Moxibustion is an ancient Chinese method of treatment, as old as the Traditional Chinese Medicine, 5000 years.
Moxibustion is based on the treatment of acupuncture and acupressure points with the “Moxa”, which is similar to an oversized cigar, usually made from the dried leafy material of Chinese mugwort (Artemesia argyi or A.vlugaris), but it can be made of other substances as well.
The principle of the therapy is as follows: Patient in his underwear lies on the therapeutic table on his stomach or back depending on which acupuncture points should be treated by this method. When the patient is ready, the therapist lights the moxa and hold a burning moxa stick close to, but not touching, the surface of the skin in places where the acupuncture points that should be treated are located. The smouldering moxa stick is held over specific areas, often, though not always, corresponding to certain acupuncture points. The glowing end of the moxa stick is held about an inch or two above the surface of the skin until the area reddens and becomes suffused with warmth.The redness of the skin at the site of acupuncture and acupressure point is an indicator that energy is generated on the point itself, as well as the corresponding pathway (jing luo channel) that is being treated. Redness of the skin also indicates that due to the thermal effect the pores of the skin have opened allowing the penetration of medicinal substances from moxa stick due to smouldering of medicinal herbs.
The doctor of Chinese traditional medicine determines which acupuncture points will be treated with moxibustion depending on the patient’s illness.