Moxibustion is an essential component of Japanese acupuncture and one of the oldest of all practices in Oriental Medicine, thought by some scholars to possibly even pre-date acupuncture.

“The use of three-year-old moxa tinder can ensure
that no illness will follow it”

Wang Tao from Wai Tai Pi Yao, 8th century

Moxibustion (Moxa) is a form of heat therapy in which the dried herb Artemisia Vulgaris or “mugwort” is burned at specific acupuncture points on the body near the surface of the skin in order to trigger natural healing responses. Japaneses scientists have found that the infrared radiation produced from burning mugwort is very similar to the natural infrared radiation in the human body. This kind of stimulation has been shown to boost the immune system, lower the effect of inflammatory factors, and increase cerebral blood flow.

Research on the Benefits of Moxibustion, by Tohya Kazou, Ph.D (from the November 2002 issue of NAJOM) indicates that moxa:-

  • Brings an inflammatory response to the area
  • Chemicals from moxa left over after burning have a positive effect on the immune cells of the body
  • Increases circulation of lymphocytes in the body and helps produce interferons in the body
  • Marked increase of the circulation of white blood cells in the body

I use moxibustion in almost all my acupuncture treatments. I have found it tremendously beneficial in conditions of pain or stiffness, fatigue, mild depression, and especially with chronic conditions.

Also, moxibustion is an effective and inexpensive form of home therapy, which is easy to learn from an acupuncturist who has studied Japanese moxibustion therapy.

During pregnancy I use moxa to help prepare mums-to-be for labour. Also with low iron levels, breech births, nausea and to help with many other common complaints and discomforts. For more information click here.

“A disease that may not be treated by acupuncture may be treated by moxibustion”
Chapter 73, Lingshu Jing