Moxibustion - an important element of traditional Chinese medicine
Moxibustion (also moxa therapy, moxa) is a component of traditional Chinese medicine, an effective treatment system that has been around for thousands of years. Moxibustion originated from the cold mountain region of Northern China. According to the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, it is supposed to treat diagnosed cold areas of the body as well as symptoms of exhaustion. Defined points on the skin along the meridians, (channels in which life energy qi flows), are stimulated by warming them. The warming effect is carried out by burning small amounts of Chinese mugwort. It consists of dried mugwort, a healing, spice plant, which is burned slowly and evenly, producing particularly mild and effective warmth.
In terms of Chinese conception the externally applied warmth turns energetic cold and dampness away, encourages the flow of qi and strengthens the yang (yang stands for body warmth and body power).
According to Chinese medicine, moxibustion can also help prevent and treat diseases. The Western idea suggests moxibustion improves circulation in the tissues, stimulates the metabolism and strengthens the immune system. The basis of any moxibustion treatment is a detailed diagnosis founded on traditional Chinese medicine. Moxibustion can be used to treat asthma, bronchitis, chronic pain, muscle tension as well as back pain.
In China and Japan, moxa cones are placed directly on the skin (direct moxibustion) and the resulting blisters are seen as part of the therapy. In Europe, a gentler, indirect moxibustion is used. This is done using mugwort coated moxa plasters, which are applied on particular points of the body to produce warmth. The plasters are easy to administer and are suitable for use at home.
Moxibustion should not be done on the face, head or near mucous membranes. If the treatment is not done properly, it can cause burns with blisters and scarring.
Related topics: Qi , Meridians , Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)