Risako Yamamoto, MS, L.Ac.                         Certified, Experienced Acupuncturist & Healer

(718) 631-0195

Moxibustion consists of burning dried smoldering mugwort herbs on or around a patients skin. 

This ancient healing technique is commonly used in order to warm a particular area of the body as well as to alleviate discomfort or pain. It's similarly used to assist in spiking a patients overall energy. 

The reason Acupuncturists choose to use mugwort and not other herbs for burning with moxibustion is because this particular herb behaves as an agent which promotes blood circulation to and around the pelvic area as well as the uterus. It is known to stimulate menstruation also. This information may be the reason moxibustion is used in dealing with breech births and menstrual cramps. This technique may treat reproductive issues which arise in many women from all walks of life. 


How are moxibustion treatments done? Do they hurt? 


Two types of moxibustion methods exist:

The first is direct while the second technique is indirect.

Direct moxibustion consists of a small, cone-shaped portion of moxa which is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. 

This kind of method is grouped by two types: scarring and non-scarring.

In scarring moxibustion, the moxa herb is put on a point, fired up, and permitted to stay on the point until it burns out entirely. This could result in local area scarring, mild blisters and even a possibility of scarring post the healing period. 

In the non-scarring moxibustion method, the moxa herb is put on the point and ignited, yet is put out or removed before it has a chance to burn a persons skin. Patients typically undergo a soothing, warming sensation which reaches deep into their skin, although patients shouldn't feel any sort of pain, scarring or blistering unless the moxa mugwort herb is kept in the same spot for a long period of time. Indirect moxibustion is the most preferred and popular direction of healthcare in acupuncture since there are lower risks of going through pain, discomfort and burning sensations. 


With indirect moxibustion, what's involved is an acupuncturist firing a single end of the moxa stick, approximately the size and shape of a cigar, and then holding the stick nearby the area that is being treated for a only few minutes until that particular spot becomes red.


A different form of indirect moxibustion deals with both acupuncture needles as well as the moxa herb. One needle is carefully put into an acu-point on the body and retained. Then the end of this needle is immediately wrapped in a moxa herb and lit. This generates heat to the end and the nearby area. When the needed effect is reached, the moxa herb is extinguished and then the needles are taken out.

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