Moxibustion (or Moxa) is a therapeutic technique derived from traditional Chinese medicine, characterized by the prolonged application of heat to points and meridians typical of acupuncture.
By exploiting the healing abilities of a medicinal plant – Artemisia vulgaris-, moxibustion generates heat and restores the normal flow of body energy.
The etymology of the term dates back to the word Moe Kusa, a term from Japanese culture, which translated means “burning grass”.
The history of the practice of moxibustion is very old. The first historical signs of this therapy date back to the 2nd-1st century BC. Inside the Han Tombs of Mawangdui, in Hunan province, archaeologists found a silk book on the subject, along with other typical practices of traditional Chinese medicine. Even today this ancient practice (some argue that it predates the practice of acupuncture) is used in Chinese hospitals that still implement traditional medicine.
As we know, the use of heat for healing purposes is one of the foundations of traditional Chinese medicine. The moxibustion technique consists of burning a quantity of mugwort, packed in cigars or cones, on or near the skin.
Thus, it is possible to obtain a slow and beneficial heating of the skin and all the structures involved.
Sometimes a harmless reddening of the skin can occur, so it is important that the operator, also depending on the specific sensitivity of the subject to be treated, knows how to dose well the movements to be carried out, the distance to be maintained (at least 3 cm of skin) and application times (about ten minutes per point). In this way, unpleasant pain and burns will be avoided.
Particularly indicated in case of joint and neck pain related to cold and humidity or in the presence of bronchitis and asthma. Moxibustion should be avoided in high fever, high blood pressure, and on areas of the skin that are not intact. It is also not recommended for young children.