Moxibustion Specialist

Organic Me Acupuncture

Acupuncturist located in New York, NY

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that has been used for thousands of years. It works on the same principle as acupuncture — targeting acupuncture points — but heat therapy in the form of smoldering mugwort replaces the needles. Aliona Kats is a licensed acupuncturist and board-certified herbalist with years of experience helping patients achieve and maintain overall wellness using moxibustion. If you have questions about moxibustion or would like to schedule an appointment, use online booking or call the office, Organic Me Acupuncture.

Moxibustion Q & A

What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a healing technique in which dried mugwort, called moxa, is burned on or near the surface of your skin at a traditional acupuncture point. This technique is a type of heat therapy that promotes healing as it warms and invigorates the flow of qi, which is the vital energy that flows through your body.

Mugwort contains numerous oils and beneficial ingredients that may contribute to its therapeutic ability to create overall well-being. However, other plants may be used. For example, San Fu moxibustion uses other herbs ground into a powder and mixed with ginger juice to create a paste that’s taped on your back or legs.

What are the different types of moxibustion?

There are three main types of moxibustion:

Direct moxibustion

In this technique, the mugwort is rolled into small pieces or molded into a cone and then placed directly on your skin or on top of insulating substances such as salt and ginger. Ms. Kats ignites the moxa and then puts it out or removes it before it burns your skin.

Indirect moxibustion

The mugwort is compressed into a shape resembling a cigar, called a moxa pole. Then Ms. Kats lights it and holds the smoldering moxa about two inches above your skin, over an acupuncture point. She keeps the moxa in place for several minutes or until your skin turns red.

Needle moxibustion

This type of moxibustion combines an acupuncture needle with moxa. Ms. Kats inserts an acupuncture needle at the appropriate point, then places mugwort on the end of the needle and ignites the herb. This technique warms the area as well as the needle, allowing deeper penetration of the heat.

What conditions are treated with moxibustion?

Moxibustion is often used to prevent and treat

  • Pain caused by a soft tissue injury or arthritis
  • Digestive problems including abdominal pain, diarrhea, and colitis
  • Gynecological and obstetrical conditions such as menopause symptoms, dysmenorrhea, and breech presentation

When used together with acupuncture, moxibustion can help treat gynecologic problems such as menstrual cramps.

Ms. Kats may also teach you how to use a moxa pole at home to maintain its impact between office appointments.

To learn more about moxibustion, call Organic Me Acupuncture or book an appointment online.