Methods of Treatment
Moxibustion an herb, Artemisia Vulgaris a species of chrysanthemum, is vital to the practice of Chinese Medicine. The original word for acupuncture in Chinese is Zheng Jin meaning moxa-needle; showing the important link between moxibustion and acupuncture. Thousands of years ago acupuncture needles were large and crude, used mainly for blood letting or draining excess qi from the meridians. Moxabustion was used as the primary method to tonify or add energy into the meridians and support the system.
The method of moxibustion uses the wool of the Artemisia plant. The wool is purified to make a gold color and soft consistency, which is suitable for placing directly on the skin. It is then formed into small cones and lit so it smolders like incense. As soon as it reaches a hot temperature it is immediately removed from the patients skin and another cone it put in its place. This generally is done 2-3 times per point until a reddening or qi reaction is seen at the surface of the skin. A protective salve is placed on the skin to avoid burns.
Generally moxibustion is very pleasant and relaxing to the patient. It provides the patient with increased vitality, energy and strength, known as tonifying the qi and blood in TCM (traditional Chinese medicine). It also increases blood flow to muscles to ease soreness and pain and was often used by martial artists after injuries. Moxa also warms cold. Moxa is also used to prevent diseases and keep the immune system strong to prevent diseases.
Moxibustion is a cornerstone of my practice. I have seen excellent results in its ability to improve immunity, and increase white blood cells and red blood cells even in the most feeble and ill patients. In my work in the treatment of chemotherapy and radiation side effects at Longmont Hospital in Colorado, I saw numerous times where after treatments with moxa, patients lab results the next week would vastly improve. I find moxa to be as important as acupuncture in the treatment of my patients as it powerfully supports the body’s systems and allow them to return to a state of balance and harmony.