Moxibustion or Moxa for short is the practice of burning mugwart leaf in order to warm acupoints and facilitate healing. For ease of use the finest part of the mugwart leaf is compressed into a cigar-like roll or stick. The Moxa stick is then lit and held over the acupoint.
Moxa is a useful way to continue your treatment at home. Your practitioner will provide you with location notes and details to suit the needs of your body. Moxa each point for minimum of 10mins per day if possible or as your practitioner has recommended.
- To begin place a towel under the area being treated and set a small ceramic or glass dish to one side.
- Light one end of the Moxa stick with a lighter or if using smokeless Moxa, hold over a gas stove hob.
- Hold the stick with the lit end over the acupoint maintaining a distance of about a centimeter so that there is never any direct contact with the skin.
- As the point becomes warm, briefy lift the stick away before returning it to the original position. This is known as the Pecking Technique. You should never feel uncomfortably hot sensations and definitely no burning!
- Any ash that forms on the end of the stick can be gently brushed off into the small dish so that the Moxa stick remains hot.
- When treatment has finished, place the Moxa stick in a glass jar with the lid screwed on firmly so that the Moxa stick is deprived of oxygen and cannot continue to burn.
Moxa Points for General Well-being
Kidney 1 – Yong Quan
Lies in depression found approximately one third the distance between the base of the second toe and the heel, it often feels a bit soft and tender to push on. It has a grounding effect and is used to anchor the yang qi.
Kidney 3 – Tai Xi
Lies in depression between in internal ankle bone and Achilles tendon it is used to nourish the kidney yin and yang qi and strengthen the lower back.
Spleen Channel -1,3,9
9- Located on the inside of the lower leg, in the tender soft depression against the tibia bone to clear damp.
3- On the depression on the inside of the foot. Located by sliding the fingertips along the big toe and over the ball of the foot to strengthen spleen qi.
1- On the medial corner of the big toe nail to control bleeding.
Stomach 36 – Zu San Li
Located a hand span below the knee and one thumb width of the bone on the lateral side of the leg. Harmonises stomach, calms the spirit alleviates pain & boosts energy.
Ren 4 – Guan Yuan
Located on the mid-line, four nger widths bellow the belly button.
A strong nourished point in the body, toni es vital energy and warms the womb.
Moxa Points for Pregnancy, Birth and Brestfeeding
Moxa for Breech Babies
The main therapeutic point used to turn a breech or posterior baby, Zhi Yin, is found on the outside edge of the little toe, by the corner of the nail. Moxa this point for 20 minutes on each foot in the evenings if possible.
Moxa for Induction
San Yin Jiao is located a hand-width up from the top of the ankle bone, this area will often be tender when pushed. Moxa at this point aims to stimulate oxytocin production to help dilate the cervix.
Moxa for Mother Warming
Best performed 4 days post birth as long as your not suffering from excessive sweating. Run the Moxa stick between the bellybutton and the pubic bone for 5 – 10mins or until you feel warm. Repeat along the spine, from the bottom of the sacrum to the small of the back, mirroring the front line.
Moxa for Breastfeeding
Shao Ze is located on the outside edge of the little finger, by the top corner of the nail. Moxa this point for 5 – 10 mins once a day when needed. This point will increase the blood flow, if lactation is stagnated on the left you would moxa the left hand.