The Chinese character for acupuncture is translated as acupuncture-moxibustion. Moxibustion is a method used to warm acupuncture points in order to move stagnated blood and improve circulation through deep heating. Moxa, the herb used in moxibustion, holds unique healing properties and nurturing qualities.
Moxibustion is used when patients require warmth and tonification to facilitate balance. It is also used in areas of local stagnation, such as a sprained ankle, to increase the flow of blood to the area; hence encouraging the healing process. Moxa is manufactured from an herb, Mugwort (Artermisa vulgaris), and is used in various forms: moxa sticks, moxa wool and moxa cones.
Small moxa cones, as seen above, are placed on the tip of specific acupuncture needles and ignited. Burning moxa gives off an earthy smell. For patients sensitive to the smoke, other treatments beside moxa are available. While some patients find the warmth of the moxa quieting, others are invigorated. In general, most people find treatment with moxa nurturing and helpful to their conditions.