Using Moxa - Acupuncture without the needles

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Using Moxa - Acupuncture without the needles

3rd April 2014 02:52 PM

Author: Sue Whalley-Lloyd


Whilst in Turkey recently, trying to learn some Turkish, I was, more importantly, undertaking CPD (continuous professional development) to extend my knowledge of Moxa, both to support my use of acupuncture needles and as an alternative to needles.

My interest had been caught during the British Acupuncture Conference in October which provided research evidence that moxa can be used to naturally increase the white blood cell count in cancer patients requiring chemo therapy, helping them to move through their treatment more easily without delays.

So for those of you who haven't heard of moxa before (unlikely if you've ever been to our centre) it is a herb - mugwort, latin name artemisiae argyi folium, and the use of moxa is referred to as moxibustion. Moxa is formed into a roll ( like a cigar) or cones, or placed in a box or on a needle and then set alight to warm an acupuncture point or area of the body. Cones are placed either directly or indirectly via ginger/salt/garlic on an acupuncture point and lit. If using a moxa stick the end is lit and moved around an area or over a point.

Whichever technique is used, the patient feels a pleasant sensation of warmth.

I do already use moxa with acupuncture to good effect eg; to support fertility, frozen shoulders, chronic back pain, sleep issues, asthma etc and on its own for turning breach babies and treating some childhood illnesses. I am however fascinated by how much more it can do on its own - opening up treatment for those of you out there who really can't cope with the idea of needles!

Using moxa can also establish a partnership between patient and practitioner since many of the traditional Chinese 'prescriptions' require moxa to be used every day or every other day.  So training can be given in the use of a moxa stick with practitioner check-ups every 10-14 days. For those of you who are happy to get involved, this can be a useful alternative to weekly or twice weekly appointments and can produce quicker results than spreading out treatment sessions over many weeks.

In the same way that needles can be used to maintain health, moxa can also be used as a health 'tonic' to support the immune system, to enhance energy flows and for general well being. 

You can imagine how excited I was when recent research reported in the press, mapped the temperature of various parts of the body when experiencing certain emotions.  This consistently showed that some areas of the body become cooler or warmer depending on the emotion experienced.  Perhaps this is one reason for the positive effect of moxa when used to address emotional upheaval such as depression and stress ....

So why not take time now to book in and do something positive for yourself; whether you are needle phobic, short of time or money, want to get involved or just need some TLC!

See you soon, Sue

Tags: Moxibustion

Treatments: Acupuncture, Acupuncture for Fertility, Moxibustion for Breech

The views expressed in these blogs are those of the blog authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Bridge Centre for Natural Health.

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