Moxibustion is a form of external chinese medicine therapy that use ground mugwort leaves as the primary material to heat, burn or fumigate acupuncture points or near the body meridians. The moxibustion therapy is found accidentally following the discovery of the fire and then further advanced with modification of the herbs medicinal to achieved better therapeutic effect using the channel propensity of the individual herbs. It is often used independently or in conjunction with acupuncture or massage therapy.
The most common moxibustion method is the moxibustion using the moxa stick or moxa cone in which the ground mugwort leaves is pressed into moxibustion stick or moxibustion cone . The gold moxa in the moxa wool contains better quality and quantity of the mugwort leaves. Both the moxibustion wool and moxibustion stick can be used directly on the acupuncture point on the skin. Indirect or insulated moxibustion is another type of moxibustion method where a layer of material (eg. Ginger, garlic, salt, Fuzi or fermented soy bean ) is first placed on the acupoint then the moxa cone is placed on top. With the better understanding of the herbal medicine , a non fire involvement of the moxibustion is also invented by using the burning or heat property of the herbal medicine to create the heat and stimulating therapeutic effect on the acupoint. This type of moxibustion is known as non-combustion medicinal moxibustion which is often used for chronic condition that required synergistic therapeutic effect from the herbs.
Mugwort leaves is also known as Ai Ye, it is aromatic, bitter, slightly warm, and non-toxic. In Ben Cao Cong Xin it is recorded that ‘The affect of Ai Ye is pure yang; it can return yang that is verging on expiration, open the twelve channels, mobilize the three yin, rectify blood and qi, expel cold-damp, warm the uterus, stop all bleeding, warm the center and relieve depression, regulate menstruation and quiet the foetus […] by performing moxibustion, all channels can be penetrated and a hundred diseases can be eliminated.’
Moxibustion often indicated for the cold patterns disease and yang deficiency condition, it is also applicable for some repletion-heat patterns. When the acupoints and moxibustion method is applied, moxibustion can provides rapid and good clinical results in cosmetic or heath related condition.