Moxibustion (moxa) is warming, and smoothes the flow of energy and blood, so it is frequently used for people who have a cold or stagnant condition. In conjunction with acupuncture, it is a very effective treatment for many conditions such as arthritis, back pain, muscle stiffness, headaches, migraines, tendonitis, digestive disorders and menstrual cramps.
Moxa has also been successfully used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. In 1998, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion.
For this technique, one end of a moxa stick (roughly the shape and size of a cigar) is lit, and held an inch or two away from the skin, usually around inserted needles. The area is warmed until the skin becomes slightly red. The intensity of the heat is adjusted according to the patient’s condition and comfort. This type of moxibustion does not leave any scars.