With autumn well under way, the common cold and flu spark back into life. Fear not! There is an easy, cheap, simple and most importantly natural remedy from the acupuncture box of tricks that can bring you relief of symptoms of sneezing, sinus congestion, a sore throat and even (though hopefully not) a raised temperature.
Moxibustion is the burning of mugwort, a heating and clearing herb. It can be burnt over specific acupuncture points (directlty) and along the channels and musculature (in a cigar/stick form) to help clear and strengthen the immune system, relax muscles, improve digestion and even gynecological issues – leaving a gentle, warm and relaxing sensation.
Here is what you need to do to help clear cold and flu:
1. Light the stick at one end, with an ashtray or plate handy for collecting ash and extinguishing the stick at the end. The stick never needs to be closer than a half-inch from your skin. The point is to warm, not burn.
2. Start off waving the moxa for 10-15 minutes over the web of the hands between the thumb and forefinger, where Large Intestine 4 is located, and is great for clear things from the body (including pain) and is often very sore if pressed hard (if so, keep massaging until no longer sore). This point alone can be very effective at removing a cold in a matter of minutes. But let’s take more measures to make sure.
3. Slowly move the moxa stick up the arm to the shoulder, either sweeping the whole arm back and forth very slowly or working for one minute on a three inch area before moving up. The aim is to warm up the channels and allow the qi and blood to flow, clearing out the cold or flu and restoring the function of the Lung in protecting us from invading pathogens.
4. Pay particular attention to the inner elbow, from the tendon in line with the middle finger to the outer elbow crease.
5. When you’ve done that, sweep all the way from your shoulder, down your arm to LI4 to finish, for added emphasis to help clear any Wind, Cold and Damp from the channels and the Lung.
6. You can repeat this up to 6 times a day depending on your need and desire.
7. Tap off any extra ash from the stick and stub out in the ashtray or on the plate, holding the stick straight down with firm pressure until it is completely extinguished,
You can buy moxa sticks from me for £2.50.