The use of natural medicines was, at one time, the best and most effective way to treat pain. For example, willow bark — which contains the active ingredient in aspirin — was used to help relieve pain for millennia.
Another natural substance that has been used for centuries to provide pain relief is mugwort. Mugwort is a plant found in several parts of the world, and it’s often used in moxibustion. Moxibustion is a therapy in which the plant is burned near specific acupuncture points, and the body absorbs its healing properties through the skin.
Our goal at Central New Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness in Hazlet, New Jersey, is to help you heal by reducing your pain. Yuliya Chernyak, DAOM, uses alternative medicines and treatments to address a variety of conditions. In this blog, Dr. Chernyak explains more about what moxibustion is and how it can relieve pain and other ailments.
What is moxibustion?
Moxibustion is a treatment in which ground mugwort is burned near acupuncture pressure points. The healing properties are then absorbed into the body to reduce pain and other issues, ranging from hot flashes to kidney issues. This treatment has even been suggested as a substitute for some areas of the body where using acupuncture needles would not work.
Mugwort is a common plant from the plant family Artemisia moxa. The plant is native to Asia, Europe, and parts of North America. The medicinal qualities of mugwort exist in its roots, which are often used to make natural medicines and pain relievers.
Moxibustion helps to improve the flow of different chi, or energy, in the body. According to Chinese traditional medicinal practices, the body is composed of a number of chis flowing in different directions.
Each chi is responsible for a different bodily function. The pathways in the body through which the chis flow are called meridians. The goal of moxibustion is to warm these meridians to help increase your circulation and alleviate pain. If Dr. Chernyak determines that you’re a candidate for moxibustion, she may use it in conjunction with acupuncture therapy.
How does moxibustion work?
Dr. Chernyak instructs you to lay down in a particular position on a table. Then she identifies the acupuncture points on your body that would be best for the procedure. On each spot, Dr. Chernyak places a protective layer. Then she places cone-shaped clumps of ground mugwort, or moxa, onto the selected areas of your body. Then she lights them.
The treatment then warms your body’s meridians and promotes circulation. Dr. Chernyak monitors the moxa, and when it gets close to burning to the bottom, she removes it. You are not burned or hurt in any way during the process.
What are the benefits of moxibustion?
The precise science of moxibustion isn’t known, but many studies suggest it’s effective in treating a number of issues. Its most popular use is in relieving pain. However, moxibustion has shown promising results in treating kidney issues.
More specifically, it’s been shown to reduce serum creatinine. This serum can negatively affect kidney function if there’s too much of it. There’s also evidence to suggest that this treatment is effective in reducing the severity of hot flashes and ulcerative colitis and in reducing the risk of breech birth.
Can moxibustion help me?
Most people are candidates for this treatment. However, Dr. Chernyak will give you a consultation and go over your medical history before offering you treatment. If you’re a candidate, she’ll discuss the number or treatments you might need.
To learn more about moxibustion and to see if it could help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Central New Jersey Acupuncture & Wellness today.