Moxibustion or ‘Moxa’ is the application of a therapeutic warming herb near the surface of the skin. It produces a mild, warming effect, which expels pathogens, moves Qi and blood in the channels, relieves stagnation, muscle stiffness and pain. It is used to strengthen the body’s vitality and stimulates its natural capacity to heal. Moxa creates an overall healing environment from the penetrating heat. It is produced from the dried and compressed leaves of the mugwort plant. I generally use Moxa as an adjunct to acupuncture, boosting the therapeutic effect of the treatment.

What can Moxa be used for?
Moxa is used for acute or chronic pain due to injury or arthritis. It is especially good for pain that is relieved by the application of heat.
Moxa is very good for gynecological and obstetric conditions, including menstrual pain, breech babies or late-term pregnancy.
Moxa is excellent at boosting the immune system and protecting against colds and flu.
Moxa is well known to boost energy levels.

What happens during a Moxa session?
There are many forms and ways to use moxa. I mostly use a smokeless moxa stick, which is made from compressed mugwort leaves, looking like a cigar. This can be lit and allowed to smolder, producing a unique form of penetrating heat. The smoldering moxa stick is held near the surface of the skin over specific areas, that mostly correspond to certain acupuncture points, until the area becomes warm. The moxa stick never touches the skin.

What can I expect to feel?
Most patients love the moxa treatments and report a feeling of relaxation and a comforting and pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin. You should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring unless the moxa touches the skin or is kept in one spot for too long.

What does Moxa smell like?
The smoke and odor of moxa makes it a bit of an inconvenience to use. This is especially so if the clinic is not well equipped with a good ventilation and purification system. The smokeless moxa does still smell and produce smoke. Taking all of this into account, it is best and easiest to use in a well-ventilated room or outside area. Moxa can easily be used at home. I teach my patient how to safely use the indirect moxa on themselves to strengthen the effect of the treatment between appointments.