Acupuncture and Moxibustion

The Meaning of Zhen Jiu ( 针灸)

Moxibustion on HandAcupuncture is not just acupuncture.  In fact, the word for acupuncture in Chinese, Zhen Jiu, actually  translates to “acupuncture and moxibustion”  which shows how central moxibustion is within acupuncture.

Moxibustion is the warming of acupuncture points or needles.  Most often, this is done through burning an herb called mugwort.  It can also be done with heat lamps as well as herbal lotions.

In my office, we use smokeless moxibustion because it is treated and does not create much smoke.

How does Moxibustion work?

Just like with acupuncture, moxibustion focuses on correcting the underlying imbalance in the body.

Because it is warming, generally moxibustion is used when there is cold in the body.  Moxibustion can help to warm the body and add qi as well.  The warmth also helps to increase circulation.

moxa on backI use moxibustion often. I find it is very helpful for some people with Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndromechronic low back pain, in addition to digestive issues.

Boosting the Qi

There is a tradition that one can use moxibustion on the acupuncture point Stomach 36 for 100 consecutive days in order to boost the body’s qi.  This therapy is particularly effective for those with poor digestion or asthma due to low energy.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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