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Blog / Postpartum

Mother Warming: How to use Moxa During Postpartum

Mother Warming is a postpartum treatment that helps energize the mother and facilitate recovery. Best of all, it can be done by the mother (or, better yet, her partner) in the convenience of their own home!

Mother Warming is a technique that utilizes Moxa (Ai Ye or Artemisia), which is an herb that can be used to warm and stimulate acupuncture points through a process called moxibustion. It improves circulation to relieve pain, boosts energy, and is used to warm specific parts of the body. In this case, it is focused on the abdomen and is used to help warm the channels and stop bleeding. You can pick up some Moxa sticks at any one of our centers or online.

To use Moxa: 

  • Start by lighting one end of the stick. The lit end should glow and should feel pleasantly warm when held an inch or two from the skin. You want to feel a nice, strong heat.
  • Hold the lit Moxa about an inch from the area to be treated. Never touch the lit end of a Moxa stick directly to the skin. Slowly move the stick over the area being treated until it feels pleasantly warm. 
  • Remember to ash your Moxa stick frequently, by scraping the ash off the lit end of the stick. This prevents any accumulated ash from falling onto the skin and keeps the lit end nice and hot. 
  • When it is time to extinguish the Moxa, it is best not to use water. Simply drop the light end into an empty mason jar and screw on the lid, or insert it straight up-and-down into a cup of uncooked rice, making sure the entire lit end is completely covered/smothered, like an incense stick. Moxa takes a while to cool down, even after it is no longer burning, so never touch the tip until you are sure it has fully cooled.

Mother Warming

This is a one time treatment given on day four or five postpartum to warm the abdomen. Please note: this should not be done on women who have a fever or experience night sweats because using Moxa can heighten these conditions. While it is safe to do if the mother has undergone a cesarian section, it is best to avoid using Moxa if there is any redness or discharge on the scar.

To begin, slowly move the Moxa stick up and down the abdomen area from acupuncture point ‘Ren-2’ (which you can find right at the pubic bone) to acupuncture point ‘Ren-8’ (which is right at your navel) for about five to ten minutes or until the mother feels pleasantly warm.

Mother in bed with her baby

Next, if the partner is able to assist, continue to use Moxa on the lower back area, in a T-shape motion. Start on acupuncture point ‘Du-2’ (which can be found right below your tailbone) and head up to ‘Du-4’ (which is your lumbar spine) and over to ‘BL-23’ (your kidney area, which is on the same level as Du-4).

Woman lying down with her lower back exposed

To continue facilitating the body in building good quality qi and blood, we also recommend having an acupuncture treatment about 10 to 14 days postpartum. You can come in to see us, but we can also come to you! Reach out to our front desk team to find out more about our concierge service.

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