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What is Moxibustion (Moxa)?
Moxibustion is a process of using the herb mugwort to warm and tonify certain areas of the body. We use a moxa stick over specific areas in the body to address various conditions. We use moxa most often with women during their menstrual cycle, to encourage breech babies to turn head down and with women who are recovering from birth.
Moxa for Turning Breech Babies
The corner of the pinky toe is heated with the moxa stick to stimulate and encourage baby to rotate head down. It could take between one to five consecutive sessions and we recommend that women come in for treatment between 33-36 weeks.
Moxa for Postpartum Women - Mother Roasting
Chinese Mugwort is a special herb that contributes to the postpartum healing process. Moxa heat is applies over the lower back and lower abdomen areas, sending warmth and tonification to the organs and extremities. The results are physical and emotional warmth and healing, restoring what is lost during the birthing process.
Mother Roasting can be administered immediately after birth, and anytime within the first year postpartum. Each "roast" lasts approximately one hour.
Moxa During the Menstrual Cycle
TCM recognizes that different energies dominate each phase of the menstrual cycle. It is the key to treat infertility that we must understand the characteristics of the menstrual cycle and the Yin-Yang patterns, therefore your treatment may vary depending on your needs at each stage of your cycle.
Phase I, Yin phase – follicular phase:
Kidney yin and blood govern the follicular phase. It is necessary to nourish the kidney yin and enrich Qi and blood, to support oestrogen, improve eggs quality, strengthen endometrial lining, and to prepare the basic condition for conception. Moxa is used on the lower abdomen to tonify qi and blood, to help build the lining.
Phase II, ovulation phase:
This is a process of transformation. Liver Qi and blood flow control ovulation. Liver Qi is triggered to begin the transformation of yin energy (oestrogen) into yang energy (progesterone). Therefore to nourish kidney yin and warm up kidney yang, enrich the Qi and activate the blood to promote ovulation. Moxa is used on the inner ankle to warm the kidney channel.
Phase III, Yang phase – luteal phase:
Kidney yang and spleen Qi dominate the luteal phase, so it is crucial to strengthen kidney yang and spleen Qi, nourish the blood to support progesterone, in order to increase the chances of successful implantation. Moxa is used on the lower abdomen to warm and nourish blood.
Phase IV, the premenstrual phase:
Liver Qi helps the premenstrual transformation, converts yang energy into yin energy. This harmonises the liver Qi to promote blood circulation, unblock the channels and regulate period. Moxa is used to promote blood circulation and prevent stagnation.
Phase V, the blood phase – menstrual phase:
Blood is allowed to flow, menstruation is the resting stage for all the energies. It is important to regulate the Qi and blood, nourish the yin and move the blood stasis in order to eradicate the old blood, and fresh blood can then take its place. Moxa is used on the lower abdomen and liver channel to promote blood circulation and to prevent blood stasis.