The Joys Of Moxa

One of the questions I am most often asked in my practice is, "Why does your office smell like pot?" (The second most asked is, "Can I have some, too?") Yes, at times my office does smell like a Dave Matthews concert, but unfortunately there is nothing illegal going on at Healing Point Therapeutics. I'm simply lighting up my stash of moxa. What is moxa, you ask? Well, in my eyes, it is nothing short of magic. Moxa is an herb called mugwort that is dried and used in various ways by acupuncturists. This herb, although external, has a HUGE effect on the qi and blood of the body. It is very moving, which means that it will help to move stagnation (and as we all know by now, stagnation is the root of all evil, at least in the body.) It is also tonifying, so it builds the qi: if someone is exhausted, deficient, and lacking the necessary qi to maintain good health, we use it to build them up.

I've seen absolutely amazing results with moxa use. I've seen vast improvement of IBS with regular application of moxa on various Stomach points. I had a patient with debilitating menstrual cramps have her pain go from a 10 to a 1 with a few sessions that included moxa. This herb is so effective in moving the blood that you can actually see it working if you burn it on top of a bruise-the bruise will instantly fade.

Now that the cold weather is coming, I'm expecting to be lighting up a lot more often. There is nothing as soothing as moxa burning on your abdomen when you are cold and exhausted. I burn it on immunity points in the body during this time of year to protect against colds and flus. And those aches and pains (especially arthritis) that flare up during the cold weather respond incredibly well to treatment with this herb.

I've successfully treated plica syndrome with regular moxa use-and this syndrome is usually only treatable with surgery. (Plica syndrome is an overgrowth of cartilage in the knee. The cartilage is sharp, and I'm told it feels like constantly having shards of glass cutting into the tissue of the knee.) My most exciting moxa story to date, however, happened only a few weeks ago. One of my patients came in with a small growth on the skin of her chest. She had already seen a dermatologist, who pronounced it benign, but she still wanted to get rid of it. She asked it I could do anything about it.

I took a look at it. "Honestly? Probably not. I can use moxa around it, though, and see what happens. Why not?"

So I treated her, and before she left, I burned small threads of moxa around the growth. As I worked, I joked that she would have to promise to tell her dermatologist to send me all of his patients if this eventually worked. She laughed and said that she would, and told me that she would keep an eye out for any changes after the treatment.

The result? She came in the following week for her treatment, and pulled the top of her shirt down. The growth was completely gone!