Here at Eight Branches Acupuncture Lincoln, moxibustion therapy is a treatment option occasionally used alongside traditional acupuncture.
What is moxibustion therapy?
In common with acupuncture, moxibustion has a history dating back thousands of years. It involves the burning of the herb, usually mugwort, and is known as moxa. A heat lamp can often provide a similar effect, although the benefit of the actual burning herb is missing from such treatments. Throughout history the art of moxibustion has evolved considerably, and many different techniques have developed. It has often been viewed as the “poor relation” to acupuncture, but it can be a very effective treatment. Indeed there are practitioners who specialise purely in its use.
The herb has a very distinctive pungent aroma, which some people love and others less so. However most people find it very relaxing, the warm sensation it creates is often described as very comforting.
How is the moxa herb used?
Moxibustion has a multitude of functions, but is often used to introduce warmth into certain areas or channels of the body. It is usually burned close to the body, either as a cone on the end of a needle, or as a stick. Sometimes it can also be burned in a box which is placed on the body, usually the lower abdomen or lower back. Many women find this particularly beneficial to combat ‘period pains’. Occasionally ‘ricegrain moxa’ is used (which is as its name suggests, a tiny piece of moxa the size of a rice grain). This is applied directly to the skin which has been protected by a shield of special cream.
As with most things, moxibustion therapy is not always suitable for everyone. As with any aspect of your treatment, if it is considered as an appropriate option for your presenting condition, its use will be discussed as part of your consultation and consent agreed beforehand.
Is moxibustion therapy safe?
If moxibustion therapy forms part of your treatment, you will not be left alone during the treatment. This is also a requirement of the British Acupuncture Council Code of Safe Practice. You can be assured that safety is a priority here at Eight Branches Acupuncture.
Very occasionally it may be beneficial to experience more regular administering of moxibustion, such as between acupuncture appointments. In these instances, providing the patient can demonstrate their competence in its safe use (following a demonstration and explanation of the procedure) a moxa stick may be provided for self administration at home.