II. Moxa Stick moxibustion
Moxa stick moxibustion, also known as moxa roll moxibustion, is a method of wrapping cylindrical moxa rolls by paper, igniting on one end, and apply at acupoints. Moxa stick moxibustion can be divided into two types: suspended moxibustion and pressing moxibustion.
Suspended moxibustion is a type of moxibustion in which a lit moxa stick is hung over a moxibustion site. Depending on the specific operation method, suspended moxibustion can be further divided into three types: mild moxibustion, bird-pecking moxibustion and circling moxibustion.
(1) Mild moxibustion:
Maintain certain distance between acupoints and moxa, until patient feels warm yet without burning sensation. Mild moxibustion features moderate heat, therefore less irritation to the body. It is also the most commonly used method of moxibustion.
(2) Bird-pecking moxibustion:
The burning end of a moxa stick is aligned with the acupoint, rise and fall like the pecking move of a bird. The warming stimulus of the bird pecking moxibustion is more intense. When it is performed, beware not to burn the skin as the lighting moxa stick descend.
(3) Circling moxibustion:
The burning end of moxa stick is at a certain height above the acupoint, with the acupoint being the center, the moxibustion is performed in a roundabout or back and forth movement. This method can create warm stimulation to a wide range around the acupoint.
Suspended moxibustion can warm the meridians, disperse cold and dispel evil spirits, and is mainly applicable to diseases where focus of infection is shallow and restricted, such as wind-cold-dampness arthralgia, neuroparalysis, and pediatric disorders, etc.
After igniting moxa stick, pad skin on the acupoint with a layer of paper or cloth, and press the lit stick to acupoint or the affected area. First put 10 layers of cotton paper or 5-7 layers of cotton cloth on the moxibustion site, then place lit moxa onto the paper or cloth and press firmly against it; stay for 1 to 2 seconds. If the moxa stick goes out, it needs to be relit and perform again. Repeat this procedure for about 10 times.
Similarly, one could wrap 7 layers of cotton cloth around the burning end of moxa stick, and press against acupoint or the affected area. Pressing moxibustion is mainly suitable to diseases where focus of infection is relatively deep, such as wind-cold-dampness arthralgia, flaccid paralysis and deficiency cold syndrome.