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Basic Direct Moxibustion Technique; Okyu


Moxibustion is an ancient Chinese medical technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a type of herb, to facilitate healing. This traditional method has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of conditions and is an effective technique for restoring balance to the body. In this tutorial, we will introduce the basics okyu or rice grain moxibustion technique.

Becoming proficient with rice grain moxibustion is not difficult, but it does require consistent practice. If you follow the basic form and pay close attention to which fingers are used, you will be a moxa pro in no time!


This guide is meant to supplement formal training under a qualified teacher and is meant for educational purposes only.

Free Download of the moxibustion practice sheet used in the video

direct_moxa_practice_sheet
.pdf
Download PDF • 129KB

Left Hand Technique

1. A loose ball of moxa floss is held very gently in the palm of the hand using the middle, ring, and little finger

s to stabilize it.


2. The thumb is used to separate a small segment of moxa floss

from the ball by pressing the nail against the index finger.


3. The thumb and index finger are used to roll the moxa floss into a desired size and density.


4. The right hand removes the moxa cone and places it on the patient (see right hand technique).


5. Repeat step 3 until the segment is used up

6. Repeat step 2 to create new segments


Right Hand Technique

1. A moxa cone is placed on the point using the tip of the index finger and thumb.


2. Touch the tip of the middle finger to the skin next to the moxa

cone.

3. Hold the incense parallel to the skin. Do not point the tip downward.

4. Using the index finger and the thumb, roll the incense down

until the tip lights the moxa cone.

5. Roll the incense back up after the cone is lit. If the incense is lifted straight up, rather than rolling it, the moxa may stick to the tip of the incense.


6. Place the edge of the ring finger and thumb next to the moxa cone to control the amount of oxygen it is exposed to. Bring the fingers closer together to slow the burn and decrease heat. Widen the gap to speed up the burn and increase heat.

7. Bring the ring finger and thumb together to remove the cone. It is not always necessary to burn the moxa cone to the skin. 80% burn is very common.

8. Repeat until the desired result is achieved.

Note: The Right Hand Technique is described slightly differently in the written form than in the video. It is recommended that new practitioners pick one method and stick with it until proficient. My preference is for the video.


Controlling The Heat in Rice Grain Moxibustion


The heat of a burning moxa cone is controlled by three factors, size, density, and oxygenation.

The size and number of cones used to treat the patient will vary along with the desired

therapeutic effect. In general, larger cones will burn hotter, and smaller cones will burn cooler.

Cones that are rolled tightly will burn hotter, and cones that are burned loosely will burn cooler. Cones exposed to more oxygen will burn hotter, and cones with restricted oxygen flow will burn cooler. A skilled practitioner can use these principles to control the heat and achieve the desired therapeutic effect.



Basic Direct Moxibustion Technique Dose Guide

Type

Density

Size

Heat

Dose

Tonifying

AcuPoint

Loosely rolled

Sesame to rice grain sized

Gentle Warming

​Until area is warm or light red

Reducing

AcuPoint

Tightly rolled

Very Thin, ½ rice grain or sesame sized

Hot

Slight sting

1-3 Cones

Warming

Area Effect

Medium density

Bean or Dime sized

Gentle warming

Until area is warm or light red

Cooling

Area Effect

​Medium density

​Bean or Dime sized

​Gentle warming

Induce Localized Sweating

Scarring

AcuPoint

Tightly Rolled

Rice sized

​Hot

Can be Painful

Until a blister is raised. May be repeated in follow up treatments.

Check out this related article: Shiunko Recipe for Skincare

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