Moxibustion is the burning of an herb called Ai Ye (artemisiae argyi) over acupoints, on needles, or other areas of the body such as the meridians. The function is to remove blood stasis, promote blood circulation, disperse cold, and relieve pain.
There are many types and form of moxibustion (moxa). The most common applications are Direct moxibustion, where the moxa is directly applied to the points (with a thin barrier) and the heat is controlled by the techniques of the practitioner. Direct moxa usually uses the floss into rolled cones of the Ai Ye herb. The other is Indirect moxibustion, where the heat from the burning moxa is held close to but not directly sitting on the skin. Indirect usually uses a compacted cigar-like stick of the Ai Ye herb. The patient experiences a penetrating intense heat on the specific point, yet it is not uncomfortable. Moxibustion is best used in combined with acupuncture and can greatly enhance the results of treatment.