Moxibustion is another ancient Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort to facilitate healing. The Chinese character for acupuncture, translated literally, means "acupuncture-moxibustion. Moxibustion is used to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of qi, and maintain general health. The sensation that moxa produces is a pleasant heat that penetrates deep into the skin. In traditional Chinese medicine, moxibustion is used on people who have a cold or stagnant condition. The burning of moxa expels cold and warms the meridians, which leads to smoother flow of blood and qi. Moxibustion has successfully been used to turn breech babies into a normal head-down position prior to childbirth. A study published in JAMA in 1998 found that up to 75% of women suffering from breech presentations before childbirth had fetuses that rotated to the normal position after receiving moxibustion at an acupuncture point on the small toe. Mugwort, the herb which is used for moxibustion, also known as artemesia vulgaris or ai ye in Chinese, increases circulation to the pelvic area and uterus and stimulates menstruation It can also be used to help eliminate menstrual cramps. It is frequently used alongside acupuncture for conditions ranging from bronchial asthma to arthritis with amazing success. In moxibustion, the leaves of the Chinese herb mugwort are dried and then burned using one of several methods. The 'moxa stick' is the most common form in which moxibustion is used to promote healing. Here the dried mugwort is rolled up tightly and wrapped in paper forming a cigar-like stick. It is then waved over the area to be warmed for a few minutes.
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