The most common form of moxibustion practised in the west is indirect moxabustion. Traditionally, the practitioner burns Moxa (mugwort herb) against the skin to treat illness and pain.  In Indirect moxibustion, the moxa is formed into a cigar shape and burned an inch above a specific location on the body. The practitioner may also place burning moxa at the end of an acupuncture needle.  Heat is transferred from the needle to the desired area.

In direct moxabustion the moxa is formed into a small cone and burned directly on the skin, creating intense heat and often blistering. This intense heat causes an elevation in blood cells stimulating the immune system and reducing pain and inflammation.  This method is seldom used in Western acupuncture clinics, as it may cause a burn.

Moxibustion is used to treat a variety of disorders including stress, tension, anxiety, vertigo, arthritis, menopause symptoms, nerve inflammation and neurological disorders.

Moxibustion is not considered safe for those with diabetes, and pregnant women should consult their physician if considering this therapy. 

Moxibustion is practised by registered acupuncturists and traditional Chinese medicine practitioners.

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Specific Techniques