Moxabustion in Winter

In Chinese Medicine moxa-bustion is especially popular in fall and  winter, when it is used to warm the channels and strengthen the organ complexes, especially the Adrenal-Digestive axis (Kidney-Spleen).
In fact, it is so much a part of our work, that in Chinese, Acupuncturists are actually called Acupuncture-Moxabustionists.

There are hundreds of varieties of moxa. One is the stick type you can get at any Chinese Herb shop. What you do is light a moxabustion stick and hold it close enough to your skin so as to feel heat without burning. Do this at the locations Zu San Li, San Yin Jiao, Qi Hai and Zhong Wan. Have someone else do it at the space between your physical Kidneys around the 2nd Lumbar vertabrae. What I do in my acupuncture practice here in San Diego is show people the locations, so they can do it at home, first thing in the morning, once or twice a weak.

Acupuncture "points" are actually caves. They are depressions in the surface of the body where the Qi of the channels is easily influenced. The idea is to warm these spaces gradually and deeply; moxa-bustion should feel pleasant, even wonderful. Regular moxabustion (once a fortnight) before and during the winter season will prevent colds and remedy arthritic and other types of pains. In most circumstances application of moxa is beneficial anywhere there is pain. If it feels good, do it!

Moxa sticks are cheap--a dollar for a large cigar sized stick of compressed "moxa" (common name mugwort, latin artemesia vulgaris, Mandarin Chinese ai ye ). To extinguish your moxa stick dip the burning end into some water or sand. Break this carbonized part off next use. Moxa is one of the best self-help tools in Chinese medicine.

Here is a link to a great FB page with everything you ever wanted to know about classical usage and current research on the topic

Copyright Eyton J. Shalom, M.S., L.Ac. San Diego, CA All Rights Reserved, Use With PermissionAyurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diego