What is Moxibustion?
Moxibustion is an ancient form of treatment within the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) system which involves the combustion of the herb Artemesia-Argyi (Chinese Mugwort, “Aiye”) over the surface of the skin. This therapy has been used to treat and prevent disease in China for thousands of years. The classic texts of TCM have numerous references to the legendary effects of moxibustion to treat incurable diseases. However, the modern-day application of moxibustion is not very prominent, even in China. Practitioners are not reaching the results the ancients of China were achieving and thus moxibustion is not as emphasized in Chinese Medicine training and practice. This elicits an obvious question: Why? What are we doing differently and are we missing an essential component of understanding when it comes to moxibustion therapy.
The answer is: Yes, modern-day theory and application of moxibustion have strayed from the origin. We have diluted down the understanding of moxibustion application to applying it to local areas of disease (such as local pain) or by simply following what we know about acupuncture points and channels and using moxa as an adjuvant for acupuncture. Modern-day acupuncture texts will have a section on moxibustion however this information is often very general and vague without precise reasoning and methodology detailing how and when to use moxa. This obviously seems wrong as the term “Acupuncture” in Chinese is “Zhen Jiu” (针灸) which literally means “Needle Moxibustion”. We have focused on the “needle” but have lost touch with how moxibustion works. For this very reason, Heat Sensitive Moxibustion was born on the basis that Moxibustion is classically a therapy of legendary efficacy and should be used by all who practice TCM.
Dr. Chen Rixin one of the most revered doctors and researchers in China, and is the innovator and founder of the Heat Sensitive Moxibustion system. The word “system” is used here because it is a self-sustained treatment method within Traditional Chinese Medicine which has its own unique theories including moxa-points, moxa-point detection methods, moxa Qi sensation, treatment techniques, structured treatment protocols, and dynamic flexibility and integration with other aspects of TCM. Dr. Chen and his team have dedicated over 30 years to moxibustion research. Using powerful modern medical technology such as electroencephalography (EEG) for assessing brain wave patterns, infrared thermology (IRT) to measure physical heat signatures, neurological evaluations, and rigorous statistical analysis, the Heat Sensitive Moxibustion system was tested in countless clinical trials to solidify its theories and principles. Under the utmost intense scientific scrutiny, Dr. Chen’s group discovered the true meaning of Moxibustion and how it should be applied and practiced today.
In addition to being a remarkable treatment method, Heat Sensitive Moxibustion is also a powerful tool for disease prevention and overall health maintenance. It is said in the Neijing that “to treat disease once it has occurred is like making weapons after a war has begun”, in this instance it is too late. In reality, TCM is a system that has always stressed the importance of being more proactive and less reactive. The modern-day practitioner’s duty is to not only treat disease as it presents but more importantly predict and prevent the future disease from occurring. This fundamental concept of prevention in TCM is where moxibustion shines as it is the most powerful method of adding Yang-Qi (heat) into the body. This form of heat is both in the far and near-infrared spectrum and has been clinically shown to have profound therapeutic effects on the physiology of the body.
Under the guidance of a skilled practitioner, anyone can benefit from moxibustion therapy both in the clinic and at home. One of the many unique features of Heat Sensitive Moxibustion is the coordination between the patient and practitioner. It is encouraged but not mandatory for the patient to actively be a part of the therapy by performing moxa safely from home. This will greatly enhance the practitioner’s treatments, decrease the number of required clinic visits, and increase the overall health of the patient. Health care should be a collaboration between the Doctor and patient to achieve the maximum benefit for people’s medical concerns.