Moxibustion (or "moxa") involves burning dried mugwort leaves (pictured above) on or over acupuncture points. It can be done as an adjunct to acupuncture or as a stand-alone therapy. Warming and pleasant to receive, its penetrating healing effects reach deep within the body. Because moxibustion greatly increases the efficacy of an acupuncture treatment, in Japanese-style acupuncture it is relatively rare to have acupuncture without moxibustion.
The many benefits of moxibustion include boosting immunity, improving energy, and enhancing mood. Among its other effects, scientific research has found that it:
- Increases white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets
- Changes the chemical composition of blood to more alkaline (anti-inflammatory)
- Helps regulate blood sugar
- Increases the activity of the adrenal gland