At Acupuncture Center Toronto, we offer time-tested Japanese moxibustion techniques as an optional add-on to your acupuncture appointments at no extra fee. We turn babies in breech position and use if for pregnancy. It works wonders for breaking down knots and blocking pain receptors. It’s also terrific for warming up the body in cold weather and is a fantastic energizer. We are proud Toronto moxibustion experts!
What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion, known as “moxa” for short, is an ancient heat therapy that has been used throughout Asia for thousands of years. This therapy is a natural complement to an acupuncture treatment and involves burning the herb mugwort over specific acupuncture points. It is one of the tools in our Chinese medecine toolbox we use in our treatment plans to relieve so many health conditions including low back pain and neck/shoulder pain.
This pain relieving heat therapy stimulates the flow of qi and blood circulation in the body and helps maintain general health especially important here in Toronto where winters can be cold and very hard on the body.
We use premium imported Japanese Moxibustion
Top shelf quality Japanese mugwort (artemisia vulgaris) is the herb of choice used in moxibustion therapy because it burns smoothly and its oils and fragrance have favourable effects on the body. We get it straight from Japan and the quality can’t be beat! Our experts use traditional preparations of mugwort to warm and invigorate meridians, acupuncture points and areas of the body that results in a warm and soothing feeling. Our team of Toronto Registered Acupuncturists practice excellent communication and check-in tactics to ensure you receive a relaxing experience.
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How is the procedure done?
A small cone of smouldering mugwort is placed over an acupoint on the body. It is placed directly on the point and then burned to bring warmth to the area and stimulate circulation. The burning cones are removed before they cause pain or badly burn the skin. The patient will feel a varying warm to hot sensation in the affected area.
The process calms the mind and body, relieve aches and pains and induces a general state of relaxation. There’s even a point on the upper back between the shoulder blades that an ancient Chinese medical text professes, when moxibustion is applied to it, “there is no disorder it cannot treat”.
How we incorporate Moxibustion into appointments
Each treatment is applied for approximately 15-20 mins/session and is offered as part of our regular acupuncture appointments (at the therapist’s discretion) at no extra cost.
All one hour appointments can include moxibustion with no additional fee.
Since moxibustion doesn’t take a full hour we don’t offer it a la carte.
Both acupuncture and moxibustion treatments compliment each other. We don’t offer this as a stand-alone service.
Moxibustion is not recommended for all patients. We will only be able to safely determine if this treatment will help a patient after reviewing the health history form and initial consultation at the beginning of the first appointment.
All therapists are trained and experienced at providing Moxibustion.
This ancient practice is used often because it works wonders to improve circulation and energize and warm the body in cold weather. Cold dreary winters, long work hours and stress in our beloved city takes a toll on Torontonians. Depending on your symptoms and body type, it may be effective to use moxibustion year round. Contact us and let’s see if this a proper treatment for your ailments!
Watch how we induce labour
& turn breech babies
Moxibustion for a healthy pregnancy and smooth delivery
Moxibustion is a treatment that can be applied at every stage of pregnancy. Both the mom and baby can benefit from moxibustion by increased circulation. It can also help with morning sickness and soothe aches and pains. In the first trimester, moxibustion raises qi to prevent miscarriage. Moxibustion can also relieve fatigue during pregnancy which is commonly due to qi and blood deficiency according to Chinese Medicine. It can also treat back pain during pregnancy to warm the back and release tight overcompensating muscles.
Moxibustion treatment during pregnancy must be approved by your MD and midwife prior to booking an appointment.
Moxibustion for PMS relief and painful periods
Moxibustion is amazingly successful at relieving menstrual cramping and pain, dysmenorrhea, regulating the menstrual cycles and reducing the size and pain of ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. Cold can easily become trapped in the uterus by wearing shorts or skirts in cooler weather. Moxibustion can warm the uterus and reverse unpleasant effects.
Moxibustion alleviates pain and reduces inflammation
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.
Moxibustion is incredibly helpful for many experiencing fatigue and lethargy. It strengthens individual immunity and has proven to increase the number of white blood cells in the area in which it is used. Leukopenia is a term used to describe inadequate WBCs in the bloodstream, increasing susceptibility to infection. Leukopenia is often seen in diseases such as AIDS, cancer and lupus. Leukopenia can also be medically induced, by those undergoing chemotherapy and radiation. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends and endorses acupuncture for treating leukopenia. Research has shown that moxibustion is a great add-on treatment for leukopenia because it increases immunity and improves both red and white blood cell counts. When applied to specific acupoints for allergies, the heat penetrates to the deepest levels of the body, boosting the immune system and restoring the body’s ability to resist pathogenic invasion.
It is also an effective treatment for asthma, and works best when combined with acupuncture, cupping and Chinese herbal remedies. We may select several points on the upper back and neck as well as on the sole of the foot to treat your asthma.
This treatment also works by stimulating the specific functions of acupuncture points and can expand and intensify their beneficial effects and actions on the body. Moxibustion sticks are often used at an acupoint below the C7 vertebra (located at the base of the neck) to boost immunity.
Moxibustion for mental health and stress relief
Moxibustion is classically said to “calm the spirit” and the burning of mugwort proves to be very restful and soothing for most patients that come into our clinic. Those experiencing insomnia, restless thoughts, anxiety, depression or any kind of mental stress can benefit from its calming effects. If this sounds like you, ask us about moxibustion at your next treatment!
Is Moxibustion right for you?
If you would like to try moxibustion we would love to provide! However, not everyone will benefit from moxibustion. Like all of our services we offer, each treatment is custom curated based on many factors of your health. Moxibustion may not be suited for all conditions and a full intake and assessment at the time of your acupuncture appointment will allow your therapist to gauge whether or not it is an appropriate treatment for you. We will only safely be able to make the call if moxibustion is a good idea for you after we see you for a first-time appointment/consultation.