Medica Vita

"Wellbeing is not a journey it's a destination."
Medica Vita statement.

+1 407 936 4238

Moxibustion Therapy - the power of heat and healing herbs

Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried herb materials called "moxa" are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. This Traditional Chinese Medicine technique has been successfully used throughout Asia for thousands of years. Usually used as a supplementary technique alongside acupuncture, moxibustion is known for is blood strengthening properties. Similarly to most forms of Traditional Chinese Medicine, moxibustion effectively stimulates the flow of qi and helps maintaining general health.

Moxibustion therapy is most commonly used to strengthen the immune system by warming the body and bringing more qi and blood flow to a given area. Moxibustion was found especially useful for the treatment of various types of pain, e.g. pain due to injury or arthritis, but also:

  • digestive problems and irregular elimination

  • gynecological and obstetrical conditions

  • protection against cold and flu strains

Moxibustion Therapy - What exactly is Moxa?

Moxa (or Moxibustion) is a term derived from the Japanese word mogusa or mo kusa, which can be translated as “burning herb.” Moxa is always harvested from a plant called mugwort - a small and spongy herb that facilitates healing. Mugwort leaves are ground aged for 3-5 years before use.

Most probably, the moxa used in the US was harvested and ground aged in Japan, China or Korea. Every Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners will have their own preferred type (or types) of moxa that he or she is accustomed to. Experienced practitioners will always chose the superior quality and the type that works best for their patients. High quality moxa is expensive and usually named by grade, e.g. Pure Moxa, Moxa Gold, etc.

It is said that mugwort as a healing plant has been used alongside acupuncture for over 3 thousand years and that the two therapies complement one another, hence the term “acupuncture-moxibustion”. That’s why a licensed acupuncturist may combine the two therapy techniques in order to treat your condition in the most effective and pain-free way.

If you are interested in learning more about acupuncture in Orlando, you will find useful information on our page called Orlando Acupuncture and in our blog articles “Orlando acupuncture - 10 facts you didn’t know” and “What we all should know about acupuncture - The Orlando Acupuncture guide to Natural Medicine”.

Moxibustion Therapy - the direct and indirect moxibustion techniques

Two types of moxibustion can be distinguished and their application depends on the intended effect. As mentioned before, it is used to great effect in tandem with acupuncture, enhancing and maximizing the effects of the acupuncture needles.

  1. The direct moxibustion technique:  a small amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and lit, although in order to prevent scarring it is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. Patients experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but they should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring. If, however, the moxa is left in place for too long - pain, blisters and scars may occur. It is critical to make sure that the acupuncture-moxibustion practitioner is a licenced professional with sufficient medical experience.

  2. The Indirect moxibustion technique -  carrying a much lower risk of pain and burning, this form of moxibustion therapy is currently more popular. It is performed by lighting up one end of a moxa stick (which may resemble a cigar in shape and size) and holding it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. The needle is gently inserted into the acupoint and a small ball of moxa is placed on the head of the acupuncture needle, and then ignited. This way a gentle heat is delivered to the acupoint and the area surrounding it. When the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle is removed. The process is repeated for a number of times pre-decided by the doctor.

Moxibustion therapy - the sensation

Most of our patients admit that the sensation while receiving moxibustion is very relaxing, and feels like a sudden but pleasant touch of warmth, that quickly radiates away from the site of application. Such a sensation is exactly the desired result and it indicates that the correct acupoints are stimulated, and that the flow of Qi has been restored in the respective channels.

On the downside: real moxa produces a lot of smoke and distinctive odor when burned. However, our patients should not worry too much, because any professional Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic - such as Medica Vita Center - must be equipped with a good ventilation and air purification system that effectively counteracts the problem.

Moxibustion therapy - precautions and recommendations

 Every medical treatment should be preceded by a thorough and careful patient evaluation that leads to an accurate diagnosis. Only then - and if performed by a professional medical practitioner - the therapy will be safe for the patient. Always consult with your doctor whether acupuncture-moxibustion will be safe for you. A qualified acupuncturist, with years of relevant experience in the field, such as Dr. Andriy Chetin will be able to advise you the most beneficial natural medicine treatment suitable for your condition. We invite you to make an appointment with Dr. Andriy Chetin today!

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.

Request a call

Please let us know your name.
Please let us know your email address.