Moxabustion

In traditional Chinese medicine, one effective means to bring about healing involves burning the ground up leaves of a spongy herb called mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris L.). Called moxibustion, this heat therapy has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years; in fact, the actual Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means “acupuncture moxibustion.” Burning mugwort, or moxa, has a distinct odor, which some people find relaxing. Some people with severe sensitivities to smoke may not be able to tolerate moxa. The essential oils in moxa have a significant effect. All over the world, mugwort has had an established reputation as a plant that keeps evil away. In European folk tradition, mugwort was put into dream pillows to prevent bad dreams. During moxibustion, the practitioner monitors the heat level, and works with the patient to provide a therapeutic level of heat while maintaining comfort and safety. The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi, and maintain general health. Specifically it can be used to relieve chronic pain, impotence, improve sexual drive, reduce stress, and increase one’s energy (Qi).