Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called “moxa” are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences by burning the dried herb over specific points along the body. Mugwort has been used alongside acupuncture and acupressure in Chinese medicine for over 3 thousand years, at least as long as we have evidence of the practice of acupuncture.
The list of ailments that this treatment can help is long. But for our use, especially for those of you that received the August 2017 Pampered Period subscription box, Moxibustion or using a Moxa stick is a great remedy for menstrual cramps.
The moment you begin to feel that little hint of tightness and discomfort coming on (and you’ve spoken to your health care professional of course) try this remedy and then let us know how it works for you.
Preparing The Space And Precautions
Gather a bowl to catch the ash and snuff out the Moxa stick when done, a lighter and a damp towel in case you need to wipe up any fallen ash. It’s best to do your treatment in a room that is safe from falling ash, such as a tiled floor, bathroom, etc. The point is, you’re using a hot lit incense stick so you want to take what precautions you can to insure against both burning yourself or burning things around you. You also need a well ventilated space, as the smoke can have a lingering odor that might not be desirable.
A good supportive practice for this is to first have a cup of chamomile tea, which serves to sooth both the nervous system and a super mild muscle relaxer. Combining the tea, the acupressure points and the Moxibustion is a highly effective remedy for menstrual cramping. But know that if all you do is use the Moxa stick to warm up your abdomen, this too will give you results.
IF YOU SUSPECT YOU MIGHT BE PREGNANT, DO NOT USE THIS REMEDY.
How To Use Your Moxa Stick As A Remedy For Menstrual Cramps
You can use your Moxa stick while applying pressure on the acupressure points shared in the insert card of this box, or you can simply apply the heat and smoke of the Moxa stick to your exposed abdomen, preferably over the area of your uterus. Clothing should be removed as the smoke and the heat need contact with the skin.
- Remove about an inch or two of the wrapper, leaving enough for you to hold the stick with at the end.
- Hold the flame of the lighter to the exposed end of the stick. Hold there until lit, much like an incense stick. Once the flame has burned a bit of the end blow out the flame, leaving the still burning stick.
- Keeping the burning stick about a half an inch away from your skin, hold the burning stick at each acupressure point until you begin to feel the warm on your skin. As well, if you choose to use the stick without the acupressure points technique, begin moving the Moxa stick very slowly over the uterine area, heating up your flesh.
- PLEASE REMEMBER – DO NOT TOUCH THE BURNING MOXA STICK TO YOUR FLESH.
- Also remember to dispose of excess ash in the bowl you chose for this. You want to avoid hot ash falling on your skin.
- Do this for 10 – 15 minutes over the uterus or over each of the acupressure points. You are seeking to warm up the area and many begin to feel an internal heating as well.
- Once you are done and feel complete, you can snuff the Moxa stick out in the same bowl and save the rest of the stick for another treatment.
- Do a session a day for each day you feel heavy cramping.
We recommend that you keep a journal of the results you find from period to period of using this remedy in particular. Though many feel it might be a bit hokey, it’ has been a potent remedy for many things over the last 3000+ years of recorded history. Paying attention to how these thigns affect you will also provide you with valuable history of your own body and the process it’s going through from month to month.
Each body is different, just as each menstrual cycle is different. How you respond to this remedy will be unique to you and you might notice as well that from month to month, how you need this remedy might change as well. That’s fine. That’s normal. Yours is to simply tune in, pay attention and respond with your new tools as your body requires.
There are various places to find Moxa sticks. Here are a few we recommend: