Alongside acupuncture, moxibustion is a powerful form of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves the use of a herb called moxa (which is also known as mugwort).
Moxa can be employed in a variety of ways in the clinical setting. Perhaps most commonly today, the moxa that is used is rolled into a cigar-like shape, which is then lit at one end. This can then be held over a specific acupuncture point or an area of the body. According to the theories of traditional Chinese medicine, the warmth that is produced with moxibustion can penetrate to deep levels of the body and facilitate healing.
The effects can often be felt immediately. Many people with lower back pain or knee pain, through a combination of acupuncture and moxibustion report a sense of greater strength and less pain in the area. Both of these conditions respond well to the use of moxa, but perhaps its most well-known use is in the turning of a breech presentation.
Outside of China and East Asia, this has been used by people all over the world for its therapeutic properties for many centuries.