Moxibustion- A How-To Guide

Using Moxibustion Therapy at Home

Moxibustion (Moxa for short) is another method of stimulating an acupuncture point. Moxa is a compressed herb (Artemisia Argyi Folium) rolled into a stick that is lit and held over the acupuncture point. This stimulates and warms the acupoint to create a more tonifying experience than needling. It is easy to do at home with a little instruction and perfect to use in colder months. This therapy is used for (but not limited to) preventing colds and flus, strengthening the digestive system, and is well known for treatment for a breech presentation baby.

 What you will need:

·      Moxibustion stick (given to you by your acupuncturist)

·      A candle for lighting

·      Receptacle for ash-ing, such as an ashtray or ceramic dish

·      A glass, screw-top jar for extinguishing the stick (best when filled with a little rice)

 How to go about it:

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Light one end of the moxibustion stick over a candle. It takes a while to light the stick therefore using a candle is easier than using a lighter.

 

 

 

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You’ll know it’s ready when you can feel the warmth of the stick. NEVER let the moxibustion stick make direct contact with the skin. Gently hold the end of the stick near the back of your hand to feel if it’s warm, or gently blow on the stick to see if it is glowing.

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Now that it’s lit, find your acupuncture point of choice (or directed by your acupuncturist).

 

Stomach 36 is found by measuring the four fingers of your hand directly below the knee. Once you’re there, the point is one finger-breath from the hard tibia bone on the front of your lower leg.

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Hold the stick a few centimeters about the skin and over the acupuncture point. Direct the heat by using a pecking motion. If at any time if the point is feeling too warm, take a break for a few seconds.  

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Repeat on each leg for 5-10 minutes total. Ash the stick as needed to ensure that no moxa ash falls onto the skin.

 

UB 67 is the acupuncture point used to turn a breech or posterior positioned baby. The therapeutic time for this treatment is 20 minutes on each toe, 2 times per day.

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When you’re finished with your moxibustion treatment place the stick in the glass jar and screw the lid tight to extinguish.