What is MOXA? Benefits and use; warming the body

What is moxa?

Moxibustion (moxa) is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy involving the downy substance of a dried herb known as mugwort;  Artemisia vulgaris. In Japanese it is called mo kusa, meaning burning herb. This treatment is very warming and nourishing when lit and warms specific areas of your body. Instead of using acupuncture needles, a stick or a cone of moxa is slowly burnt near the acupoint on your skin, then removed when it is very warm to hot. Hence no burning of the skin is involved.

What does moxa do? How is it beneficial?

Moxa is beneficial for improving circulation, warming the uterus (fertility) and is renowned for tuning breech babies at a 70% efficacy rate and has been recommended as valid option for those wanting to experience a natural birth. Moxa is yang, warming and heating, hence I often use it for people that feel cold or have fluid retention pertaining to yang deficiency or excess yin. Thus it is applicable for arthritis in winter, cold and flu, exhaustion, slow metabolism, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Babies and children can have moxa therapy by an experienced practitioner.


An old Chinese proverb says that if you apply moxa to acupoint Stomach 36 everyday you will live until you are 100 years old!

Next time…

you have some acupuncture, ask your Acupuncturist to give you some and take a stick home for wellbeing. It is especially good around the lower abdomen and back, and feels energising! For further information, click here on how to use moxa.

xx Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, @Ivanhoe

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