Moxibustion. It is a practice of oriental medicine . It is a treatment that uses the same points as acupuncture , but unlike acupuncture , it uses heat as a tool to relieve tension. The heat is transmitted by burning an herb called “moxa” obtained from the plant known by the name of Artemis ( Artemisia vulgaris ).


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  • 1 Moxibustion techniques
  • 2 Types of moxibustion.
  • 3 Effects of moxibustion
  • 4 Conceptualization
  • 5 Application of moxibustion
  • 6 Origin and history of Moxibustion
    • 1 The Altamisa plant
  • 7 See also
  • 8 Sources

Moxibustion techniques

There are two types of techniques that can be used in this treatment.

  1. Direct moxibustion: consists of placing a moxa cone the size of a grain on the acupuncture point . This is turned on and placed by the therapist on the patient’s skin and removed before he can burn it. A comfortable sensation of heat is experienced that penetrates deep into the skin .
  2. Indirect moxibustion: This involves heating the acupuncture points from a certain distance . One way to do this is by burning one of the moxa cones on the head of an acupuncture needle inserted in certain points, in this way the heat is transmitted through it.
  3. Another way is by using moxa packaged in the form of cigarettes or cigars. These are turned on and passed at a certain distance from the skin.

These techniques are intended to stimulate the known points in acupuncture to stimulate the flow of Qi or vital energy, seeking to generate well-being for the patient.
In general, moxibustion has about the same effectiveness as acupuncture, but there are studies that indicate that moxibustion has much more extensive and powerful effects.

Types of moxibustion.

There are different ways of applying Moxibustion: Moxibustion with cigars . In this method the pressed mugwort plant is used in pure form. One end is turned on and it goes to certain areas of the body, leaving a space of about 4 cm between the skin and the cigar. They can be used directly on the skin or on slices of ginger or garlic.
Moxibustion with Reionki . In this method, the Reionkis are used, which are instruments made up of an inner tube where the mugwort bar is housed and an outer tube that is applied to the body to introduce heat through the skin.
Moxibustion with cones. It is done using the mugwort plant pressed in the form of small cones that are placed on certain acupuncture points and lit to transmit the heat of the ember to the patient’s body.
Moxibustion with tempered needles . It consists of inserting a ball of mugwort over one end of the acupuncture needle and puncturing the point to be treated with the other end. When the mugwort is turned on, the heat is transmitted to the body through the needle.

Effects of moxibustion

  1. Improves blood and lymphatic circulation. When stimulating the acupuncture points with heat, the impulses provoked by the nerve endings of the skin cause the dilation of the capillaries increasing the circulation in the whole body. People who suffer from circulation problems in the extremities can benefit greatly from this treatment.
  2. It is more effective in relieving chronic ailments.
  3. It is a safer treatment than acupuncture, it has been used as a folk remedy for centuries in Asia, being used as a home therapy.
  4. Moxa treatments can be used not only to alleviate specific ailments but also to maintain good health .


Moxibustion is the inseparable sister of the needle (acupuncture). The first provides energy , heat, fuels energy stagnations that may exist in the body and the second provides magical regulation on the four levels: physical , mental, emotional and spiritual.
The word acupuncture in Chinese uses two characters: one means needle or acupuncture and the other means moxibustion. Therefore the two medical procedures are an inseparable part of this branch of Chinese Medicine. However, moxibustion can not only be used by a Chinese medicine therapist, but also has its application in self-therapy that anyone can use and whose effects should not be underestimated, since together with therapeutic Chi Kung (or Qi Gong) It will favor a better regulation and a greater stimulation of Chi, preventing alterations in the energy system, as well as helping in a multitude of problems, such as pain in the joints , also increasing the body’s defenses and stimulating your vital energy .
The name of this technique derives from the Japanese term mogusa. Mogusa is a kind of wool obtained by grinding the leaves of a plantknown as Artemisa Vulgaris. This “wool” is used to make a kind of cigars or small cones that when burned produce a more or less uniform heat, do not make sparks and their combustion is relatively slow. Western doctors called the combustion of the mogusa Moxibustion.

Moxibustion application


Application of moxibustion

This is a type of therapy that consists of applying heat to various parts of the body to restore and balance the body’s energy flow.
It is a discipline, very popular in China and Japan, where it is generally combined with Acupuncture, and from which excellent results are obtained in treatments to combat chronic ailments, such as arthritis , and relieve pain of different types.
To perform moxibustion, the ideal is to lie down in bed or on a sofa. This technique is applied in the anterior part of the body on three points of a very important channel called “Rem Jaique which is born in the perineum and ascends to the head and reaches the lower lip. The points to” moxar “are together from the navel downwards by a distance of one, two and three fingers (counted on the central line from navel down). Thus, the cigar is placed three to four centimeters above these points, until the skin begins to redden ; This will be the signal that indicates that the area has been well heated (we should never burn the skin).
On the back, support our hands on the hips with the thumbs placed towards the lumbar area, the two points where the thumbs fall on both sides of the spine – approximately two fingers from the peak of the 2nd lumbar vertebra – are the points to mox in the back. These points are very important since they give energy to the kidney, a fundamental organ where – according to this medicine – the most important vital energy of the human being resides.
At a local level, Moxibustion helps in:

  1. Joint disorders (such as osteoarthritis or arthritis)
  2. Cold or wet conditions (lumbar stiffness)

On a broader level, Moxibustion helps to:

  1. Stimulate the internal yang of the body (fatigue)
  2. Regulate the digestive system (nausea, heavy digestion)
  3. Regulate the female reproductive system (menstruation disorders)
  4. Regulate spleen ki (permanent tiredness, fatigue of arms and legs, need to sleep)
  5. Increased production of white blood cells, red blood cells, and hemoglobin.
  6. Improved clotting time and ability to generate antibodies.

Origin and history of Moxibustion


Artemisia vulgaris. Plant from which Moxa comes

The formation and development of Moxibustion have a long historical period. It originated after fire entered the life of man . It is quite possible that when they heated their bodies they accidentally discovered relief or disappearance of diseases by applying heat to certain parts of the body. Then they looked for ways to apply heat to the body and discovered that the ground and pressed mugwort plant had a high heat concentration and cauterization power.
One of the first written treatises in which Moxibustion appears is the Huangdi nei jing or classic book of internal medicinewritten between the years 475 BC and 221 AD Later, other writings would appear among which the illustrated manual of acupuncture points and Moxibustion written in the year 1026 AD
Today, thanks to the spread of traditional Chinese medicine, Moxibustion is used with frequency throughout the West and in many countries of the world. It is a simple method, without harmful effects and that can be used locally by anyone following a few simple tips.

The Altamisa plant

In America, the native peoples had the mugwort as a sacred plant, and as a panacea. Europeans placed wisps of mugwort under their pillows to provoke dreams, and the grass was reminiscent of the practice of magic in Anglo-Saxon times. Its leaves were cured, dried and crushed in a mortar. The fiber obtained from this plant is yellow in color and when it is sifted, the fleece of the moxa is separated from the stems. Its most outstanding principle is its oil, whose smell is pleasant and aromatic and whose taste is bitter


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