How does moxibustion benefit you?

What are the Benefits of Moxibustion?

This is a translation about moxibustion benefits from Theory and Practicality of Moxibustion, written by Dr Namsoo Kim (Gudang). He is an authority on moxibustion. In his treatments, he used moxibustion and acupuncture together.

Direct moxibustion is to burn mugwort wool on the skin and leave burns on it. As a result, it produces a histotoxin in the body.  Its chemical stimulus reacts to the body as well. Therefore, it regulates or recovering the functions of our body.


There are many benefits of moxibustion. For instance, heat stimulation from applying moxibustion affects the nervous systems and produce responses in the body.  However, it will have different effects, depending on the intensity, quantity, burning time, etc. In fact, it is difficult to control them. You may find it useful to use sensitive zones in the body. The zones are known to influence the movement of intestines and change in hormones.

Moxibustion produces minor burns on the skin.  As a result, our body produces a special protein through cell dissolution. And our body absorbs and circulates it in the blood.  Above all, it responds noticeably where there is any disorder, and then it expedites healings.

In addition, moxibustion affects autonomic nervous system and secretion of hormones. This helps balance the body. For instance, gastric ulcer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, neuralgia, etc tend to result from fatigue and stress. In other words, this is the result of imbalance in autonomic nervous system and secretion of hormones. Research shows that moxibustion is a good stimulus to relieve stress and fatigue.

Here are specific benefits that you can obtain from direct moxibustion.

1) It activates cell movement.

The minimal unit of the human body is cells. The cells are as small as several microns, and they work as a life.  The skin, sinews, bones, nerves and vessels are all the collection of cells. When our body feels tired and sick, movement of each cell will become slow. For example, injuries, cerebral hemorrhage, stomach ulcer, and cancers will mean change in cells, in other words, destruction and transformation of cells.

When we apply moxa cones on these cells, we see tissue cells damaged temporarily.  However, they return to their original state once you have stopped application.  A protein is produced in the burn area. It circulates in the blood, and activates the cells or promotes regeneration by stimulating the weak cells. Even when we feel under the weather or lethargic, applying moxa cones will invigorate our cells and make our body feel light and energetic.  It can help expedite regenerating damaged tissues.  You may notice this in early healings of wounds and bone fractures. It helps activate movement of cells and invigorates our body.  It is highly useful for treatments and disease prevention as well.

2) It improves blood circulation.

Blood circulates in the body with heart being the center. As a result, it transports oxygen from lung and nutrition from stomach to each organ. In addition, it provides energy for the body to work. It also sends unnecessary substances and carbon dioxide to each excretory organs. For instance, if there is something wrong with blood circulation, our body will not work somewhere in our body. Moxibustion can have a great effect on blood circulation. For example, when you apply moxa cones, they will increase blood flow to the area.  Blood can be collected and overflowing somewhere in the body.  When you apply them somewhere distal to the area, it can help increase blood circulation in the affected area.

How it helps the circulation.

Moxibustion is effective in helping movement of the heart. It can improve the contracting force of the heart muscle and spurt blood out of the heart forcefully.  It can also expand capillaries in the extremities remote from the heart and improve blood circulation.  You may feel cold in your hands and feet due to poor blood circulation. You may also experience poor sleep, dizziness with dimming vision, or edema in your legs from being on your feet too long.  In the cases, if you apply it according to each condition, it will improve blood circulation and lead to faster relief of the condition.

In addition, it can promote circulation of lymph. Lymph nodes in neck, armpits and groin areas will protect our body against substances detrimental to our body. They do detoxification as well. It will help transport the substances to the lymph nodes and promote detoxification.

Thus, it will strengthen heart and improve circulation of blood and lymph. As a result, it will regulate circulation of our whole body. This is why it is effective for any disorders related to circulation.

3) It changes the components of blood. 

Blood is fluid that flows into the vessel.  The microscope shows that blood corpuscles, such as white blood cell, red blood cell, and platelet, float in the plasma. The plasma consists of various nutrients, hormones and immune substances.

a) Red blood cell increase 

Research show that moxibustion significantly increases red blood cells after a few month application. Red blood cells are also called erythrocytes. They have hemoglobin that can transport oxygen and carbon dioxide. For instance, increased red blood cells mean increased capability to transport oxygen and carbon dioxide.  With more supplies in the tissues, their activities will become stronger. As a result, they will improve health and strengthen resistance against diseases.  In addition, it can increase red blood cells. It will also be effective for those who are anemic or lacking in blood.

b) White blood cell increase 

White blood cells fight against intruders and kill them. When there is any inflammation, they are the first that shows up around the area.  Moxibustion can increase white blood cells. Therefore, it can be effective for any inflammations, such as sores, tonsillitis, eye inflammation, and so on.

c) Hemostasis

When blood touches air, it tends to become solid. This is called coagulation. Moxibustion can make coagulation faster.

d) Immunity 

We receive immune substances from our mothers. Vaccination is administered to supplement them.  Moxibustion can produce many immune substances.  Thus, it will be effective for disease prevention and resistance.

e) Prevention of Blood acidosis

Blood acidosis can have a detrimental effect on nervous systems, brain, bones, etc. As a result, it may put our life at risk.  Moxibustion can prevent blood acidification. Therefore, it can change the constitution.

4) Regulation of hormone secretion

Our body produces hormones in the endocrine system. The hormones are important to regulate our body functions. Moxibustion is effective in helping their secretion. It helps regulate secretion, improve health, and increase resistance against diseases.

5) Regulation of nerve function

There are many sensitive areas in the muscles beneath the skin. These can be called reflex points. For instance, if we apply moxa cones on the points, it can help regulate the internal organs, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and so on. In addition, when either sympathetic or parasympathetic nervous system loses balance, moxibustion can be useful.

6) Relief of muscle fatigue

Moxibustion helps promote good blood circulation. Muscles require nutrients and oxygen for proper functions. Our body needs to remove fatigue waste in the muscles for better blood circulation.  Therefore, taking rest may be helpful in relieving the fatigue. In addition, applying moxa cones helps prevent muscle fatigue as well as relieve muscle fatigue.

7) Regulation of internal organ functions

When there are any disorders in the internal organs, your body will show up responses in the back area of your body. You may want to apply moxibustion on the responding area to balance disorders.

8) Pain relief

The nerves on and around the pain become tense, compared to those with no pain. Moxibustion helps release the tension of the muscle and vessels. Therefore, it improves blood circulation. It also removes the causes of fatigue and pain. In addition, it helps remove numbing or extremely sensitive senses.

9) Improvements of constitution through longterm moxibustion

When you develop the habit of applying moxibustion on yourself on a regular basis for long years, you will find that your constitution has improved. In addition, it helps increase weight for lean people and lose weight for overweight people. It helps improve emotional states as well. It also helps promote good sleep since the disorder of the autonomic nervous system has improved. Besides, it helps improve weak constitution. Therefore, people develop strong resistance against diseases. Furthermore, it helps improve menstrual disorders, infertility and erectile dysfunction and so on. Moreover, It is effective in treating paralysis, warts, corns, bumps, etc.

Translated by Dr Kihyon Sohn

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