This form of heat therapy has been used for centuries throughout China. Since the early development of this medical system moxa has been used as a stand-alone therapy as well as in combination with acupuncture, herbal medicine and bodywork.
We can see the fundamental role of Moxibustion in the Chinese word for acupuncture, zhen jiu, which includes both needle (zhen) and moxibustion (jiu) in its definition. Acupuncture schools provide moxa training as an integral part of acupuncture therapy.
The herb used in this therapy is dried Mugwort (Artemisia Vulgaris) which is burnt directly or indirectly on the skin at the site of acupuncture points and along meridian channels. Moxa therapy produces a pleasant warming sensation that penetrates deep beneath the skin, while stimulating circulation of qi and blood throughout the body.
Clinically Moxa has a broad array of applications, though it has been found to be especially beneficial in cases of pain, chronic illness, turning breech baby, and when the patient is too weak to receive acupuncture treatment.