The use of Acupuncture and Moxibustion in the treatment and prevention of disease are synonymous to Chinese traditional medicine. The popularity of these techniques and their incorporation into western medicine started with the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
What is acupuncture?
This is a traditional Chinese medicine technique of inserting very fine sterile needles into the pressure points of the body with the intention of manipulating the body’s energy known as Qi. It is believed that Qi travels primarily through the Jing Luo channel which then connects the body into a single system of wellness. If this energy is not flowing properly, that is when disease and illness occur because the body is not operating as a single unit. Acupuncture points are likely places where Qi accumulates and by manipulating these points the flow can be reestablished.
You will know that your Qi is flowing when you experience a mild electric sensation spreading in a wave-like pattern from the point of application. The treatment is not painful at all but many patients report that it felt unusual like nothing they had experienced before. Most health conditions can be treated with acupuncture provided that it is not done in contraindicated cases like infancy, old age, compromised immunity and blood deficiency. Pregnancy is not a contraindication but some acupuncture points are prohibited for pregnant women
What is moxibustion?
This is a technique of traditional Chinese medicine that is applied externally. A herb commonly referred to as the Mugwort treatment is rolled into a stick and this is lit over acupuncture points. The aim is to produce heat that stimulates the energy in that spot. Because of the adverse effects of having smoke fill up a room in a clinic during treatment, there are smokeless sticks which are actually made from a charcoaled form of the herb.
The medical practitioner is supposed to hold the lit stick over the surface of the skin but not touching. Moving on to a next spot is only done when an area has reddened and warmed up. While the stick may be held over specific acupuncture points to achieve a certain effect, this is not standard practice.
As a patient, expect to feel a wave of warmth flowing from the application spot to other parts of the skin. This feeling is an indication that Qi energy has been released and healing is imminent. Moxibustion is effective in the treatment of cold-induced arthritis or injury, gastric intestinal irregularities, pregnancy related breaching and flu.
When used together, Acupuncture & Moxibustion are more effective than when used individually. This is the reason why most clinics that practice one also perform the other.