the process whereby moxa - a dried herb, usually the species mugwort
- is burned, either directly on the skin, or just above the skin, over
specific acupuncture points relative to a condition.
When lit, moxa
burns slowly and provides a penetrating heat that can enter the channels,
to influence qi and blood flow.
A very common
form of indirect moxabustion uses moxa sticks, which resemble large
cigars or incense sticks. These are lit and held about an inch above
the point or area to be treated. They are usually rotated or turned
quickly toward, and then away from the skin.
The choice of
when, where, and if moxabustion is to be used is a matter of clinical
judgement for the practitioner, in consultation with the patient.
Care must be exercised
to ensure that the burning moxa does not come in direct contact with
the skin or burning and blistering will occur.
advise that the formation of a blister is essential for healing to
take place, but modern practitioners find that moxa can be highly effective
without causing blistering on the patient.