What exactly is moxa, you ask? Well, moxa (or moxibustion) is basically ground up mugwort root that is packed into a cigar looking cylinder and is burned on acupuncture points. That’s my definition of it anyway. My acupuncturist started me on moxa about a month ago. I am absolutely in love with it. In fact, the mugwort root has foundations in female reproductive health and a great representation of the mugwort root in maternal health/childbirth is shown in Pans Labyrinth. Anyone remember that amazing film?
The great thing about moxibustion is that it completely relaxes you. My first time I felt delirious (not like I was drugged) and sort of like I was floating. That night I came home and slept like a baby. I do moxa because I have a heat deficiency (I can’t remember the Traditional Chinese Medicine term). The heat deficiency could be directly related to my lack of progesterone, which was actually diagnosed by my doctor after my acupuncturist caught it. What is progesterone? The hormone that produces heat. In fact, temperatures that continually rise are a huge indicator of pregnancy. Pregnancy cannot be successful with insufficient progesterone. See why heat is so important?
Now I do moxa at home every night. My acupuncturist marked the spots where I need to concentrate the heat so I know where to do it. You just basically light the moxa like an incense stick and then make sure it stays lit. Then you hover the moxa over your points until the spot turns red and gets hot. I keep doing it until the skin is a little puffy and red. It doesn’t hurt at all but it is certainly something you want to be careful with so that you don’t burn yourself. It takes some time to heat up all of the areas, but it is well worth it.
Moxa has a really intense smell and the smell definitely stays on your clothes until you wash them. Actually, moxa pretty much smells like bad marijuana! The weirdest thing about moxa is how my dogs react to it. I do moxa in our spare bedroom so it doesn’t make our room smell smokey and my dogs lay right outside the door watching me and sniffing the air. I think they actually enjoy the smell of the moxa but the smoke deters them from coming in the room. When they have come in the room, they sort of stand erect and look at me like I am crazy. They could go downstairs, but they always opt to watch me instead.
Note: I must add that moxibustion is known for turning breech babies into the proper position for birth. Fact: my co-worker’s baby was breech. Did you catch that I said “was“. After mentioning moxa to them, they had moxa done and felt the baby move immediately. Afterward they had it verified by their doctor that the baby, in fact, was no longer breech! How awesome is that!?
I think my belief in Eastern medicine has been confirmed these last few months. I highly support Eastern philosophies and Traditional Chinese Medicine and am glad I discovered this form of medicine on my Journey to Thirty. I look at ailments and illness in a whole new light. I look at my body and how it functions (or dysfunctions) in a whole new light. Acupuncture and moxibustion are my prefered method of treatment and on this “Journey to Thirty” we should all know what we want and where we want to get it from. I choose moxa, smoke, needles and herbs and so far- it seems to be working!