Here at Yinova, we love moxa! Moxa, or Ai Ye, is an herb used to warm and stimulate acupuncture points through a process called moxibustion. It improves circulation to relieve pain, boosts energy, and in some cases can be used to warm the uterus to treat some types of infertility. It’s is a great addition to many of the treatments we provide here at the Yinova Center and can even be used at home. In fact, if you’re curious about how to use moxa at home, here’s an incredibly helpful video to guide you from Yinova practitioner, Aileen Moy.
Here are 6 surprising uses for moxa that you may not have heard of:
Since moxa is nourishing, warming, and moving, it is great to use throughout the cycle when trying to enhance fertility. There are multiple different points and channels that moxa enhances and some of them are directly related to fertility. For a follow-along video on how to use moxa throughout your cycle, you can watch our video from Yinova practitioner Katy Hogan, here.
Similarly to how moxa can support fertility, it is also extremely beneficial for those who experience debilitating cramping from their periods. We know now that moxa’s warming properties are excellent for creating movement which is exactly how it helps cramps. It can help to move stagnant blood and hormones that are causing the pain. Once they’ve moved, the pain may begin to dissipate. The aromatic aspect helps to course the blood out of areas that are usually tense during PMS.
We often see breech presentations in our clinics and usually turn to the use of moxibustion. We light a moxa stick, which is made out of dried mugwort, and hold it near a specific point on the pinky toe. We never want to use force when trying to turn a breech baby but, this treatment seems to create a bit more space in the uterus which will give enough room for the baby to turn if they want to. If you want to read more about how we approach breech presentations, Yinova founder, Jill Blakeway, is sharing her thoughts here.
The effects of moxa are incredible for supporting new parents. There is a use for moxa called “mother warming” that is meant specifically to facilitate recovery after giving birth. This technique is wonderful because it can be done by either parent in the convenience of their own home! For mother warming, moxa is focused on the abdomen and is used to help warm the channels and stop bleeding. For step-by-step instructions from practitioner Aileen Moy, you can click here.
Muscle Pain Relief
The warming sensation from Moxa can be wonderful for some types of muscle pain. It helps to warm ligaments and tendons which helps the blood free flow to the area. Some of the most common uses for moxa with muscle pain are with the shoulders and knees. Donna Hernandez describes muscle pain as being cold that gets lodged in the muscles. The moxa warms and helps to disperse and calm the pain. Its aromatic properties allow it to go deeper than if you were to just put a heating lamp over the area.
Eczema or Psoriasis
If you’ve ever experienced any common itching conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, then you’ll be happy to hear that moxibustion therapy can help with that as well. Practitioner Donna Hernandez explains these conditions as being a presentation of dampness that is stuck in certain areas. The moxa will help to dispel dampness from the particular channel that’s affected and provide relief.
While there are numerous benefits to using moxa, there are also some precautions one should take before using it on themselves. It’s a good idea to consult with a practitioner to learn the proper techniques and acupuncture points for your specific needs. You can book a virtual or in-clinic appointment with anyone on our team, they’ll be happy to give you guidance. If you’re interested in buying moxa, you can do that on our online store!