Moxabustion is a Chinese therapy involving the burning of a cigar shaped stick, made of moxa (artemesia vulgaris) and other herbs, close to the skin at specific acupuncture points, (or in China, even on the skin). The heat, therapeutically can be even more effective than acupuncture, when appropriately applied.
There are four basic indications for moxabustion:
In certain circumstances, the moxa is burned indirectly through different media, depending upon the condition treated. The media used with moxa include ginger (to treat digestive disorders and arthritis from vacuitous cold), garlic, to treat swellings and carbuncles, salt (specifically placed upon the abdomen) to treat digestive disorders accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea, and aconite, an energetically hot herb, to treat severe cold vacuitous conditions.
Contraindications for moxabustion include conditions where the patient exhibits excess heat or high fever and the abdominal cavity and the lumbosacral region for pregnant women.
Because of the smoke and odor from moxabustion I personally use a relatively smokeless variety of moxa.
There is a concept in Jewish tradition called "Segula." Literally translated as "a treasure", a segula is a cure which defies logic, which has been handed down through oral tradition from generation to generation, and which clearly works! The Rabenu Bachaya brings down, for example, that when the Jews reached Mara, (the place of bitter waters, shortly after crossing the Red Sea, and before reaching Mount Sinai) Ha-Shem taught and tested Moshe on the healing properties of plants, both their natural medicinal properties as well as their "segula" properties, which defied logic.
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