Have you walked into an acupuncture clinic only to notice the smoky smell of burning herbs? A lot of people are attracted by the pleasant odor, which is why they try moxa therapy. Right after the first try, they are eager to implement it as a regular practice. The question is, how to use Moxa at home? How can you make the most of this technique?
If you are interested in learning how to use Moxa, you’ve come to the right place. We prepared a detailed guideline on how to do this therapy properly in the comfort of your home, including how to light a moxa stick and how to put it out. So, let’s get right to it.
What Is Moxa Therapy?
Moxa or Moxibustion is a heat therapy that relies on a dried herb (plant) called mugwort to invigorate the natural flow of energy in the human body. When the burning herb comes close to the skin, the warmth stimulates the Qi and dispels some of the most influential pathogenic invaders.
With the help of the heat, the herb gets to stimulate specific acupoints without burning or touching the skin. In other words, Moxa is a combination of acupuncture and heat therapy, and it’s commonly referred to as “acupuncture-moxibustion.”
Benefit of Moxibustion
Before you can figure out how to use moxa rolls, you first need to know what it’s good for.
There are numerous benefits of moxa treatment. But, it is mainly used for preventing illnesses and maintaining optimal health. It’s a part of a tonification treatment -an ancient Chinese healing technique with fire that warms up the meridians and removes the bacteria.
With the help of the heat, moxa can come in handy for:
- Preventing diseases
- Boosting the immune system
- Strengthening organs
- Relieving muscle pain
- Stimulating digestion
- Treating cramps
- Stress & Anxiety
Do have in mind, however, that moxa is not a single type of treatment. It involves several methods with their own set of benefits. For example, some people use Moxibustion for weight loss, while others prefer the moxa points for the immune system.
Depending on the acupoints you work on and the heat applied, the effects will vary. That’s because there are three unique moxa natural therapies: indirect, direct non-scarring, and direct scarring moxa.
With the direct non-scaring technique, the smokeless moxa stick is removed from the skin before it touches the surface and doesn’t leave a scar. The indirect treatment relies on moxa cigars or pure moxa rolls, which are held near the skin on a specific acupoint. The heat works its way into the meridian and warms the body. While direct scaring uses a moxa cone that’s placed onto the skin and remains there until it leaves a blister, the blister will then heal itself.
By warming up the meridians, the body restores its natural flow of Qi, which helps the system function properly. That includes faster metabolism, better digestion, and healthier organs. That’s why some people might find the treatment useful for weight loss.
For at-home use, it is best to use a moxa stick holder. It will hold the stick on moxa, including any mini moxa sticks you might have. That way, you avoid burning the skin. If you can’t find the perfect box that will fit the rolls, you can always buy moxa online.
How to Use Moxa Sticks?
Now that you know what to expect from Moxa therapy, it’s time to learn how to use moxa sticks at home. The way the technique works is relatively simple. Just follow the steps below, and you will learn how to enjoy this heat therapy in no-time.
- Step 1: Light the moxa stick.
- Step 2: Position the stick 3 centimeters above the back of the hand. You will start to feel a comfortable radiating warmth.
- Step 3: Hold the lit side of the stick over the affected area. Do not close the distance to the skin. Instead, keep it 3 centimeters away to avoid direct contact with the body. Otherwise, you may hurt yourself. For best results, the moxa stick should be held 5 to 7 min above each acupoint.
- Step 4: Lift the stick away every time it feels too hot. Resume the treatment after the affected area has cooled down a little. This is what we call the “pecking technique.” The goal is to warm up the acupoint, not hurt the skin.
- Step 5: De-ash the stick. When ash starts to build up, tap the stick, and knock it off.
- Step 6: Put out the moxa stick.
Now you know how to use moxibustion sticks and get the most out of your therapy. But, if you still can’t get it right, these tips below can help.
How to Light a Moxa Stick?
Lighting a moxa stick is not as easy as it seems. In fact, the first time you try to light it up, it won’t even light properly.
It’s normal to fail a couple of times before you get it right. That’s because there is a unique method that ensures the stick is properly lit. To help you get it the first time, we have decided to share some handy tips. Here is how it works.
Take a cigarette lighter and hold it over the stick, the same way you would light a candle. If you are using a smokeless moxa roll, like the Smokeless Mini Moxa Sticks, for example, it will take a while before you notice the results.
To do it properly, the moment the fire touches the stick, you have to slowly rotate it so the flame will capture all the ends.
Then, blow on the stick to assist with the lighting. The goal is to get an even glow on the surface of the stick. If you don’t move it properly, the fire won’t light it well. This is the trick to getting it right every single time.
How to Put Out a Moxa Stick?
When you are done with the therapy, you have to snuff out the stick. Now, a lot of people have no clue how to put out a moxa stick. It can be a little tricky for a first time user. But, if you want your stick to last longer and use it for the next therapy, you need to figure out how to extinguish the moxa stick.
The first thing you will need is an ashtray. Tap the stick a couple of times, like you would any other cigarette. This will get rid of any loose ash you might knock off when you are putting it out. What you need is a completely clean end. Once you have that, you are ready to extinguish it.
Get a glass jar and fill it with some dry rice. The rice will prevent the heat from cracking the bottom of the jar. Then, stick the moxa stick in the rice and cover the jar with a lid. This will deprive the moxa of oxygen, and the stick will eventually stop burning.
Now that you know how to put out a moxa stick correctly, you can re-use it for multiple treatments.
This type of heat therapy is famous for all the right reasons. But, if you don’t use it the right way, you can’t expect to reap all the benefits. Don’t worry, though, if you follow the guide above, you will always be on the right track. Have you ever tried Moxibustion before? Did it work for you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.