Effective Moxibustion Instruction
Deeply rooted in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), moxibustion is a form of heat-based therapy. During the process, dried plants are burned on or near the surface of the skin. It has been in use for centuries. The proponents believe that the burned plants (known as moxa) help stimulate acupoints in the body, thereby resulting in healing. With respect to its source, moxa is usually made from the dried leafy materials of Chinese mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris). Despite this common source, the materials can be made from other substances. Experts also believe that the technique warms and invigorates the flow of Qi (energy) in the body and dispels certain pathogenic effects.
What exactly does the practitioner do?
In the United States, specialists usually place a burning moxa stick close to the surface of the skin without making a contact with it. The moment they do this, the material is shaped into a stick or pole. Looking at the healing technique closely, the pole is like a huge cigar that can be lit and allowed to smolder. In a matter of seconds, there is a therapeutic heat transfer to the body through the skin.
Sometimes, the skin surfaces it is held over correspond with specific meridians. The glowing end of the material is held about 1-2 inches above the surface of the skin until it turns red and becomes suffused with warmth. Evidence-based medical experts say that the traditional remedy increases red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets around the regions of the body it is applied. According to these scientists, the technique also improves oxygen uptake and stimulates targeted system functions.
What can I expect to feel?
The minute the practitioner initiates the treatment, the patient is likely to experience a sudden flow of warmth radiating along the meridians. The meridians usually correspond with the jing luo channel that is being treated. One thing to bear in mind is that this is a good result, as it shows the arrival of the Qi. The sensation also signals that the flows of Qi and Xue have been freed along the pathway. When it is burning, you may perceive a marijuana-like odor. It is noteworthy that certain specialists may use a different material for the therapy. There are instances where they use charcoal-like sticks and little capsules. In that case, the odor may just be different. Before the treatment starts, you are not expected to have your clothing on the regions of the body it is meant to be applied. By and large, you will feel good about it because it is usually warm and delicious.
When is moxibustion used?
Its uses are outlined below:
– Treats injury or arthritis, especially where heat ameliorates the pain,
– Eliminates digestive problems,
– Helps treat gynecological and obstetrical conditions,
– Studies have also shown that it can serve as an adjunctive infertility treatment, and
– Improves immunity and offers protection against cold and flu strains.
After proper diagnosis and treatment strategy, specialists often combine it with acupuncture. The reason, according to them, is that patients are likely to get better outcomes when they are combined. Furthermore, it is heartwarming that moxibustion can be easily used at home. As a result, it is not uncommon for practitioners to train their patients to apply it at home. The reason is that doing so strengthens the effect of the clinical sessions between appointments.
Do-It-Yourself Moxibustion Instructions for boosting fertility
To get the most out of the traditional remedy, Dr. Dongfeng Zhou, an experienced and licensed acupuncturist, recommends a few acupoints for a self-help application. These are KD3, ST36, SP6, RN4, and RN6. Plus, Dr. Zhou recommends 10 to 15 minutes per session for 3 times a week.
While applying it, place the lit end of the pole about one inch away from your skin. If it is too hot or burning, move it further away. After ten minutes you should feel warm in the abdominal area and even your entire body. (Please see the diagram) Because the therapy releases smoke, it is advisable you do it outside of your home. If you are already pregnant, it should also be started between 28-37 weeks of pregnancy.
Indeed, you should be extremely cautious while performing this do-it-yourself session. This is because the stick often burns continuously afterward. Therefore, you should place it in the sink to completely extinguish the fire. Given its possible complications, you should follow the instructions of your licensed acupuncturist for the point prescription, timing, and dosage.
Possible Risks and Complications
Although anyone can try the traditional treatment at home, there are growing concerns that it has numerous risks and may lead to complications. To be clear, those concerns are a distinct possibility. To be precise, studies have shown that it can lead to respiratory complications due to smoke inhalation, as the plant has a strong, pungent odor. Other risks include nausea, vomiting, burns, allergies, fetal distress, and hyperpigmentation. The good news, nevertheless, is that you can avoid all the side effects when you follow your specialist’s instructions to the letter. Better still, you can schedule a session and have a specialist do it.
In this instructional guide, you have learned key facts about moxibustion and how to perform it at home. Over the years, researchers have done extensive studies to ascertain the effectiveness of the ancient treatment. In one study, Anne Manyande, the Associate Professor at the University of West London, examined the factors that affect its success rate in the management of breech presentation. She concluded that the age-long remedy improves the chances of vaginal birth with an 88% success rate. This research is important because 3-4% of pregnant women end up with breech babies. However, it is noteworthy that its success rate varies from one ailment to another.
Aside from Professor Manyande and her team, Dr. Zhou has carried out extensive research in that regard. The study has become necessary, as it seeks to promote the treatment and encourage people to embrace it in the United States and around the world. At the end of the research, she discovered effective moxa stick, box, and fire extinguisher.
To access any of the products, please click on the links below:
1. Manyande A, Grabowska C. Factors affecting the success of moxibustion in the management of a breech presentation as a preliminary treatment to external cephalic version. Midwifery. 2009 Dec; 25 (6): 774-80.
2. Raypole C. What is moxibustion? https://www.healthline.com/health/moxibustion. Revised April 16, 2021. Accessed November 18, 2021.
3. Xu J, Deng H, Shen X. Safety of moxibustion: a systematic review of case reports. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014 May; 2014(10)
4. Moxibustion. University of Minnesota. Https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/explore-healing-practices/moxibustion. Accessed November 17, 2021.
5. Dekker R. Can moxibustion help tur breech babies? Https://www.lamaze.org/Connecting-the-Dots/can-moxibustion-help-turn-breech-babies. Revised November 04, 2013. Accessed November 17, 2021.