Moxibustion and Back Pain

The following is an article from ‘Yahoo Lifestyle Austrailia‘, which shows a real case of moxibustion working on pack pain.

“I Tried Moxibustion, and It Calmed My Anxiety and Back Pain Immediately!”

An acupuncturist sticks pieces of burning plant roots on my shins and the bottoms of my feet to help calm my back pain and anxiety – it’s a practice called moxibustion, and it’s my favorite form of self-care.

If you’re unfamiliar with the technique, moxibustion is the warming and stimulating of acupuncture points using moxa, a dried Asian herb derived from the mugwort root, and is often incorporated into acupuncture sessions. According to Donna Hernández, a licensed acupuncturist and board-certified herbalist at the Yinova Center in New York City, the 2,000-year-old practice can improve the circulation of blood flow and Qi (what is believed to be one’s life force or energy), as well as aid in relieving pain, fatigue, anxiety, infertility, and digestive disorders.

I stumbled upon moxibustion thanks to a Google search deep dive in a time of desperation. Completely defeated by my mental and physical aches, a slew of holistic-based articles led me to the practice. Now, I always finish my 90-minute sessions with five minutes of moxibustion.

Although moxa comes in many forms, from balms to incense to cones, my acupuncturist uses stick-on moxa, which looks as though the end of a cigarette was placed on a small metal bolt, so it stands up straight. My acupuncturist sticks one onto the center of each of my shins and one at the bottom of both my feet. She then lights the ends and lets them burn down towards my skin.

Once lit, the moxa sticks can cause slight pain in the literal heat of the moment. The root is on fire, so you feel a burning sensation as it shortens toward your skin – but it’s worth it. Trust the process. It shouldn’t actually burn your skin, so always speak up if it gets too painful.

Suspended Moxibustion
Suspended Moxibustion

Hernández clarified that the moxa is placed on the bottom of your feet to warm the Kidney 1 acupuncture point, a calming and nourishing point that helps ease the spirit of the body, ground the patient, and pull out inflammation.

The point below your knees on the center of your shin is called the Stomach 36 point, which is known to aid back pain, Hernández said.

Within the first few seconds of the five-minute practice, the earthy, sage-like smell of the burning root fills the room, and you feel a wave of relaxation come over your body. After, my mind is still, my back is pain-free, and I seemingly float home.

This elevated state of relaxation lasts for a few hours after my acupuncture session, but I do feel that my anxiety and back pain is milder for the following week.

Hernández noted that moxa is very powerful and drying, so it’s important to use sparingly. Although you can partake on your own, it’s wise to learn best practices from a certified acupuncturist first, as moxibustion therapy varies from person-to-person depending on what needs to be remedied.

I have yet to try any holistic treatment that compares to moxibustion; the immediate relief I’ve felt is unparalleled to other practices. I am forever grateful to Google and my acupuncturist for the introduction. Now, I know how to instantly reset my body and mind when I need it most.

3 Major Causes of Illness (2)- Dredge Meridians- Back Pain

Dredge Meridians

Dredging meridians is actually dissolving Qi stagnation, because meridians are the channels of Qi. When meridians are opened, Qi would run smoothly. In TCM there is a famous saying- ‘Stagnation leads to pain’, so the most typical manifestation of meridian blockage is pain, such as headache, back and leg pain, etc., which are all of the same cause. 

When treating these diseases, I often perform acupuncture on corresponding acupoints first, and then moxibustion. Moxibustion features heat and dispersion, the acupuncture needles could conduct heat into the body, thus allowing heat to dissolve stagnated Qi in meridians. Once the meridians are dredged, Qi and Blood can reach the viscera, just like farmland being adequately irrigated, and diseases would heal naturally.

Moxibustion* of the following acupoints would treat back pain:

1. Shenyu

Shenyu acupoint
Shenyu acupoint

 2. Yangguan

Yangguan acupoint
Yangguan acupoint

3. Weizhong

Weizhong acupoint
Weizhong acupoint

*Severe adverse effect may occur, one should not perform any type of moxibustion without instruction of person of rich experience or professional.

3 types of pain that may be early signals of kidney diseases

1.Low back pain
It is mentioned in TCM: “Waist is government of the kidney”. If kidney is not well, signs would be observed on the waist.

As uremia occurs, people usually feel low back pain; this is because the kidneys could not discharge toxins in a timely manner, which puts heavy burden on the body and kidneys. When the kidneys could no longer handle it, low back pain would happen.

Low back pain
Low back pain

2. Urinary pain
Urinary pain refers to the case where the urethra has a burning sensation when urinating. If a person urinated smoothly in the past and suddenly develop abnormalities such as dysuria, be alert as this may indicate kidney issues.

Human body would discharge toxins and wastes through the urine, and kidney is an important organ that disintegrate the toxins. At early stages of uremia, there may be pain when urinating because the kidneys has been compromised- the toxins are larger, and difficult to be discharged timely from the urine.

3. Headache
Impaired renal function could affect the whole body. Clinically, uremia patients often report headache, drowsiness, fatigue, etc. This is mainly due to influence of the toxins on brain cells to develop pathological changes, which may cause headache and other discomforts.

Modern people have also developed many bad habits that could cause kidney damages, such as staying up late, drinking, etc.