Moxibustion is a technique that involves the burning of mugwort, known as moxa, which is an herb that facilitates healing. The purpose of moxibustion is to stimulate the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), strengthen and warm the blood and maintain general health. Qi is translated as life energy.
There are two types of moxibustion, direct and indirect. Direct (non-scarring) moxibustion uses moxa shaped into a small cone and is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. It creates a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deeply into the skin, but does not create a scar or any pain. Indirect moxibustion is the more popular of the forms. In indirect moxibustion, a practitioner lights one end of a stick of moxa and holds it close to the acupuncture point for several minutes until the area turns red.