Moxibustion Methods

Diseases, Symptoms,  tcm, []

Moxibustion Methods

1. Moxibustion with Moxa Cone
(1) Direct Moxibustion
Direct moxibustion means that the moxa cone is placed directly on the acupoint and ignited. Prior to moxibustion, some garlic juice or vaseline can be applied to the site in order to increase the adhesion of the moxa cone to the skin. This type of moxibustion is either scarring or non-scarring according to the degree of burning over the skin.
Non-scarring moxibustion: When 2/5 of a moxa cone is burnt, or when the patient feels a burning pain, the cone is replaced by a new one. The moxibustion continues until the local skin becomes reddish but without blisters. Usually each acupoint can be moxibusted for 3 - 7 cones without suppuration and scar formation. So this method of moxibustion is easy to be accepted by the patient and is usually used to treat asthenia-cold syndrome.

Scarring moxibustion: When the moxa cone completely burns out, it is replaced by a new one. This procedure continues until blisters are formed. About one week later after moxibustion, suppuration is formed at the local region. And about 5 - 6 weeks later, the wound heals automatically, the scab exfoliates and scar is formed. It is often used to treat certain chronic diseases, such as asthma and pulmonary tuberculosis.

(2) Indirect Moxibustion
The ignited moxa cone is isolated from the skin by some materials, such as ginger and garlic, in order to avoid burning the skin. A slice of fresh ginger or garlic about 0.2 - 0.3 cm thick is prepared, punched with holes and placed on the acupoint selected. On top of the ginger slice, a moxa cone is placed and ignited (see Fig. 125). After the moxa cone completely burns out, it is replaced by a new one. This procedure is repeated until the local skin turns reddish but without blisters formed. This method is always used to treat obstructive syndrome due to pathogenic wind-cold, abdominal pain and diarrhea due to cold.

2. Moxibustion with Moxa Roll
Moxa roll is prepared by wrapping mugwort wool (other herbal medicines may be mixed in it) with a piece of paper. It is cylinder-shaped, 1.5 cm in diameter and 20 cm in length. Alighted moxa roll is pointed 3 cm to the region selected and moved upwards and downwards, to the left and right or around. The patient feels warm but no scorching. Usually each acupoint can be moxibusted for 5- 7 minutes. This method can be used to treat many kinds of diseases and syndromes (see Fig. 126).

3. Moxibustion with Warmed Needles
Moxibustion with warmed needle is a method of acupuncture combined with moxibustion. During the retention of the needle, the needle handle is wrapped with some moxa or coated with one section of a moxa roll about 2 cm in length to be burned. The needle is withdrawn after the moxa completely burns out and the ash is cleared. Moxibustion with warmed needle can be used to treat various common diseases.

4. Cautions
Direct moxibustion is inadvisable to perform on the face, five sense organs, or the regions with large vessels. The abdominal region and lumbosacral region of the gravida should not be moxibusted. For the patients with numbness of limbs or bradyesthesia, moxibustion should be moderate lest scald be caused.v

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