Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Moxa, also known as Mugwort is a Chinese herb that is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Moxa is considered the mother herb and is very nurturing in nature. It is used to warm what is cold, free what is constrained and not flowing, to soothe what is frustrated or tense and to eliminate what is damp. On a basic level it strengthens the yang of the body; meaning the strong, powerful, warm and awake. Moxa also has the noted ability to ward off disease, is a very strong immune builder of the body.

Treatment with moxa comes in two methods, direct moxibustion and indirect moxibustion. Direct moxibustion is done on the skin and can be either scarring or non scarring, whereas indirect uses a medium between moxa and the skin. Indirect moxibustion is one that I'm more familiar with and the only one we experienced in class, thank Buddha! 

With indirect moxibustion, it can be burned on top of salt, garlic or ginger to individualize treatment; for example, garlic for immune system and ginger for digestive. There are belly bowls which can be used on the abdomen, when placed above navel it is helpful for digestion and when placed below navel it is good for uterine cramps, cysts or simply to tonify yang. Moxa poles or sticks are larger and can be used to follow over an entire meridian line. Moxa irons are usually used for low back area, to warm kidneys and tonify water element. There are also moxa cones that are small enough to place directly on acupressure points, perfect for making a path for your qi (energy) flow. :) 

As a student, almost graduate, here at Oriental Healing Arts Center I have had the opportunity to try moxa and have had a wonderful experience with it, using the belly bowl, cones and sticks. I feel very comforted while receiving the treatment. It's almost like the big moxa energy mom is giving me a hug! 

My favorite method by far is the belly bowl! When using it my abdomen is filled with warmth. At the end of the treatment, a yellowish brown resin is left on the tummy. It is suggested to rub the resin in...as long as you're not wearing white! I am grateful to have my own belly bowl at home so that I can continue moxa after this school year is over. 

While doing moxa treatments I felt myself more at ease and sort of in this comfort cloud. I remember sleeping deeply and having very meaningful dreams. One of the dreams was definitely linked to an inner wisdom of mine. I was with a little girl and being chased by a wall of fire. I told the girl to hide in the corner of the ceiling and as she did, I proceeded with her. I cocooned myself around her, protecting her from the fire. I can remember thinking, it's coming (the fire) then I woke up with a sinking/shocking feeling in my legs. I realized later that the little girl was my inner child and I was protecting her from an intense fire (heart feeling)...what am I protecting her from? The feeling in my legs screams water element, so there is a connection there that is locked in my consciousness, yet being freed by this warming experience.

So yah, moxa gave me some precious information for my journey of life. Am very grateful to it and look forward to continuing my work with the lovely energy mother herb, Moxa!

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