What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion (or moxa) is a therapeutic method of classical Chinese medicine that involves the application of heat to stimulate acupuncture or other points on the body. As both techniques are complementary to one another and rooted in the same medical tradition, acupuncture and moxibustion are often combined. In many cases, moxa can significantly enhance the effects of acupuncture treatment.
At Acupuncture West London, we offer moxibustion therapy as part of any acupuncture treatment when it is appropriate to do so and at no extra cost. Additionally, we offer moxibustion therapy as a stand-alone therapy for turning breech presentation in pregnancy. Read more about this treatment by clicking here.
Traditionally, moxibustion involves the burning of Chinese mugwort – a small, spongy herb – at specific points on the body. Due to its warming nature, it has a stimulating effect on the body, helps to build energy levels and further enhances the vitalising effects of acupuncture.
With Traditional moxa being strongly aromatic and pungent by nature, at Acupuncture West London, we use the highest quality smokeless moxa for your comfort and well-being.
Moxibustion is frequently used in the treatment of the following conditions:
- Common cold and respiratory disorders
- Hay fever and seasonal allergies
- Immune system support
- Pregnancy support (including turning breech baby during pregnancy)
- Digestive Conditions (irritable bowel disease (IBS), ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers, chronic diarrhoea, etc.)
- Pain management (osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, injuries that do not heal quickly, meniscal tears, etc.)
- Musculoskeletal problems (stiff and painful muscles, tendons and joints)
- Cold conditions
At Acupuncture West London, we offer four types of moxibustion treatment or heat therapy:
With this technique, the practitioner holds a burning moxa stick over the affected area about two to three inches above the skin. There is no direct contact with the body, but the patient receives a warm, stimulating effect at the area of treatment. This technique is particularly useful when used on the abdomen in the treatment of digestive or gastrointestinal problems.
With this technique, the practitioner places moxa cones at specific points directly on the patient’s skin. The cones are lit and remain in place to provide warmth directly to the area of treatment. They are then removed before they burn down too low. The process is repeated as necessary. This technique is particularly useful for treating musculoskeletal and menstrual problems.
With this technique, the practitioner places moxa cones on the handles of the acupuncture needles themselves. The cones are lit and remain in place to provide warmth directly to the tip of the needle, thereby facilitating the transferral of heat deep into the tissues. When they have burnt out, the practitioner will remove the cones. The process is repeated as necessary. This technique is particularly useful for musculoskeletal and joint problems, as well as creating an energising effect by bringing heat deep into the body.
TDP Heat Lamp
Thermal Design Power (TDP) lamps are far infrared heating devices that are designed to accelerate natural healing processes. Far infrared (below visible light spectrum) emissions are thought to penetrate deep into the body, increasing microcirculation and thus assisting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to injured cells while eliminating cellular waste. TDP lamps are increasingly used to support acupuncture treatments and as an alternative to moxibustion; for example, on the upper and lower abdomen or back, on painful areas in the event of musculoskeletal injury and for rheumatic and arthritic conditions.