Updated: Sep 13, 2020
So, what can you expect from an acupuncture session?
Did you know that sometimes we don't even have to use needles?
Today's blog post is going to be about moxa and gua sha. Both these methods have been used for thousands of years and are unique in their therapeutic properties. They can be used on their own and as part of a treatment with acupuncture needles.
It is possible that you might have seen gua sha as a facial treatment?
You may have even seen stones which look like this?
However, traditionally gua sha is used to scrape away illness (and they would have used jade or ox horn) and can be used for headaches, colds, muscle injuries and poor circulation.
In a traditional Chinese medicine treatment, the colour of the 'sha' is indicative to your practitioner. It helps us to diagnose and gives us more information.
But it is important that your practitioner make you aware that the 'sha' can last for 7 days. As an example, I have included a photo and video of both during and after. Excuse the 10-year-old fleece onesie.
BEFORE 5 DAYS AFTER
If you are based in the US, I can highly recommend Yang Face for purchasing your gua sha tools
If you are based in the UK, I would recommend Hayo'u Method
I use oil from Child's Farm to act as the lubricant. And as you can see I actually use a jam jar lid as my tool. Which is very effective!
Until I studied Chinese Medicine, I admit moxa (or moxibustion) was something I had never heard of or seen in action.
However, since then I have fallen in love with this treatment.
The picture on the left is me using moxa on Spleen 1.
Your Chinese Medicine practitioner would only use it in the case of the diagnosis below, but depending on their use of it you may still smell the very distinctive aroma!
It is very important to understand the safety implications of using this method and you should not use or use with extreme caution as per the indications below.
But some incredible uses for moxa can include:
Helping to stop very heavy menses - personal experience
Helping for tuberculosis - https://www.moxafrica.org/ / https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1876382018301690
Helping for turning breech babies - https://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/services/maternity/our-services/your-pregnancy/a-breech-baby#:~:text=Moxibustion%20close%20to%20the%20acupuncture,moxibustion%20from%2032%E2%80%9338%20weeks.
If you would like more information there are some inspiring Facebook groups and books.
I had the pleasure of having an email conversation with Merlin Young who wrote The Moon Over Matsushima: Insights into Moxa and Mugwort. He is also part of Moxa Africa and his knowledge is incredible
The Moon Over Matsushima - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075JNWL19/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1
Moxa Africa - https://www.facebook.com/Moxafrica
Moxibustion: The Power of Mugwort Fire - https://www.facebook.com/MoxaFire
I hope you have enjoyed this short summary of two amazing treatments.
And as always if you have any questions please let me know.