The Transformative Effects of Moxibustion on the Body

Ever heard of moxibustion? This Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to health and wellness is a therapeutic technique capable of restoring the body’s balance. Just like other popular methods like acupuncture and cupping, moxibustion offers many benefits helpful in strengthening your constitution and immune system. We share more below. 


What is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion involves the burning of mugwort (Artemisia argyi or 艾叶 ai ye) to facilitate healing. The herb, a small spongy plant, can be processed in various forms, such as loose, cone-shaped, or compressed into sticks, and is burned near or on specific acupoints on the body. The heat generated during this process is believed to stimulate the flow of vital energy, known as Qi in TCM.

The Mugwort Plant Used for Moxibustion

There are two main types of moxibustion:

  • Direct Moxibustion: In this method, a small cone or ball of mugwort is placed directly on the skin at an acupuncture point and burned. It will be removed before it burns the skin.

  • Indirect Moxibustion: This is a more commonly used form where the mugwort is burned near the acupuncture point without direct contact with the skin. Practitioners may hold a burning stick above the skin or use it in conjunction with acupuncture needles.


The Benefits of Moxibustion

1. Enhance Blood Circulation

The process of moxibustion generates heat, which is great for warming the body and enhancing the flow of Blood. The increased temperature may dilate blood vessels to allow for better Blood circulation, which facilitates better nutrient and oxygen supply to your body’s tissues and organs. 

2. Alleviate Pain and Discomfort

In TCM, pain is seen as a manifestation of imbalances or blockages in the flow of Qi along the body’s meridians. With its ability to encourage optimal circulation through heat, moxibustion is believed to be able to restore balance and reduce pain symptoms. Besides that, the warmth can penetrate the skin and reach deeper tissues to relax muscles, relieve tension, and improve Blood circulation in the treated area.  

Neurotransmitters that serve as the body’s natural painkillers—endorphins—are also triggered and released during the process, helping with pain relief

But that’s not all. It may also influence the autonomic nervous system to balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches. The autonomic nervous system regulates involuntary bodily functions such as heart rate, digestion, and respiratory rate, with the sympathetic branch stimulating responses for “fight or flight” reactions, while the parasympathetic branch promotes “rest and digest” activities. This may contribute to pain reduction by promoting a state of relaxation.

3. Boost Immunity

Happy and Healthy Exercising Outdoors

Scientifically, moxibustion has been associated with an increase in white blood cell count, which are the cells that work to attack bacteria and viruses invading the body. 

Moxibustion demonstrates an anti-inflammatory impact and has the potential to mitigate inflammatory responses. Recent studies indicate that moxibustion enhances immune function by modulating diverse immune cells and factors. Regular moxibustion applied to the belly button Shen Que (CV8) or Zu San Li (ST 36) on the leg can positively influence the suboptimal health condition associated with a Yang deficiency constitution.

If you’re looking for an alternative method to fortify your body’s defence against infections, this could be an alternative solution. 

Learn More: TCM To Help You Boost and Strengthen Your Immunity

4. Support Fertility

Moxibustion is often used in gynaecological issues such as Cold Womb and painful periods which are common causes of infertility. In Chinese medicine theory, having a ‘warm’ uterus is a fundamental aspect of optimal fertility. Keeping the uterus ‘warm’ provides adequate nourishment for a fertilised egg, encourages blood flow delivery to the ovaries for follicle growth and ovulation, and aids in the growth of thick healthy uterine linings.

In conditions such as endometriosis, PCOS, fibroids, and ovarian cysts, moxibustion on the lower leg and lower abdominal area are used more for its effects on improving blood movement within the pelvic organs.

Moxibustion is a fascinating TCM technique that offers many potential benefits through a holistic approach that tackles various problems within the body. From improving your blood circulation  and alleviating pain symptoms to supporting the health of your organ functions and fertility, moxibustion can be an alternative solution to tap on if you wish to give your health a boost. Keen to explore the possibilities of this approach? 

Thomson Chinese Medicine is a registered TCM clinic in Singapore led by practitioners who are committed to your health journey. Strengthen your body with us by scheduling your appointment today.

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