From a Chinese medicine perspective, external cold can invade and remain trapped inside our bodies, resulting in increased joint and muscle pain. Warming moxibustion over the pain soothes the affected area in a way that a hot bath or shower cannot because of the way it penetrates the body at a much deeper level.
Moxibustion blocks pain receptors and break up muscle knots by relaxing tight fascia to relieve dull, aching, throbbing, and piercing sensations. Moxibustion has an anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating effect which points to its potency in the treatment of chronic inflammation. Because of its potency, it can help heal acute injuries like sprains and strain by reducing swelling, increased joint range of motion and diminishing pain. It can also break down scar tissue, nodules and muscle knots by relaxing and releasing areas of tension and improving circulation.
Moxibustion effectively treats stiff, tight shoulder, neck and back muscles, helps mobilize joints and strengthens weak and painful low back pain and knees. Moxibustion is an excellent treatment for osteoarthritis, since it reduces pain and stiffness, especially the type of arthritis where symptoms worsen in damp Toronto weather. Needle-head moxibustion can be applied to acupuncture needles inserted into knee and shoulder joints. The heat generated by moxibustion treatment improves microcirculation in joints where arthritis may present.