Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves burning dried mugwort, also known as Artemisia vulgaris, on or near the skin’s surface to stimulate acupuncture points. It is believed that the heat generated from the burning moxa can promote the flow of Qi and blood within the body, which can alleviate pain and treat various health conditions. Acupuncturists may use moxibustion in conjunction with acupuncture needles or as a stand-alone therapy. During a moxibustion treatment, the practitioner will place a small amount of moxa on the acupuncture point or hold a moxa stick near the point, which is then ignited to produce a slow-burning ember. Moxibustion is commonly used to treat conditions such as arthritis, digestive disorders, menstrual cramps, and pain caused by injury or surgery.
Moxibustion can be a safe and effective treatment during pregnancy:
Turning a breech baby: encourage a baby that is in the breech position to turn head-down in preparation for childbirth. This involves applying moxa to an acupuncture point on the outer corner of the little toe.
Alleviating pregnancy-related symptoms: alleviate common symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea, fatigue, and back pain. The heat generated from moxibustion can promote blood flow and help to relax tight muscles.
Preparing for labor: used in the later stages of pregnancy to prepare the body for labor. This involves applying moxa to acupuncture points on the feet, lower back, and abdomen.
Boosting immunity: Moxibustion may help to boost the immune system during pregnancy, which can help to prevent illnesses and infections.