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What Is Moxibustion? How Can It Help You?

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medical practice that involves the use of heat to stimulate specific points on the body. This process improves circulation, helps to relieve pain, boosts energy, and can assist with fertility related conditions.

But is moxibustion effective and safe for pain relief? Let's take a closer look.

Health Wise has over thirty years of clinical experience delivering Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments in Central Hong Kong. Learn more at our therapies page.

If you are interested in booking an appointment, contact us today, our friendly staff will be happy to help you.

Call: +852 2526 7908

Whatsapp: +852 9855 2840



Article Contents:

Is Moxibustion Safe?

Additional Content

Acupuncture at Health Wise Chinese Medicine Consultancy For Chronic Pain Relief
Moxibustion At Health Wise Chinese Medicine Consultancy

What Is Moxibustion?

The herb Moxa (mugwort) is burned and placed close to the surface of the skin to warm and stimulate acupuncture points along the body's meridians.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, moxibustion works by stimulating the flow of qi in the body. By applying heat to specific acupuncture points along the body’s meridians, moxibustion can help to restore balance to the body's energy flow and promote healing.

There are two types of moxibustion: indirect and direct.

The indirect form of moxibustion is generally more popular, and the form that we tend to recommend at Health Wise. With indirect moxibustion, a trained practitioner will light one end of a moxa stick and hold it close to the treatment area for a few minutes until the area turns red.

Another form of indirect moxibustion uses both acupuncture needles and moxa. An acupuncture needle is inserted, the tip of the needle is attached to moxa which is then ignited. This method creates heat in the surrounding area. When the patient experiences relief, the moxa is extinguished and the needle is taken out.

In direct (non-scarring) moxibustion, moxa is placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. The moxa is placed on the point and lit, but is extinguished or removed before it burns the skin. Patients will feel a pleasant sensation of heat that penetrates deep into the body, but will not experience any pain under the guidance of a trained and experienced practitioner.

How Can Moxibustion Help You?


According to a 2018 review Moxa used in moxibustion is a medicinal plant that may have several health benefits:

  • Treatment & prevention of malaria

  • Anti-inflammatory properties

  • Lowering blood pressure

  • Slowing free radical damage

  • Reduction of muscle spasms

  • Liver Protection

Pain Relief

While moxibustion has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has also become the subject of numerous scientific studies. Research suggests that moxibustion may be effective for pain relief, particularly for chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain and osteoarthritis. A comprehensive review of the usage of moxibustion for lower back pain can be found here. Additionally, a research study found that a 6-week course of moxibustion can relieve pain effectively and improve function in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Moxibustion can play an important role in pain management within a comprehensive treatment plan.

From the Western Medicine perspective, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective in the treatment of chronic pain conditions, but side effects and adverse reactions from related drug use still pose a problem for some patients.

On the other hand, Acupuncture and moxibustion therapy offers a more holsitic approach that can help to clear the blood, relieve nerve root compression, promote blood circulation in the waist, and eliminate edema by stimulating acupoints to relieve pain.

Fertility & Pregnancy

Another, Interestingly another use-case for Moxibustion is in the realm of fertility. Moxibustion is used to warm the uterus to treat some types of infertility by improving pelvic circulation, balancing hormones, reducing stress, and improving energy.

In addition, during pregnancy it can also be used to encourage breech babies to turn. Research done in the United States and Europe has shown that using moxibustion increases the chance that a breech baby will turn to the head down position.

Is Moxibustion Safe?

Moxibustion can involve risks if you fail to pick an experienced pracitioner in a reputable clinic, one being the risk of getting burned. For this reason, it is best to stick with the indirect moxibustion approach.

In terms of safety, moxibustion is generally considered to be safe when performed by a trained practitioner. Health Wise has over 30+ years of clinical experience and our practitioners are experienced professionals registered to practice in Hong Kong. If you are interested in booking an appointment, contact us today, our friendly staff will be happy to help you.

Call: +852 2526 7908

Whatsapp: +852 9855 2840



Additional content...

... Are you interested to learn about Acupuncture too? Keep reading!


Acupuncture can help patients to manage perioperative and postoperative pain (pain around the time of, and after surgery), as well as visceral pain (pain associated to the internal organs in the midline of the body).

Research analyzing 29 studies from 18,000 participants showed that Acupuncture was effective in providing pain relief, by reducing symptoms of pain by approximately 50% amongst patients.

Learn more in the following video below:

Health Wise

Health Wise has over thirty years of clinical experience, and we aim to deliver the best Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments in Hong Kong. In 2021, our Practitioner Dr. Troy Sing won gold for Best TCM Practitioner in Hong Kong.

The clinic provides crafted individual treatments to address each patient’s internal landscape. At HealthWise, you’ll receive a 60-minute initial consultation and treatment with custom-made formulas for your body's constitution.

We aim to provide a caring and compassionate environment. To allow you to tell your story and not just recite medical results and outcomes.

Health Wise provides personalized treatment plans for:

Dedicated Care With Meaningful Results

Our approach is deeply rooted in Classical Chinese Medicine, yet integrates seamlessly with the Western medical care that our patients receive. We look forward to joining you on your journey.

Dr. Troy Sing

Troy Sing is a Hong Kong Registered Practitioner of Chinese Medicine who has over thirty years of extensive clinical experience in Pain management, Reproductive Medicine, Gynecology, and Andrology. A graduate of Australia’s Chinese Medicine Degree (acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, neuromuscular massage) Program, he has also completed a Masters in neuro-physiology investigating the analgesic mechanisms of acupuncture (1995).

Troy's publications include ‘The Analgesic Mechanisms of Acupuncture, Journal of Chinese Medicine, 1996; and co-author of ‘Health Beauty & Vitality: A woman’s Guide to Chinese medicine’ 2004. He has held the post of the course coordinator and lecturer at the University of Hong Kong’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Department (S.P.A.C.E.) (1997-2001). President of the Hong Kong Medical Acupuncture Association (2002-2005). Further post-graduate studies include Gynecology, Reproductive medicine, Andrology, and Sports Science.

Over the last decade, the most influential courses he has completed include SiYuan Balance Method Acupuncture level 1 (Dr. Eileen Han Ph.D.), Pulsynergy Herbology Level 1-IV (Dr. Jimmy Chang), NeiJing Acupuncture (Dr. Ed Neal MD), and HunYuan Chinese Herbal Medicine (Dr. Yaron Seidman Ph.D.).

Learn More About Chinese Medicine

Visit our Health Wise Blog, we have a number of informative articles to help our patients. Here's a series of articles that we think may be beneficial:

We aim to continue to provide more useful Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture information at our Health Wise Chinese Medicine's Newsletter page.

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