Moxibustion Therapy for Digestion

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese therapy using mugwort herb. It is an important treatment in Japan, China, Tibet, Vietnam, Mongolia and, Korea. In this treatment, suppliers grind the mugwort herb and fluff it, fluff is burnt by the practitioners and makes a stick that looks like a cigar. They burn it on the patients skin or use indirectly with acupuncture needles.

Moxibustion is used with other forms of Chinese medicine to stimulate the flow of qi, strengthen the blood and, also to maintain the general health. There are two types of moxibustion: Indirect and direct.

Direct moxibustion:

In this method, small cone-shaped moxa is placed on the acupuncture point and is burnt. This is again categorised into two: scarring and non-scarring. In scarring moxibustion, mugwort is placed at a point and ignited. It is allowed to remain on the skin until it is burnt completely. This leads to blisters and local scarring. In non-scarring moxibustion, mugwort herb is placed on the point and ignited. It is extinguished before the skin is burnt.

Indirect moxibustion:

This is the most popular treatment as it has low risk of burning or pain. In this method, practitioner lites one end of the moxa stick, resembling like a cigar, holds it very close to the area that is being treated for few minutes until the skin turns red. Another method of indirect moxibustion uses acupuncture needles and mugwort herb. Needle is inserted into the acupoint and retained for few minutes. The tip of the needle is ignited. The heat is generated to the surrounding areas. Moxa is extinguished and needles are removed once the desired results are obtained.

Side effects of Moxibustion:

The following are the list of side effects that are caused due to moxibustion.

  • According to American Cancer Society, miscarriage is also caused due to moxibustion.
  • The smoke produced when moxa stick burnt causes
    complications in people suffering with respiratory problems.
  • Some people in Japan complained that this increased drowsiness and fatigue.
  • The moxa stick causes burn on the skin when it is holded closer to the skin.
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