Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique in which a stick or cone of burning mugwort (called Ai Ye in TCM), a small, spongy herb, is used to facilitate healing. It is placed over an inflamed or affected area on the body. It is positioned over acupuncture points to help to warm meridians and dispel cold, clear phlegm and damp from the body, warm and helps strengthen the activity of the blood and the life energy, or stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health.
Moxibustion is almost always used in conjunction with acupuncture, as a complementary technique. It is a clinically effective treatment for common conditions such as inflammations, digestive disorders, frozen shoulders ,back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, women’s disorders, menstrual cramps, breech presentation.
Although moxibustion has been safely used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it is not for everyone. It is specifically used for patients suffering from cold or stagnant constitutions. It should not be used on anyone diagnosed with too much heat. Any patient who has asthma or respiratory problems should avoid the use of smoking moxa. Smokeless moxa can be used as an alternative.