What You Need To Know About Moxibustion

Lia Thomson Lifestyle /
acupuncture moxibustion chinese medicine
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It has become increasingly common to pop an ibuprofen pill whenever we feel some kind of pain, stiffness, or cramps. But what if we were to tell you that there are natural ways to get rid of these daily painful occurrences? Taking an anti-inflammatory pill can lead to long-term negative effects, so why not find a way to restore our body while also maintaining our health for the long run? Here's how.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are very different techniques used to create balance and harmony within the body. One way is through the treatment of acupuncture, and the other is moxibustion. The benefits of the latter can provide patients with pain-relieving effects. So how does it work?

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Our body has numerous meridians or energetic pathways based on an ancient Chinese medical text. These channels each connect to different points in our arms and legs that correspond with a different points in our organs. When the flow of the energy (qi) gets stuck, that's when pain occurs, but these treatments help restore flowing qi to encourage healing in the body. While in acupuncture, these points are activated by using a tiny needle, in moxibustion, the practitioner burns a version of the dried mugwort herb on the meridian points to activate the energy flow.

TCM may be more beneficial for long-term effects as it focuses on the entirety of the body. While in Western medicine practices, the treatments are typically geared toward one specific problem when really our body works as a whole. "Combining moxa with acupuncture works synergistically," said Sian James, lead acupuncturist at Ora, a New York-based acupuncture studio. "The acupuncture and moxa together [can] further promote the physiological response of increased circulation." The treatment can help a variety of different concerns. "Moxa works to drive blood flow to the uterus, which can help calm severe menstrual cramps," said acupuncturist and herbalist Giselle Wasfie, founder of Remix Lifestyle. "Burning moxa also has an exterior benefit through its scent, which is slightly sweet and herbal, and can be very soothing to the spirit, naturally opening the heart." If you suffer from chronic pain, check out these TCM remedies to relieve the discomfort and restore the balance in your energy flow.