“Mugwort” is an herb with a bit of a reputation. For centuries the spongy plant has been ground up and burned as a way to ward off evil. Today, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the practice of moxibustion is a blend of heat therapy and acupuncture. When mugwort is dried, the herb is called “moxa,” which is burned close to a patient’s skin.

Moxibustion is painless. The herb is compressed into a stick or pole that resembles a cigar, or into little balls. When lit, the moxa stick or moxa ball smolders and offers a powerful form of targeted heat therapy that’s relaxing and non-invasive. Moxibustion is particularly successful at relieving chronic pain, stress, impotence, low sex drive, digestive problems and anxiety.

As with most forms of Chinese medicine, moxibustion is intended to strengthen the blood, stimulate the flow of Qi (life energy), and enhance general well-being.