While acupuncture is most efficient for stimulating Qi along the meridians, moxibustion is better suited for moving blood in deeper layers of the body. It is a preferred therapy for removing blood flow blockages, often present in gynaecological conditions or problems involving chronic and deep seated pain. Moxa is also used to treat swelling or numbness, as well as to expel inflammation from achy joints.
Moxibustion, or moxa, is a therapy in which acupuncture points are stimulated with heat generated by burning small amounts of the mugwort herb. Dried mugwort is shaped into cones of diffeent sizes. Cones are placed on the skin and carefully ignited on top. They gently burn until the patient feels the heat, and are then expertly removed. Alternatively, moxa can be burnt on the handle end of an inserted acupuncture needle, making the shaft hot and thus transfering heat to the body.