Whether or not you’ve looked into Eastern medicine, you’ve likely heard of acupuncture treatment for various ailments. If you’re a casual observer, you might not have heard of moxibustion at all. This fact is strange, considering both have been linked for centuries, and using them together can drastically improve the effectiveness of treatment.

If acupuncture has helped you, you’ll doubtlessly find moxibustion beneficial. It can treat some of the same problems as acupuncture and is much easier to recreate from your own home. Ahead, we’ll cover exactly what moxibustion means, as well as some of the symptoms it can prevent and treat. There’s no reason to continue living in pain when you can learn to help yourself through a brief tutorial.

What is Moxibustion?

Moxibustion is an ancient Chinese healing method that’s thousands of years old. No one knows when the Chinese first created the practice, but some theorize that it predates acupuncture, though the two are often used in conjunction. People often seek moxibustion treatments when prescription drugs have failed them. It may seem like an unorthodox treatment, but many people swear by it.

There are many different kinds of moxibustion, and a fair bit of difference depending on where you are in the world and the practitioner’s training. They create the moxa from Chinese healing herbs or mugwort, roll it up, and heat it until it burns. In traditional Chinese moxibustion, the practitioner places the burning moxa directly on moxibustion points on your body. In America, they hover the burning moxa over those points.

A lot of ancient Chinese remedies infuse the body with heat for healing, and moxibustion is no different. A practitioner will hold it over the skin until the area starts to turn red. Then, they’ll move onto the next point until you’re finished. Most of the places that practice moxibustion also practice acupuncture and long-time practitioners agree that the two are more powerful when used together.

How Does it Work?

Like many ancient Chinese remedies, the goal of moxibustion is to reinvigorate and recharge the subject’s qi. Qi is the life force of the planet and the life force in humans. When a person is sick or in pain, they lack the life force energy in their body. Moxibustion is one of the ways to get that back.

Although you might not relate to this definition of moxibustion, it’s difficult to describe exactly how the practice works. Some say that it’s a full-body heat treatment, the same way Westerners would use a heat pack for a sore shoulder. Instead of focusing on one part of the body, moxibustion can treat whole-body concerns – both physical and emotional.

Researchers haven’t done enough studies on the practice to give any coherent findings, but it does appear to work for those who undergo the process. The practitioner will hover the moxa over – or place the moxa on – moxibustion points, which improve blood flow and ease the patient’s physical pain.

Moxa from Home

Moxibustion is a cheap, easy way to relieve bodily pain, stress, and other medical problems. If you’ve tried prescription drugs and they don’t work for you it’s worth going to a practitioner and trying moxibustion for the first time. Moxibustion acupuncture makes a lot of people feel better right away, but unlike acupuncture, you can recreate moxibustion from your own home.

Acupuncture takes training, and you need somebody else to administer it. Moxibustion, on the other hand, only requires some Chinese healing herbs and a bit of online research. We suggest undergoing a few professional moxibustion treatments to see how you feel, but after that, you can take the knowledge home with you.

You don’t need to pay a high price to experience the relief of moxibustion, which is why it’s so attractive to some people. Acupuncture gets all of the media attention, but there’s no reason moxibustion shouldn’t be right there alongside it. It’s easy to learn how to do, and even easier to recreate in your home.

What Does Moxibustion Heal?

There haven’t been many studies on the efficacy of moxibustion, but a lot of people who complete the procedure claim that it made a massive difference in their quality of life. The ancient Chinese believe that it re-energizes your qi, which is one explanation for why it’s such a powerful treatment for multiple different ailments.


Osteoarthritis is common, and it’s one of the places where researchers have done the most digging when it comes to moxibustion. One placebo study showed that patients with arthritis showed significant improvement after their moxibustion sessions. Both acupuncture and moxibustion can produce this effect, but it’s far easier to recreate the effect moxibustion has on your body.

Other Pain

You can also treat other kinds of joint and muscle pain through moxibustion. The Chinese believe that cold gets stored in our bodies. They use the moxa points to infuse heat into our systems, that they argue is far more effective than a hot bath. The heat penetrates the skin and moves directly to the affected area. It’s the same idea of using a heat pack, but the moxa can go much deeper than that.

Digestive Issues

Digestive problems are another ailment for which many people seek moxibustion treatment. Moxa is a stimulant and can accelerate the body’s natural process of ridding the toxins from your body. It can also help with cramps, IBS, and other digestive issues. Researchers haven’t conducted too many studies on this particular topic, but it’s one that practitioners often use moxibustion to treat.

Coughs and Colds

While one moxibustion won’t completely cure you of the common cold, it will certainly help your symptoms. If you’re particularly sensitive to getting sick, a moxibustion session can do wonders for your day-to-day life. It will shorten the duration of the cold, as well as help with dry coughs and other respiratory conditions.

Colds often rear their heads in the winter. It’s much colder in the winter, so it’s possible that some people store cold in their bodies during this time, making them more susceptible to getting sick. With a moxa session, you can help your body prepare for the cold weather and prevent a sickness altogether.

Menstrual Cramps

Many women use moxa to treat menstrual cramps when it’s that time of the month. Some women experience extreme cramping at these times, but a moxibustion session can do wonders for their quality of life. There are three places on the abdomen where you can place the moxa if your belly is cold to the touch. If it’s not cold, but there is still pain, a lower position is a better moxa point for you.

Since you can recreate these sessions from home, there’s no need to go to the acupuncture place every month. Just go online and check some diagrams to make sure you’re placing the moxa over the right points. You’ll feel more energized, warmer, and have less pain after a session.


Depression is another symptom of your body retaining the cold. It’s quite intuitive why moxibustion could help in this circumstance. It rids your body of the cold that’s keeping you down and reinvigorates your body, soul, and mind with qi.

Antidepressants don’t work for everyone. In fact, there are a lot of people who use antidepressants and are still depressed. Moxa can rid your body of the cold that’s affecting your mood and reignite the flame that burns inside you.

Turning Breech Babies

Turning breech babies is one of the most interesting things Moxa can potentially do. Researchers need to study this phenomenon more closely, but recent studies suggest that practitioners and individuals can use moxa and acupuncture to turn a breech baby. It might not be foolproof, but this practice offers one answer to the problem.

Most of the time, women with breech babies need to give birth through cesarean section. Since it’s much safe for the baby and mother to give birth naturally, most women like to avoid having cesarean sections where they can. Moxibustion has the potential to solve this problem – at least for some women. Researchers believe that moxibustion and acupuncture stimulate uterine contractions and turn babies into a safe position before birth.

The Many Benefits of Moxibustion

When you combine moxibustion with acupuncture, you’ll likely get the best possible results for your ailment. Moxibustion alone is quite powerful, and when you learn the proper spots to place the moxa, you can even have a session by yourself.

Since acupuncture is harder to master, it’s far less accessible for the general public. Despite the lack of research on the entirety of moxibustion claims, there is some concrete evidence that moxa can help those who suffer from arthritis, cramps, and other forms of pain. Even more importantly, it looks like moxa holds one of the only answers when it comes to turning a breech baby.

If pharmaceutical drugs have let you down, try an ancient remedy instead. People have been using moxa for thousands of years, and there’s a reason why the practice still exists today.

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