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What is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion CTAt Acupuncture Associates we offer a number of adjunct therapies to work in conjunction with acupuncture therapy and treatments and one practice is that of moxibustion. A traditional Chinese medicine therapy that uses moxa, also known as the mugwort herb, moxibustion is used to warm regions of the body and acupuncture points with the goal of stimulating circulation through the points and inducing a better flow of blood and qi (vital energy). Moxibustion involves the burning of mugwort to facilitate healing. Acupuncturists and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine will use moxibustion to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi and maintain general heath.

Moxibustion can be performed in two ways: direct and indirect. Direct moxibustion involves the placing of a small amount of moxa on the tip of an acupuncture point and burned. Within direct moxibustion there is scarring and non-scarring. In the scarring practice the moxa is lit and allowed to burn out completely before the acupuncture needle is inserted. This form of moxibustion can lead to blisters and scarring after healing. With non-scarring moxibustion the moxa is lit but extinguished by the acupuncturist before it burns the skin.

With indirect moxibustion one end of a moxa stick is lit and the practitioner will hold the burning end close to the area being treated for several minutes until the skin turns red. Another form of indirect moxibustion is when an acupuncture needle is inserted into a meridian point and retained. The tip of the needle is wrapped in moxa and lit. This generates heat to point and surrounding area. After several minutes the moxa is extinguished and the needle is removed. Whether direct or indirect, the practice of moxibustion should not result in any pain or blistering.

The goal of moxibustion is the smoother flow of blood through the body's meridian points. Acupuncturists believe that disease and other debilitating conditions are the result of a block in the flow of qi, or energy, and that this block needs to be unclogged in order for healing to begin. Moxibustion is commonly used in the treatments of colds and other stagnant conditions. Another popular use for moxibustion is to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position. Some studies have shown moxibustion to be effective in moving the fetus in pregnant women as well as reducing the symptoms of menstrual cramps.

If you're interested in learning more about moxibustion and how it can be used to help treat specific conditions contact Acupuncture Associates of Hartford. Under the guidance of licensed acupuncturist Marc Gerstein and clinical assistant Leslie Franks, Acupuncture Associates can perform moxibustion treatments and therapies in a safe and relaxing environment to help patients relieve painful and stagnant conditions.

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