Many of you know that I am a fanatic when it comes to moxibustion. In my 21 years of practice, I have seen many miracles with moxa. Moxibustion has been around for thousands of years and one of its best attributes is its ability to boost immunity. In the video below I will demonstrate how to boost your immunity by doing one or two cones of indirect stick -on moxa on Stomach 36 (an acupuncture point located on your lower legs) daily. “Zusanli” St 36 is located on the lower leg between the tibialis anterioir muscle and the tendon of the extensor digitorum longus pedis ( point location instructions are on the video). You will need to apply moxa to the point on both legs, ideally daily. It takes about 2 minutes. It smells great and feels good. Indirect platform moxa will not burn you and the heat sensation tends to be mild. It may feel a bit hot at the very end before it burns out. This technique is useful for adults and perhaps teenagers, not small children. There is fire and the possibility of burns involved, so keep away from children!!
Contraindications for this treatment include: pregnancy, edema, local open wound or skin condition, circulatory disorders, fever, chills and flu like symptoms. This particular technique is not appropriate for someone who is currently ill and very weak. It is meant to boost your immunity to prevent you from getting ill. Moxa on St 36 for cancer patients is controversial and for others with serious underlying health conditions contraindicated. If you have questions please email me directly. Instructions for purchasing stick-on moxa online are at the end of this article. Please watch the short instructional video below first.
Why Stomach 36?
Many of you have had acupuncture on St 36. It is probably the most commonly used acupuncture point. It is a powerful point and often has a strong qi sensation when needled. Its indications include: diseases of the digestive system, general weakness, anemia, hypertension, allergies, jaundice, seizures, enuresis, diseases of the reproductive system, and neurasthenia to name a few. (Acupuncture a Comprehensive Text by Shanghai College of TCM translated by John O’Connor and Dan Bensky)
The Stomach Meridian is a yang meridian. St 36 is the He Sea point of the Yangming meridian, meaning it’s where qi gathers and is close to the surface. Since the Stomach meridian carries more qi and blood than any other meridian this explains why this is such a powerful point and so beneficial to your immune system. In China, it is common for people to gently beat this point with their fists in an effort to tonify their qi and increase longevity.
Moxibustion is the application of thermal stimulation to specific areas of the body to restore balance and function. It consists of burning the leaves of artemisia vulgaris either directly or indirectly on the skin. Research conducted in Japan in the 20th century found moxibustion positively influenced white blood cell count, increased phagocytosis, and increased complement. Further benefits to the immune system include encouraging alkalosis and balancing blood sugar.
Where Can I Purchase Stick-on Moxibustion?
The high quality stick-on moxibustion I sell in my clinic is currently not available. I have not used the products listed below. In times of crisis, like COVID-19, it will suffice.
The item below is available from Lhasa OMS, a supplier of acupuncture related products. Hence the quality of moxa is better than what is available on Amazon. Many items on this website can only be purchased by a licensed professional, but moxa can be purchased by the public. There is an additional shipping charge of $8.50 minimum per order. Total per box of 100 cones plus shipping would be $27.
Amazon sells this indirect stick -on moxa for $22. Here is the link below, which includes free shipping for Amazon Prime members.
You will need 2-4 cones per day. So a box of 100 cones would last 25 – 50 days per person. Feel free to send me pictures of your exploits!
I would like to thank the long lineage of doctors who have contributed to our knowledge of moxibustion. In particular, Masukaza Ikeda, Eddie Obaidey and Chris LaRosa, who are alive and practicing, deserve recognition.
For those who seek a more in depth understanding of moxibustion, I would recommend The Moon Over Matsushima: Insights into Moxa and Mugwort by Merlin Young. Merlin cofounded an organization called Moxafrica which investigates the use of direct moxibustion on drug resistant TB in Uganda. For more information got to www.moxafrica.org