Ai Jiu (艾灸), is known as Moxibustion in English, is an ancient therapy in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) using moxa made from dried Chinese mugwort leaves. It is the most ancient therapy in TCM. It plays a very important role in TCM because of its powerful effects although there is seldom available scientific evidence support claims moxibustion is effective in preventing or treating cancer or any other diseases in the west. A lot of ancient Chinese doctors treated people’s conditions with this therapy and wrote books about the benefits of this therapy’s and how to use this therapy to help various conditions.
The earliest written record of Ai Jiu (艾灸), moxibustion, is in an ancient Chinese book covers a period of Chinese history from 772 BC to 468 BC, so far. In the earliest ancient Chinese medical text that has been passed on generation by generation in China and has been treated as the fundamental doctrinal source of TCM for more than two millennia, it says the effects of this therapy and how to use it to treat diseases and for health preservation.
Due to language barrier, people who can’t read Chinese hardly get very much information in the books about Ai Jiu, moxibustion, written in Chinese, especially the ones written by ancient Chinese doctors. Going to briefly explain the healing benefits of moxibustion recorded by ancient Chinese doctors in my limited English in this article.
Ai Jiu, moxibustion, was commonly used for treating diseases in ancient China. It is still used clinically in China nowadays. It can be an effective self-treatment for people to carry it out at home on daily basis as well. But, the important thing is that people have conditions and want to try this therapy at home had better see a doctor of TCM who has enough knowledge and clinical experience in this therapy and get instructions from him or her first.
There are many kinds of moxibustion, such as, direct moxibustion, indirect moxibustion, moxibustion with moxa roll, suspended moxibustion, pressing moxibustion, warming needle, moxibustion with moxa burner, etc.. Suspended moxibustion and moxibustion with moxa burner are the most common used ones for self-treatment.
Ancient Chinese doctors believed that moxibustion has the following healing effects:
1. Warming and activating meridians
2. Dispersing coldness and eliminating dampness
3. Promoting the flow of Qi, energy and blood
4. Relieving swelling and dispersing mass
5. Reviving Yang Qi for resuscitation
6. Preventing disease, nourishing health and preserving life
According to the clinical observation in China, it has shown that moxibustion therapy may have the following health benefits after applying burning moxa sticks over certain acupuncture points indirectly for certain length:
1. Regulating immunity, white blood cell counts, lymphocyte, immunoglobulin, etc.
2. Reducing inflammation which would reduce swelling, aches and pains in muscles, ligaments, tendons and some skin complaints.
3. Promoting micro circulation which would disperse bruises and promote the healing of fractures, Wounds, incisions, hematoma, seroma, etc.
4. Regulating body fluid circulation which would reduce retention and edema.
5. Helping infertility.
It would be good to see more people could try tis therapy and get benefits as time goes on.
Like everything has both sides, there are precautions for moxibustion treatment. Will mention this in my next article.