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What Are You Smoking????

by Pamela Policastro, L. Ac.

Welcome back to our Fertility Acupuncture Tools of the Trade feature.  This week’s topic is moxibustion. 

No, moxibustion is not some sort of wacky-backy. 

 In traditional Chinese medicine(TCM), acupuncture is often used together with moxibustion (some of you know it as that weird smelling cigar we use to heat your needles with).  Moxibustion is used for both prevention and healing of disease . It works through burning moxa or mugwort, which is an herb, to warm the meridians or acupuncture points.  It can help improve the flow of blood and qi, and achieve superior healing effects. 

The history of moxibustion began thousands of years ago in china.  Moxibustion originated after the introduction of fire into man’s life.  It is believed that while warming themselves by the fire, ancient people accidentally found relief from cold and pain when specific areas of the skin were subjected to burning.  Later on, they started using hot stones or hot sand wrapped in animal skins or plant bark, to press on local body areas to treat diseases.  Ancient people eventually learned to use ignited branches or hay to warm the sick part of the body.  From there, moxibustion was begun. 

Moxa leaves were later chosen as the best material.  These herbal leaves are easily ignited and produce a mild heat.  In addition, the aroma of the herb itself  can help enhance the effect of removing obstructions or stagnation of blood and qi.

The major ingredient used for moxibustion is Artemisia Vulgaris.  Moxa is pure yang (active & warm) in nature.  It has the ability to restore the essential yang from collapse (physical exhaustion).  It can regulate qi and blood, expel cold and dampness, warm the uterus, stop bleeding, warm the spleen and stomach to remove stagnation, and regulate menstruation.  When ignited, it can travel through all the meridians and eliminate hundreds of diseases.

The mild heat generated by moxibustion can also penetrate deep into the muscles of the body.  Moxibustion can be used for a variety of diseases, including asthma, common cold and flu, arthritis, abdominal pain, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, and, of course, help with fertility.  Wow..nature rocks it out!

When next we meet, I will discuss fire-cupping.  Peace, Pam

About Pam

Pamela received her Masters Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College in Santa Fe, N.M.  She is nationally certified by the NCCAOM in Oriental Medicine, and is a licensed acupuncturist in the state of Illinois.  She received her Bachelors Degree in psychology from SUNY at Stonybrook, N.Y.  Additionally, Pamela has studied Chinese Herbal Medicine, Oncology Acupuncture at Memorial Sloan Kettering, N.Y.C., and fertility with Dr. Berkley from The Berkley Center for Reproductive Wellness, N.Y.C. 

Pamela is also nationally certified in Chinese Herbal Medicine.  Combining herbs with acupuncture, Pamela strives to attain the best possible results with all her patients.  Specializing in fertility, Pamela works to restore a mind/body balance to optimize natural conception and assisted reproductive therapy.  She is also affiliated with Mercy Hospital.

“There is a soul force in the universe which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”   Ghandi

If you would like to book an appointment with Pam for acupuncture, click here .