by Jennifer Ramos, R.Ac
Baby, its cold outside… and it will be for the next 4 months or so! While most of us here in Squamish love to play outside in the snowy mountains this time of year, the COLD factor can sometimes get overwhelming. Trips to Mexico and sunny destinations are a nice way to get some warmth into chilled bones, but there are cheaper and closer alternatives to keeping your body temperature up over the winter months.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese Medicine technique that involves burning the herb mugwort over acupuncture points.
It has a deeply warming quality that moves cold and stagnation from the body, and assists with moving qi and blood through our meridians. This has several benefits such as relieving pain, strengthening weak joints, helping with energy levels and improving blood circulation. It is also warming to the uterus and helps relieve menstrual cramps.
A study done on pregnant women with breech babies showed that 75% of the babies moved into normal position after moxa was used on a point on the baby toe.
Moxa comes in different forms and qualities; I use smokeless moxa sticks in our clinic. They are shaped like a black cigar and I hold it over certain points on the body, arms and legs. The moxa doesn’t touch the skin, but the heat warms you to the core.
Moxibustion is used in conjunction to acupuncture and dietary recommendations to keep you warm all winter long.