According to ancient doctors, the guiding principle was the balance.
Naturally, a cold and weak patient needs heat and strength. In traditional Chinese medicine, the principal cure to this affliction is called moxibustion or moxa.
The name «moxa» is the english version of the Chinese word «mogusa», that means «burning herbs». This practice consist on burning cigars and artemisia cone on or near the body.
Moxa would have been native from north China, 3000 years ago and burned on acupuncture spot well before the needle advent. Today, moxa is used to treat a wide panel of issues, such as chronic digestive disruption, menstrual disorders, fertility problems and advanced diseases like tuberculosis, Lyme disease and cancer.
It is very efficient for pain, we use it for patient suffering pain and sometimes when needles are not enough.
Moxibustion isn’t as known as acupuncture, but available literature demonstrates positives effects on blood, immunity and cells regeneration. A 1998 study published in the «Journal of the American Medical Association» has revealed that 75% of pregnant women who had the foetus not positioned properly, were able to turn over the initial position thanks to burned moxa used on an acupuncture spot.
Whereas moxa can be considered as a minor part of Chinese medicine in the West, ancient doctors have high esteem of it. In the Nei Jing - a fundamental text in Chinese medicine - it is said that moxa «does what the needle can not do».
Moxa is made out of a fertile herb called artemisia vulgaris, often prescribed for uterine complaints, such as labour pains, menstrual cramps and important bleeds, as well as digestive disorders, hormonal and circulatory.
For a use in moxibustion, artemisia is transformed into a spongy material called moxa wool.
A moxa burner is filled with burning moxa wool, it has to be hold at one inch above the body.
Moxa smoke has a calming effect on the nervous system. Once that patient overcome the weird smell, they can enjoy it.
Some patient drift toward an euphoric sleep during the treatment.
Moxa’s practice is very beneficial, but sometimes it is not appropriate, in pathology such as fever, infection, eczema and some others signs of excess of heat. The abdomen spots and the lower back have to be avoid during pregnancy.
Direct and indirect
Moxa’s technique is divided in two categories: direct and indirect. The direct method, that necessitates a qualified specialist, burns directly one or several cones on the skin. With the indirect method, a hot moxa cigar is situated at about one centimetre above the body.
The indirect method is easy to learn and, often, a practitioner can give to patient a moxa cigar and an acupuncture spot in order to maintain and continue its treatment at home.
Hold the heat above the prescribed spot, and take it off when it is too hot. Abandon the area a few seconds to cool off, and resume the treatment.
You have to overcome the superficial feeling of heat until the heat penetrates deeply in tissues. «Once you felt the heat penetrate, you know that you done a good job and that you can shut off the stick. A session lasts usually between 5 and 10 minutes.