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Moxibustion Questions for Beginners


I am very new to acupuncture and Moxibustion. Would be grateful if you could answer the following questions. ( Note: I am just a regular guy, aged 30 - not a medical practitioner). The below questions are with reference to indirect moxa - without skin contact.

  1. Can I do moxibustion when i’m sick (ie. fever, stomach ache, cough, cold, e.t.c)?
  2. Can I do moxibustion for pain in any part of the body?
  3. Any there any forbiden points for moxibustion?
  4. Can I do moxibustion at night before sleeping?
  5. Can I do moxibustion daily? or what is the maximum number of times I can do moxibustion per week? (as a general tonic, or as therapy)
  6. Are there any forbidden times when you are not supposed to do moxibustion?
  7. Can I do moxibustion immediately after a shower?
  8. Can i do moxibustion, alongwith homoepathic treatment?
  9. Is there any online course to learn moxibustion - for a layman / beginner?
  10. How can I tell if my moxa stick is pure mugwort or mixed? Is there any specific Moxa brand?
  11. Does it make a difference if I use a cigar moxa roll or the small sticky ones?
  12. What are the kind of effects can I expect after a moxa session?
  13. Can I try moxa for my aged parents?

Would be extremely grateful if you could answer these questions, as I have not found any website / blog addressing these.

Thanking you in advance.


I would start by reading my introduction to moxibustion and then some of the more detailed sections within our Japanese acupuncture section (scroll down to “moxibustion techniques”. Particularly, the chinetsukyu (cone moxa) section.

The truth is the answer to all of your questions is that it depends on the patient and what you are treating and what points you use. There are very rarely completely universal rules in Chinese Medicine like there is in western medicine.

In the most general terms possible moxibustion is tonifying and moving (although it can be used to promote sleep, for trauma, etc.). Generally then you don’t over do it, you don’t do it when people have heat signs (fever, night sweats, etc.), you don’t do it too late in the day, etc. But generalizations are not worth much in Chinese Medicine.

The only couple that wouldn’t be addressed are #8 (yes, again, with the right prescription and purpose) and #10 (most of the sticks are mixed to get them to stay together when burning, pure moxa is generally purchased to be used in cones, threads or on the needle - see the Japanese section for more on those). For #9 - the problem with the proper use of moxibustion is that you really need to be fully trained in all of Chinese Medicine. Generally, most people can use some of the techniques talked about in the intro article referenced above, but to get beyond that requires proper diagnoses and a good understanding of what you are trying to accomplish in Chinese Medicine terms.

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