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Moxibustion Therapy In Coronado, San Diego

Moxibustion is an element of Traditional Chinese Medicine used to supplement acupuncture treatments. If you are looking for moxibustion in Coronado, San Diego, Peak Health Group now offers this safe and effective therapeutic modality in conjunction with Durkin Acupuncture.


Moxibustion Explained

Many people now know what acupuncture is, thanks to its inclusion in Western medicine as a treatment for pain and other conditions. However, they may not be familiar with moxibustion, which is equally ancient and helpful for numerous health and wellness concerns.


Moxibustion can be used on its own or as an adjunct to acupuncture to enhance its benefits and treat specific issues. The most popular form of moxibustion, known as indirect moxibustion, can utilize one of two methods. With the first option, a moxa cone or stick made with the mugwort herb (known as “Ai Ye” in China) is held close to the treatment area until that spot on the body turns red.


In the second type of moxibustion, acupuncture needles are inserted along the appropriate meridians (life-energy pathways) and left in place. Moxa is then wrapped around the tip of the needles and ignited. The heat that is generated at that location and the surrounding area provides relief, and eventually, the moxa is extinguished before the needle is removed.

The Many Uses and Benefits of Moxibustion

Because of its warming effect, moxibustion is often performed on people who are considered to have a stagnant or cold condition in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The meridian is warmed, qi (energy flow) is stimulated, and the blood is strengthened, resulting in improved health overall.

There are numerous specific conditions that typically respond well to moxibustion, and the benefits of this centuries-old treatment are multifold:

  • Pain Relief

  • Improved digestion

  • Regulation of the menstrual cycle

  • Increased fertility

  • Greater energy

One of the most common but perhaps surprising uses for moxibustion is to turn a baby who is in a breech position (feet facing downward) prior to birth. Indirect moxibustion used on the pinkie toe at about 34 weeks’ gestation can cause the baby to shift to a more preferable head-down, feet-up presentation, which generally makes delivery safer and easier.

People who come to Peak Health Group for moxibustion performed by Brittany Durkin, L.Ac., DACM, of Durkin Acupuncture often have certain health concerns for which moxibustion is indicated:

  • Arthritis

  • Tendonitis

  • Back pain


    Chronic pain

  • Muscle stiffness

  • Ulcers

  • Digestive problems (colitis, IBS, diarrhea, constipation, etc.)

  • Migraines

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Menstrual cramps

  • Stroke rehabilitation

  • Infertility

  • Slow healing

  • Prevention of colds and flu

  • Breech presentation of an unborn baby

  • High blood pressure (AKA hypertension)

  • Nausea related to cancer

  • Hot flashes

  • Asthma

  • Cancer

What Is The Efficacy and Safety of Moxibustion?

If you’re new to moxibustion treatments, you may wonder about its efficacy and safety, since this is still a less well-known aspect of TCM. Rest assured that moxibustion has been well studied clinically and has been deemed safe and effective for most people (see contraindications below). Research is ongoing into the many uses of moxibustion because scientists have seen promise in numerous studies so far.

Even if it doesn’t solve your specific health problem directly, it can often speed up healing and increase general feelings of energy and wellbeing. We think most people have nothing to lose by trying moxibustion administered by a qualified professional like Brittany Durkin. Many users have found relief from moxibustion. Some have even been able to reduce or eliminate the use of pharmaceutical treatments by using the integrative health practices offered by Peak Health Group.

The results of moxibustion may exceed your expectations, so it’s ideal to try it with an open mind. After all, this therapeutic modality has been around for thousands of years and is widely used in China and other parts of Asia. It wouldn’t be so well established there if many people didn’t find success with it!

Moxibustion Therapy FAQs

What does a moxibustion treatment feel like?

People who receive moxibustion treatments frequently describe a feeling of warmth flooding over them and heat radiating along the meridian that’s the focus of attention. This feeling means that qi is flowing freer and faster, which accounts for many of the positive benefits of moxibustion.

Does moxibustion produce odors?

Because there is burning of the mugwort herb involved in moxibustion, there is an odor associated with it. Some people liken it to cannabis (marijuana). We always perform moxibustion treatments in a room with good ventilation for this purpose.

Is moxibustion ever contraindicated (not recommended)?

In a few cases, moxibustion may not be the treatment of choice for you. Avoid moxibustion if:


You have ever had a previous allergic reaction to mugwort, moxa, or a moxibustion treatment

Moxibustion makes you feel nauseous or causes vomiting

The smoke from a moxa stick causes coughing, respiratory problems, and/or a sore throat

Your physician advises against it

You have an adverse reaction to moxibustion not listed above

Before undergoing moxibustion treatments, always consult with your physician or birth practitioner if you are pregnant. If you’re not sure if you have a health condition that would make moxibustion contraindicated, please check with your healthcare provider.

Who can perform moxibustion treatments in Coronado, San Diego? Peak Health! Call us today!

If you are having moxibustion treatments using acupuncture needles, these sessions should always be conducted by a qualified acupuncture professional like Brittany Durkin, who has been trained in the administration of comprehensive traditional Chinese medicine. Some midwives and other birth specialists are now getting trained in acupuncture to assist their pregnant patients and may administer moxibustion treatments to reverse breech presentations, as described above.

Initial moxibustion treatments without needles should also be done by an acupuncturist who is familiar with moxibustion and TCM. However, in some cases, your acupuncturist may instruct you on how to perform moxibustion without needles at home so that you can experience more frequent treatments at your own convenience. The acupuncturist may give you a moxa stick, which resembles a cigar, to use for these home sessions.

We welcome your questions about Peak Health Group’s alternative health options, including acupuncture and moxibustion. For more information or to schedule an appointment, feel free to reach out today.