Moxibustion is most commonly practiced in conjunction with acupuncture. When the cause of an illness is "Cold" invading the body, a small quantity of the moxa herb ( dried mugwort - Artemisia vulgaris ) is placed on the end of the needle and burned. This sends heat down and into the cold area, promoting circulation and relaxation.
Moxa can be used on its own or to augment the effect of acupuncture needles; its use is indicated where the body's energies need warming or tonifying, or to help move stagnant qi.
In China since ancient times, moxibustion has been used to turn and reposition a baby in the womb (breech baby).
For mild moxibustion the moxa stick is generally applied. Moxa sticks are rolls of paper containing shredded moxa fibres that burn very slowly. The glowing stick is repeatedly held about one inch ( 2.5 cm) from the skin above the acupoint and removed before the sensation of heat becomes uncomfortable.
The application of moxa can be a very relaxing and pleasurable experience.