Moxibustion is one of the main therapeutic modalities used in
Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Chinese name for moxibustion is jiu(灸).
The procedure is a focused heat therapy which involves the burning of the
Chinese Herbs (Mugwort) over specific acupuncture points to positively
stimulate the body in a variety of ways. The moxa transfers warmth deeply
into the acupoint and increases circulation in the body, is used to activate and move energy, inducing a smoother flow of Qi and blood, as well as to treat the conditions associated with the "cold" or "yang deficiencies". In Chinese Medicine, It is claimed that moxibustion acts on the cold and dampness in the body.
There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect.
Direct moxibustion uses a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa placed on top of an acupuncture
point and burned.
Indirect moxibustion uses a moxa stick when a practitioner lights and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupoint and retained. The moxa is placed on top of the needle and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle is removed. The patients will experience a pleasant heating sensation, but should not experience any pain. Indirect moxibustion is the more popular form of use currently because there is a lower risk of burning.