If you suffer from any eye diseases, would you consider burning your eyeballs? With spring finally here, I thought I would share some weird and wonderful treatments for the eyes.  Each of the 4 seasons is related to an organ. Spring has a connection to the liver. Lots of folks are busy trying various body spring cleaning practices- special diets and detoxes.  How about a spring eyeball burning detox? Well not a direct burn, but how about a little moxibustion that can soothe the eyes, optic nerves and even the brain?  It is a less well known type of heat therapy and I’ve been waiting a year to share this stuff with you.

What is Eyeball moxibustion?

Healing the eyes via burning mugwort a couple of inches from face. The heat is warm soothing and has been used for thousands of years.

In Japan I don’t sight see, I avoid the fish,  and I don’t shop because I’m a very cheap person.  I spend a lot of time soaking in onsens and most importantly I spend as much time as I can learning fascinating things that will help my care at the Center be solid. I’ve been lucky enough to learn about Japanese eyeball moxa!! Although we wouldn’t offer this kind of therapy at the clinic, it’s an interesting alternative eye care that’s worth sharing. I’d like to share a couple of eye warming moxabustion inventions from around Asia. The first is a Japanese invention that I discovered while learning stuff at Sankei, the only Japanese shop entirely devoted to moxibustion. They don’t really have a name for this invention but the ceramic “pot” is handmade and apparently safe. Hmmm, not 100% comfortable with it on anyones face but heck, I was on vacation far away from law suits, liabilty and inhibitions… so fun to try!!

I got a chance to have it done on me as well as practice it on a friend at the shop. Check out the video below of me at the Tokyo moxa shop…

I was actually introduced to the moxa eyeball pot in 2015 on my first trip to Tokyo. I dug up these old pics. I may have looked quite relaxed but am not going to lie; I was a bit apprehensive about slapping on the pot over my precious lids.

Walnut Shell Glasses

Another probably slightly safer option which I would endorse slightly more would be walnut shell glasses. These came onto the market in the 1970’s somewhere in China. There are different styles of glasses available and they differ in heat intensity.

Acupuncture Center Toronto takes field trip to Tokyo moxibustion shop

Don’t try this on your children at home! This little guy is wearing walnut shell glasses. The white rectangles are scrunched up hunks of mugwort that is lit on fire to burn.

Basically, healing mugwort is burned near the eyes with the walnut shells acting as a semi porous buffer from the heat. Remember that the heat from mugwort is incredible and can relieve so many health issues.

*Moxibustion for the eyes can relieve:

  • Conjunctivitis
  • Styes
  • Keratitis
  • Myopia
  • Cataracts
  • Optic nerve issues (paralysis and atrophy)

*Source- Moxibustion: A Modern Clinical Handbook- Lorraine Wilcox

Both of these funky techniques may not grace our clinic anytime soon.  However for the adventurous willing to experiment with alternative eye care if you do try this will you please let us know how it goes?!