Treating Bell’s Palsy with Moxibustion

Bell’s Palsy is a sudden and temporary facial paralysis that causes half of the face to droop. It can be very alarming, but is usually a temporary condition. Once you get the diagnosis it is important to treat with immediately with acupuncture, acupressure and moxibustion. Although the causes of Bell’s Palsy are not completely known, stress is considered a major factor.

Check out this video on how to use Moxibustion to treat Bell’s Palsy.

The Power of Ginger

photo (9)Ginger is the root of the plant Zingiber officinale and is a spice used for seasoning food as well as a powerful Medicinal that has been used in many cultures for thousands of years. Originating in China and then disseminating across the trade routes, ginger is one of the most widely used spices today. 

Ginger is popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is often added to herbal formulas. Ginger therapeutic functions are to aid digestion and systemically warm the body. Moxibustion can be burned directly over ginger slices on the abdomen to “warm the digestive fire” for indigestion, diarrhea and nausea.

Ginger makes you sweat…

Sweat it out:
The easiest place for a pathogen to enter is the nape of the neck. This point is called Fang Chi, or Wind Pool, and lies where the head and neck meet. This point is often tender on palpation. This is why it is so important to keep your neck covered to avoid catching a chill.

If you catch a slight chill and feel that you are coming down with a cold the best thing to do is to generate a light sweat and then get under the covers.

Making a Ginger Root Tea is one of the most effective ways to promote a light sweat as well as reduce phlegm.

Making Ginger Root Tea:

1) Buy a root of Ginger (preferably organic or local)

2) Wash well

3) Break into pieces, or chop and pulverize with water in blender. Combine chopped ginger and water with more water to a pot.

4) Boil for 20 minutes and then simmer for at least 20 more. Strain or drink as is…Raw honey is a nice addition too, especially if your throat is sore.

Enjoy!

The Power of Mugwort and its Role in Traditional Medicine

MUGWORT OLDE

Moxibustion, or Moxa for short, is a Traditional Chinese Medicinal Therapy using dried Mugwort.  The tips of the mugwort plant are pulverized into a fluffy substance which is then burned over specific points on the body to promote healing.

Mugwort or Artemisa Vulgaris in Latin, has a long history in Traditional Medicine and has been used throughout China, Tibet, Korea and Japan. Additionally, mugwort is regarded as a sacred plant of divination and spiritual healing by traditional people of North and South America.

All of the parts of the plant can be utilized; leaves are consumed as tea or added to food and according to medieval practices, placed under pillows for dream enhancement. Mugwort was also referred to as a traveler’s herb and was traditionally used to strengthen and protect travelers. Additionally, Chinese Folklore recommends draping a bunch over the door to promote health for the entire year.

Mugowort can be spotted popping up between sidewalk cracks and along the side of highways. Mugwort is all over New York City.

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Mugwort apparently thrives in the urban jungle. 

In Notes on Bian Que’s Moxibustion, it says, “When a healthy man often has moxibustion to the points guanyuan, qihai,mingmen, and zhongwan, he would live a very long life, at least one hundred years.”

Why:

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Moxibustion is a panacea. Moxibustion has the power to travel to all of the channels of the body, which means that moxa can systemically warm the body and stimulate circulation.

Moxibustion Uses:

  • Moxibustion treats “cold conditions”, which may manifest as pain, reduced circulation and arthritis.

  • Moxibustion has an ability to support the immune system and decrease inflammation, this makes moxa useful for the treatment of chronic illnesses, fatigue, allergies and lowered immunity.

  • Additionally, moxa has the special ability to guide to the uterus. Often called a “woman’s herb” moxa is effective for the treatment of delayed, painful and irregular menses.

  • Turn breech babies. This is an empirical usage for moxibustion and have been proven an effective treatment for cephalic positioning in numerous clinical trials.

Moxibustion for Fertility:

Moxa is considered an emmengogue, which means an herb that stimulates blood flow to the uterus.

Moxa is particularly useful for treating “cold” reproductive health conditions that manifest as:

  • Irregular menses

  • Painful, clotty periods

  • Stagnation

Cold, stagnant conditions could be considered endometriosis, fibroids and cysts in the allopathic paradigm.

Using pole moxa or direct moxa over the uterus brings warmth and Qi into the organ. Blood flow quickly increases and pain diminishes.

A moxa box can also be utilized. Moxa box is literally a box stuffed with fresh moxa and burned over the abdomen. This can help concentrate the warming powers of moxa into the uterus.

Types of Moxibustion

Indirect Moxibustion:

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Indirect moxa can be applied by using Pole Moxa. Moxa is pressed and rolled into sticks that are waved over the acupuncture points or regions of the body. Pole moxa comes in smokey and smokeless forms. Smokeless Pole moxa is useful for pregnant women.

Sticky Moxa:

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Stick-on moxa is a great modern day product created in Japan, Korea and China. The base is a self-adhesive to the treatment point.

“Warming Needle”:

  • Fresh moxa is rolled into a ball and placed in the end of an acupuncture needle and lit. This drives the heat into the acupuncture needle, which is transmitted deeply into the acupuncture point.

  • “Shish-kebob moxa” are pre-rolled cones of moxa that can be applied to the tip of the needle.IMG_1457

Direct Moxibustion:

A practitioner will roll small balls otherwise known as ‘Rice Grain Moxa” and place them directly on the skin, typically over a salve to prevent accidental burning. The moxa is often lit with a stick of incense and removed when hot.

Additionally moxa can be pressed into cones that are also applied to the skin and lit.

Additional Techniques:

  • Ginger Moxa:

To enhance the warming power of moxa, direct moxa can be burned over a slice of ginger on the navel. This technique is particularly effective for stomach and intestinal conditions like diarrhea and nausea.

  • Salt moxa:

Burning direct moxa over sea salt in the umbilicus is another way to deeply warm the core of the body. This is very effective for the treatment of lowered immunity, hypothyroid and GI issues such as diarrhea.

Mugwort Leaf, Ai Ye:

The leaves of the Mugwort plant are also used medicinally in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This herb, called Ai Ye is typically added to a customized formula to bring warmth to the uterus.

How:

Pole Moxa:

  • Light the pole

  • Hold the pole approximately 1.5″ from the skin. Make small circles with the pole or a pecking motion with the pole.

  • Do not touch the skin.

  • Heat each point for 3-10 Minutes.

  • Extinguish in a mason jar.

  • Do not attempt direct moxa at home.

Acupuncture Points Recommended:

zusanli (ST-36): 

Frequent moxibustion on zusanli can invigorate the spleen and stomach, assist in digestion and strengthen the body. 

Shenque (Ren-8): Frequent moxibustion on this point can tonify Qi and strengthen the body.

zhongwan (Ren-12):  Frequent moxibustion on this point can tonify Qi and strengthen the body.

yongquan (KI-1): Frequent moxibustion at this point can strengthen the body and contribute to longevity, for it replenishes the kidney and invigorates yang. When using moxa sticks for moxibustion, it should last 3-5 minutes, and in the case of using moxa cones, 3-7 cones are usually needed each time.

For Turning a Breech Baby:

Use smokeless moxa at UB 67, the lateral tip of the pinky toe for 10 minutes on each side daily. Start between 34 weeks and 38 weeks for best results.

Autumn & Letting Go

Autumn & Letting Go

diamonds

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”
Havelock Ellis

Autumn is upon us and what a fabulous time to DETOXIFY your body and mind. Just as the universe is casting out its bright colors in the last moments of autumn, people too can choose to hold onto experiences from the past year or let them go.

Are you ready to let go? Ann Landers said that “hanging onto resentment is like letting someone live rent free in your head.” From a Chinese medicine point of view, resentment, food stagnation and toxins cause inevitable sickness and unhappiness. Stop the cycle now.

Autumn & The METAL Element

The METAL element in Traditional Chinese medicine is synonymous with refined taste, the spark of creativity, the brilliance of diamonds, the shine of polished silver and the sentiment of respect. Metal can be manifested in one’s feeling of self-worth and their inherent value.

The METAL element is manifested in the outside world in the season autumn. The fall is the turning point when all of nature’s bounty reaches its apex and turn towards decline. Decaying plants, leaves and foods left over from spring and summer pour nutrients back into the earth ensuring future growth in the spring.

Autumn is also the season characterized by the Lungs and the Large Intestines. The lungs are in charge of pulling in fresh energy from the cosmos and literally providing INSPIRATION….whilst the large intestine lets go of the body’s impurities. Some texts state that individuals who suffer from chronic diarrhea suffer from an inability to hold onto what is beneficial for them while those suffering from constipation are unable to let go of what is toxic for them. Do any of these concepts resonate with you?