Terms and Definitions of Moxibustion

Moxibustion is a therapy that treats and prevents diseases by mainly using moxa floss. The combustion of the moxa floss permits the transmission of heat to the acupoints or other parts of the body that have various pathological changes. It is an external therapy to treat and/or prevent diseases and promote the health of the body.

Moxa Floss

Mugwort leaves are processed to create a soft flavescent cashmere-like substance. It is rated into various grades according to its fineness. Moxa floss of high quality is usually used for direct moxibustion.

Moxa Stick

A long cigar-shaped stick is made by rolling or compressing moxa floss. These moxa sticks are sorted into two categories: pure moxa sticks (no substances added) or medicated moxa sticks if they contain other herbal ingredients. Smokeless moxa sticks are made with a special process to avoid producing excessive smoke while they are burning.

Moxa Cone

Moxa cone can be made by compressing, rolling or shaping the moxa floss. The machine-made ones can be cone-shaped or column-shaped. Their sizes vary from the wheat-grain size to the soybean and the jujube-stone sizes. According to the sizes, they are called small cones, medium cones, and large cones, respectively.

Warm Needling Moxibustion

This technique combines acupuncture needling and moxibustion by fixing moxa floss (one section of moxa stick or a ball of moxa floss) on the top of the needle handle during the retention of needles of the acupuncture treatment.

Direct Moxibustion

Direct moxibustion is the method of burning moxa cones directly on the skin. Depending on the degree of the heat stimulation to the skin, it can be classified into scarring moxibustion and non-scarring moxibustion.

Indirect Moxibustion

Indirect moxibustion is performed by placing the material between the moxa cone and the skin. According to the different materials used, it can be classified as moxibustion on ginger, moxibustion on salt, moxibustion on garlic, and so on.

Moxa Burner

A moxa burner is a tool specially designed for moxibustion therapy. Presently, they are commonly called moxibustion stands, moxibustion barrels, moxibustion boxes, moxibustion cylinders, and moxibustion bowls or plates.

Fainting due to Moxibustion

Fainting due to moxibustion refers to the extreme response symptoms such as sudden dizziness, pale complexion, vertigo, nausea, sweating, palpitation, cold extremities, and a drop in the blood pressure during the moxibustion. In severe cases, there might be loss of consciousness, with stumbling, purple lips and nails, incontinence of urine and stool, profuse sweating, and a weak pulse.