Moxibustion is heat therapy that uses the herb mugwort, or Artemisia vulgaris, to provide stimulus to the acupoints. Historically, moxibustion has been as important in an acupuncture treatment as using needles, however these days it is less commonly used. I practice a traditional Japanese version of moxibustion where the mugwort is rolled into a tiny rice sized cone and burned directly on the skin. This is sometimes referred to as scarring moxibustion, but I prefer to just call it direct moxibusiton as it leaves no scar at all. The heat is kept to a minimum but several cones will be burned on the same point providing a repetitive, deeply penetrating heat to a very specific acupoint.
Different acupoints will become active in different people depending on the condition and these treatment foci respond profoundly to very direct heat. If the point location is slightly off then the effect will not be as good, so accurate point location is really the key here.
Direct moxibustion has been shown to elevate platelet and white blood cell count in the body for days or even weeks. This research proves that moxibustion has a direct and prolonged effect on the blood. When speaking of this using Chinese medicine terminology, we simply say that moxibustion moves qi and blood stagnation, and tonifies the blood.
I use moxibustion therapy for many different ailments including pain, fatigue, depression, inflammation, cold/flu, and fertility to name a few.
This is one of the most powerful forms of traditional Chinese medicine I have encountered in practice; and since adopting the Japanese style of moxibustion I have seen much better results overall in my clinic.