Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called "moxa" are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. It typically consists of the dried leafy material of Chinese mugwort, but it can consist of other substances as well. Moxa increases nerve conductivity and blood flow, all important physiologic responses necessary for healing. From a historical perspective in traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion treats 'cold' or 'stagnant' conditions as it expels cold and warms the meridian leading to a smoother flow of blood and Qi.
There are two types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. In direct moxibustion, a small, cone-shaped amount of moxa is set on top of an acupuncture point and burned. Clients will experience a pleasant heating sensation that penetrates deep into the skin, but should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring. Once the area becomes uncomfortably warm, the moxa is removed. Indirect moxibustion is when a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick, roughly the shape and size of a cigar, and holds it close to the area being treated for several minutes until the area turns red and/or heat is felt. Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. A needle is inserted into an acupuncture point while the other end of the needle is then wrapped in moxa and ignited. Once the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle(s) removed.
A small inconvenience associated with moxibustion is the smoke and odor. Although there are so-called smokeless varieties of moxa, the preferred true moxa (made from mugwort) does produce a lot of smoke when burned. At HealingTree, we mainly use the smokeless variety. Moxa does leave a unique smoky odor. Some people like the smell, and some people don’t. We do our best to keep the rooms ventilated. At HealingTree, moxa is often used as an adjunct therapy.
A TDP lamp is a therapeutic thermal lamp that promotes metabolism, regulates physiologic responses, and diminishes inflammation in the body by emitting far infrared rays through a curing plate coated with minerals essential to the body. Far-Infrared is a therapeutic heat delivered by infrared light, which is the invisible portion of the sun’s light spectrum. Infrared means “below red” and pertains to the light waves just below the visible color red, at the far end of the light spectrum. The “far” part of infrared light indicates the infrared light waves that have longer wavelengths. These rays can be absorbed up to 5 inches into the body. TDP is the abbreviation for T ed-ding D ian-ci-bo Pu, the Chinese Pinyin pronunciation for “Special Electromagnetic Spectrum”. A group of Chinese scientists and physicians headed by Dr Gou Wenbin invented the TDP lamp. They are referred to as ‘miracle lamps’ in China. It won a gold medal at the 35th Brussels Eureka World Fair for Invention in 1986. At HealingTree nearly every treatment session uses a TDP lamp.