Who Is a Good Candidate for Moxibustion?


What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a form of traditional Chinese medicine. It is an alternative type of therapy that involves burning a moxa cone or stick, usually made from dried leaves of a mugwort plant, on or near the body’s acupuncture points. Moxibustion is thought to promote the flow of Qi, or life energy, throughout the body. It is also thought to help balance the positive and negative qualities in the body known as yin and yang.

Who is a good candidate for moxibustion?

For individuals seeking an alternative treatment for musculoskeletal pain, gastrointestinal issues, fatigue, or various other health conditions, moxibustion may be a viable option.

The following factors are good indicators that moxibustion may be a beneficial treatment option:

  • An existing health condition that may improve from moxibustion therapy
    Individuals with arthritis, colitis, chronic pain, eczema, urinary incontinence, and various other health conditions may be good candidates for moxibustion. Moxibustion is also used to support the immune system and to help turn babies who are in a breach, or bottom down, position in the womb.
  • Ability to sit or lie down in one position
    During direct moxibustion, moxa cones are slowly burned on the skin, meaning that they stay in place for several minutes. Good candidates for moxibustion are able to sit or lie still to allow the treatment to work and to help prevent accidental burns.
  • Tolerance of minor side effects
    Some individuals may experience minor side effects from moxibustion, including a sore throat or coughing, nausea or vomiting, or dark patches of skin at treatment areas. These side effects are generally mild and temporary, but individuals seeking moxibustion treatment should be aware that they can occur.
  • Ability to pay out of pocket
    Most insurance companies do not cover moxibustion. Individuals should be prepared to pay out of pocket.

Who is not a good candidate for moxibustion?

Some individuals are not good candidates for moxibustion. Individuals with respiratory illnesses or other breathing difficulties may not be good candidates due to the smoke that is produced during the burning of the moxa. Also, individuals with neuropathy or other conditions that interfere with sensation may not be able to feel if the moxa is getting too warm, potentially leading to burns on the skin.

It’s important to note that pregnant women should only receive moxibustion while under strict guidance of a medical professional. In some cases, moxibustion has led to contractions, fetal distress, and premature birth.