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Dan Lloyd 



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Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. Moxibustion has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years; in fact, the Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means "acupuncture-moxibustion." The purpose of moxibustion, as with most forms of traditional Chinese medicine, is to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of, and maintain general health.

How does moxibustion work? Does it hurt?

There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. In direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. The patient will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain.

Indirect moxibustion is currently the more popular form of care. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the becomes warm and the area may turn red. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. 
A needle is inserted into an acupuncture point and retained. The tip of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat to the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the mona is extinguished and the needle(s) removed.

What is moxibustion used for?

In traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion is used on people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The burning of moxa is believed to expel cold and warm the meridians, which leads to smoother flow of Qi and blood. 

In Western medicine, moxibustion has successfully been used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. A landmark study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1998 found that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had foetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the Bladder meridian. 

Other studies have shown that moxibustion increases the movement of Qi and Blood when used in conjunction with traditional acupuncture and therefore helps relieve pain.

Why do acupuncturists use mugwort? Why not use some other herb?

Mugwort, also known as Artemisia Japonica, has a long history of use in folk medicine. Research has shown that it acts on increasing blood and Qi circulation, the Herb emanates a far-infared frequency that penetrates the body and unlike a piece of charcoal does not cook the surface.

Are there any precautions I should be aware of?

Although Moxibustion has been safely used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it is not for everyone. Because it is used specifically for patients suffering from cold or stagnant constitutions, it should not be used on anyone diagnosed with too much heat. 

Burning raw moxa can produce a great deal of smoke and a pungent odour. It is suggested that Patients with respiratory problems may request that their practitioner use smokeless moxa sticks as an alternative.

Dan has been an acupuncturist since 1999 treating young and old, healthy and unwell. 

In the delightful surroundings of North Somerset my treatment rooms compliment the calmness of a perfect treatment.
Some popular questions asked by patients in the past. If you have more, please contact me for more answers.
What is Moxibustion?
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