Moxa or moxibustion is an Asian medicine technique that is used on acupuncture points and or areas of the body. Moxabustion is the mugwort plant. This plant is known for its ability to deeply warm and activates the channel systems.
Please consult with your practitioner of Asian medicine before using moxa for the first time and or when trying moxa in new areas. Moxabustion is contraindicated on specific areas of the body and points and is inappropriate for a variety of symptoms and constitutional make-ups.
- When using a stick of moxa: be sure to peel off the glossy outer sheath of paper that has print on it. Keep the white paper underneath this sheath intact. The white layer of paper is essential, as it holds the moxa in place and makes it possible to burn as a stick.
- If using a smokeless moxa stick: be sure to remove the plastic covering, if there is one.
- Light the stick evenly red across the entire tip.
- Hold or circle the moxa about 1″- 1 1/2″ away from the skin. NEVER touch this hot tip directly to the skin- you will get burned! (Unless using a tiger warmer- a metal contraption that holds the moxa inside of it. If you are using this, ask your practitioner for specific instructions.)
- Keep the moxa over an area until the heat becomes sufficiently warm (don’t burn yourself!). You can pause then repeat on the same spot until the warmth has penetrated deeply below the skin and feels sufficient.
- To put out the moxa stick: snuff-out hot tip in the center of a bowl of uncooked rice. The rice will put the moxa stick by smothering it. You can also run water over the hot tip, although it may be hard to relight if you put it out with water. Please do not allow the moxa stick to go out on its own- it will likely continue to burn. Be cautious: the moxa stick can create a powerful heat. Please put the moxa stick out thoroughly before leaving the room.
Unless specified otherwise by your Asian medicine practitioner:
Do not use moxa on a person who has:
-night sweats and hot flashes
-during hot days
-on the face
-on red/swollen areas of the body
-over large blood vessels (aka large body creases- underarms/groin crease/behind knees)
-if a person has diabetes
-over numb areas of the body
Again please consult with your practitioner of Asian medicine before using moxa for the first time and or when trying moxa on new areas not originally recommended to you.