a cigar. Moxa cones can also be burned. The mugwort, called Ai Ye in traditional Chinese medicine, is positioned over acupuncture points to stimulate the qi and blood. In breech presentation babies, the acupoint BL 67, located on the outside of the little toe, is stimulated. For menstrual cramps, the meridian called the Ren Channel, the center line of the lower abdomen, is treated. Moxibustion is almost always used in conjunction with acupuncture, as a complementary technique.