Home' Nova National : NOVA February 2013 Contents novamagazine.com.au
© noVa FEbruary 2013
I’m a World War II pensioner
playing a Lotto for 14 years.
I have never won a First
Division prize yet. But my method
can produce Second
and Third Division winnings
which supplement my income.
If you are playing a Lotto with
little success, do yourself a
favour and see my Loto-Smart
Method. No obligation!
LOTTO TO WIN
Details Bill Grey
02 9971 8093
TRADITIONAL EASTERN MEDICINE
FROM AUSTRALIAN TRAINED AND
• • Japanese-style acupuncture
• • Chinese Herbalism
• • Remedial massage
• • Medical fund rebates available
• • Enmore (Sydney) clinic
02 9569 3201 or 0 415 376 083
M.H .Sc (TCM)
atients familiar with acupuncture
may have experienc ed a form of
treatment involving the application
of heat on the skin. Moxibustion is
a Traditiona l Chinese Medicine technique
that involves the burning of a small, spongy
herb named mug wort to fa cilitate healing
a nd has been us ed throughout Asia for
thousa nds of years.
Mug wort or Artemisia vulgaris latiflora
is a weed which grows on poor sa ndy soil
throughout East Asia. Many centuries ago,
Oriental medical practitioners discovered
that this plant, which grows freely on the
side of the roads in China and Japan, had
wonderful healing properties. There are
more than 200 types of mugwort and, like
the many different types of tea available in
Asia, some are considered a lot more va luable
than others .
The purpose of moxibustion, a s
with most forms of Tradition al Chinese
Medicine, is to strengthen the Qi or energy
of the patient. Its warming action is widely
used to dissipate dampness or ac cumulation
of fluids in the body.
In Orienta l medicine, t wo different
forms of moxibustion are commonly used.
In the first technique, a small cone or rice
grain-shaped amount of moxa is placed on
top of an a cupuncture point and burned. In
the old days, the mugwort was left to remain
on the point until it wa s burnt out completely
a nd produced loc alised blisters and sca rring
a fter healing. While this technique could be
very effective, it was quite painful, and my
profe ssional experienc e leads me to believe
that very few Austra lian patients would
be very happy to receive burns and scars
during treatment. So, in this country, a non-
s ca rring form of moxibustion is more widely
u sed. In this gentler technique, the moxa is
e xtinguished or removed well before it burn s
the skin. The patient is left with a pleasant
heating sen sation that penetrate s deep into
the skin, without experiencing any pain,
blistering or sc arring.
Moxibustion has been turned into an
a rt form in Japa ne se-style acupuncture.
In that c ountry, moxibustion practitioners
have a separate licenc e to ac upuncturists
a nd have often been specialising in that
form of treatment for generations. They c an
perform a full treatment, a nd often a chieve
remarkable re sults without inserting a single
needle into their patients.
In practice, two different grades of
mug wort are used for different therapeutic
purposes. The che aper, semi pure grade form
of Arte misia, which ha s more impurities and
burns a lot slower, is moulded into a thumb
nail-size cone and applied to increase the
genera l con stitution a nd immunity of the
patients, while the purer, more expen sive
grade, which burns a lot quicker and
generates stronger heat, is moulded into a
small rice grain shape and burnt to treat the
patient on a more symptomatic le vel.
In Chinese-style acupuncture, the
indirect form of moxibustion is more
popular. A moxa stick made up of compressed
mugwort and shaped like a cigar, is lit and
held close to the acupuncture point until the
area turns red. It is generally safer than the
direct method popular with the Japa ne se
practitioners , but the quality of compressed
mugwort is generally not as good and the
heat cannot be targeted so accurately.
Fina lly, one should mention another
va riation which c ombines both acupuncture
a nd moxibustion. In this third technique,
a n acupuncture needle is inserted into a
point and reta ined, while the tip of the
needle is wrapped in mugwort and ignited,
generating heat throughout the shaft into
the surrounding area . After the desired
ef fect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished
a nd the needle removed.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the
burning of mug wort on the skin is believed
to expel cold and warm the meridians ,
which leads to a smoother flow of blood
a nd qi. It is widely used for the treatment
of many conditions, including respiratory
infections , menstrua l pain, impotence a nd
Herbal medicine includes mug wort with
parsley, cha momile, and ginger in a group
of herbs called ‘emmenagogues’. This means
these herbs increa se the blood circulation to
the pelvic are a and stimulate menstruation.
Around the world, women have used these
pla nts to trigger the onset of mense s for
In Western medicine, moxibustion has
suc cessf ully been practised to turn breech
babies into a normal head down position
prior to childbirth. A landmark study
published in the Jo urnal of the American
Medical Association in 1998, found
that up to 75% of women experiencing
breech presentations before childbirth
had foetuses that rotated to the normal
position after receiving moxibustion at
an acupuncture point on the Bladder
meridian. Other studies have shown
that this Oriental technique increases
the movement of the foet us in pregnant
women, and may reduce the symptoms
of menstrual cramps when used in
conjunction with traditional acupuncture.
Fina lly, moxibustion stimulate s the
growth of white blood cells in the body a nd
s trengthens the immune system.
It is a cheap technique which is easy to
teach and requires little equipment.
In the last few years, British acupuncturist
Merlin Young and researcher Jenny Craig
founded the Moxafrica charity to fight
tuberculosis epidemics in Africa using
moxibustion techniques. We wish them the
best of luck in this remarkable venture.
Olivier Lejus MHSc. (TCM), BHSc. (Acup.) is an
accredited acupuncturist practising in Sydney.
Oriental medicine practitioner
Olivier LeJus explores the
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris latiflora)
Make sure you never
miss an issue again.
Subscribe to NOVA for only
$48 for 12 issues each year.
Have NOVA home delivered
Links Archive NOVA January 2013 NOVA March 2013 Navigation Previous Page Next Page