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Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese technique that can be used in conjunction with acupuncture. In moxibustion, a practitioner will burn the herb mugwort to help with healing.

Mugwort itself has been used in folk medicine across many different cultures. The herb increases blood circulation, which is why using it on the acupuncture points is so effective.

The flow of Qi can be separated into four different elements: hot, cold, warm or cool. Moxibustion is an appropriate treatment for people who have a cold ailment. This technique warms up the meridians and rids the body of the cold condition.

Moxibustion comes in two different forms: direct and indirect. In the first variety, a small amount of mugwort is placed on the patient’s skin on an acupuncture point and then burned. A practitioner will either let the herb burn entirely (called “scarring” because it produces blisters) or will snuff it out before it reaches the skin (“non-scarring”). During the direct moxibustion treatment, you will feel gentle heat at the point of application. There won’t be any pain unless the practitioner is using the scarring method.

Indirect moxibustion is accomplished by lighting a stick of mugwort. This stick, which looks like a small cigar, is held close to the acupuncture point until the area turns red. Some practitioners attach a small stick of mugwort to an acupuncture needle. The stick is ignited and the needle transfers the heat to the acupuncture point.

Moxibustion is completely safe, but shouldn’t be used if you have a hot or warm condition. A qualified practitioner will be able to diagnose your condition and classify it so that you’ll receive moxibustion only when you need it.

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