Types of Moxibustion: Cone- Indirect Moxibustion

I. Moxa-cone moxibustion

2. Indirect Moxibustion
Indirect moxibustion is also called sandwiched moxibustion- before performing moxibustion, put ginger, garlic, salt, etc. on the skin at the acupoint, and then put moxa on top of it. The heat of indirect moxibustion is milder compared to direct moxibustion. Depending on the padding material and indication, it can be divided into the following categories:

(1) Ginger moxibustion (Ginger separated moxibustion):
Cut ginger into pieces of 1-2 mm in thickness, place them on acupoints, and ignite moxa cone on them. One could use a needle to puncture several small holes in the ginger slice to facilitate downward penetration of the heat. When patient feels a strong burning sensation on the skin, the moxa cone could be removed and substitute with another cone. Thickness of ginger slices can be adjusted appropriately according to strength of heat. Ginger moxibustion is mainly used to treat debilitating gastrointestinal diseases, such as indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gastrointestinal neuralgia, chronic arthritis, etc.

Ginger-separated moxibustion
Ginger-separated moxibustion

(2) Garlic moxibustion (Garlic-separated moxibustion):
Garlic slices with a thickness of about 1 mm are placed on the skin, and subsequent operations are the same as ginger-separated moxibustion. This method has a significant effect on early stages of tuberculosis, non-purulent edema, insect bite, etc.

(3) Salt moxibustion (Salt-separated moxibustion):
Fill the umbilical opening with table salt, put moxa cone on the salt and perform moxibustion until sweat is out, body temperature rises, and the symptoms improve. This method is mainly suitable for treatment of prostration, deficiency and vomiting, etc.

(4) Onion moxibustion:
Cut green Chinese onion stalk into 3 to 4 mm slices, or mash onion stalk into paste, and apply it on the umbilicus and its surrounding, or directly on the affected area, and place moxa on top of it. Usually upon perform moxibustion of 5-7 cones, till patient feels warm and comfortable, but not burning pain. Onion moxibustion is suitable for symptoms such as collapse, abdominal pain, anuresis, hernia, mastitis, etc.

Onion + Salt moxibustion
Onion + Salt moxibustion

(5) Pepper moxibustion: 
Take proper amount of white pepper powder, mix with flour and water to make a coin-sized cake which sags in the center; fill with a suitable amount of powdered medicine (such as cloves, cinnamon, musk, etc.) till the center is even with the perimeter. Then place moxa cone on top and perform moxibustion. Each time do 5 to 7 cones till patient feels warm and comfortable. This method is mainly suitable for vomiting caused by cold stomach, abdominal pain and diarrhea, wind-cold-dampness arthralgia, local numbness, etc.

(6) Aconite/monkshood moxibustion: 
Soak cooked aconite/monkshood thoroughly in water, cut into slices of thickness of 3 to 5 mm, puncture small holes with a needle in the middle, place it at corresponding acupoints, and place moxa on the top. One can also cut the aconite/monkshood into small pieces, grind them, and use rice wine to make cake with size of a nickle and thickness of 4 mm, and place it on the acupoints for moxibustion. This method has a significant effect on various Yang deficiency disorders, such as impotence, premature ejaculation, nocturnal emission, chronic collapse of sores and some Yin deficiency syndromes.

Other items used for moxibustion include chives, castor bean, loess, dried orange peel, rhizoma atractylodis, euphorbia kansui, and Chinese honeylocust fruit.