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Moxibustion is a method of heating specific acupuncture points on the body by burning an herb called Artemesia mugwort.  Mugwort gets its botanical name from the Greek moon goddess Artemis, a patron of women, and is a wonderful herb for gynecological conditions.  In Chinese Herbal Medicine it is used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding and uterine bleeding and to increase blood circulation to the pelvic area to treat menstrual pain.  Moxibustion (applying heat near the skin) has successfully been used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position before childbirth.

Any type of heat applied to the body can increase flow of qi and blood.  Heat lamps, heating pads, or warming linaments can give similar effect to moxibustion.  But the heat combined with the powerful healing properties of mugwort gives moxibustion a proven advantage.

Mugwort is used because of its acrid, spicy odor which makes it able to travel through all of the meridians, regulate qi and blood, and expel cold.  One of mugwort’s active components borneol, is commonly used in topical therapies for its analgesic effects.  Other explanations for the use of mugwort, as opposed to some other herb material, is that it grows easily in many places, in inexpensive, and burns slowly.

What is moxibustion used for?

Moxibustion can be used to prevent diseases and maintain health as part of tonification treatments to help strengthen the organs and immune system.  It warms the meridians and expels cold.  It can be used to promote circulation over areas of chronic pain or muscle tension.  It is especially used for pain that is worse with exposure to cold or damp weather, as with some types of arthritis pain.  When applied to acupuncture points that strengthen and lift the qi, moxibustion can boost the immune system and help with fatigue, digestive issues, and much more.

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