Moxibustion is the use of heat to stimulate acupuncture points and/or to warm and relax muscles, gently promoting the circulation. Traditionally the herb Moxa, dried Chinese mugwort, is used. Once lit it smoulders slowly and produces a therapeutic heat.
Generally, a burning moxa stick is held close to, but not touching, the surface of the skin. In this method, the moxa material is compressed into an oversized cigar shape that, once lit, smoulders to produce a penetrating heat. The smouldering moxa is held about an inch over the treatment area until the area becomes suffused with warmth.
People often seek moxibustion to help with pain due to injury or arthritis, especially in "cold" patterns where the pain naturally feels better with the application of heat.
Also to help with a breech presentation in late-term pregnancy
And as a seasonal aid to help protect against colds and flu.
Acupuncture and moxibustion can be used together in the same treatment to complement each other where appropriate to the diagnosis.