Dr. Mindy Boxer – What is Moxibustion?


You might have me mention Moxibustion as a treatment option. This unfamiliar term needs some definition and clarification for most. So, what is it? Moxibustion is defined as a form of heat therapy that involves burning the dried moxa plant and leaving it on or very near the skin’s surface, thus promoting the flow of “qi” and eliminating certain pathogens in the body.

Moxa is made from the mugwort plant and can be made into sticks of varying sizes or it can be mixed with other herbs to enhance its benefits. Believe it or not, moxa has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It can be applied in what is called a moxa cone which rests on the patient’s skin at the specific treatment point. The acupuncturist will light the cones and let it burn slowly until the patient begins to feel the heat and then the cone is removed.

Typically, in the U.S. moxa is applied more indirectly as a safety precaution. Rather than placing the moxa cone directly on the skin, I  will hold the moxa stick an inch or two above the specific treatment area. Another method is to place the moxa on the Acupuncture needle and leave it to burn until extinguished, thus allowing the heat to travel through the Acupuncture needle directly to a specific Acupuncture point.

WebMD describes moxibustion as “founded on the belief that blockages in the flow of energy lead to mental and physical health problems.” They describe it as an option used to treat back pain, arthritis, headaches and migraines, muscle stiffness, ulcers, fatigue, infertility, menstrual cramps, cancer, and digestive issues.

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What the Research Says

WebMD points to several studies that have been conducted regarding how moxibustion therapy can benefit health, including taking a close look at safety and effectiveness. One study found moxibustion to be excellent therapy for chronic kidney disease. Researchers determined it had a great effect on reducing serum creatinine, which is responsible for poor kidney function when found in high doses. Another study found that moxibustion helped to reduce the severity and frequency of hot flashes in 51 women in their postmenopausal stage after just 14 sessions.

What can Moxibustion Treat?

Moxibustion can be used to treat a variety of issues including pain. It is believed that Moxa heat can expel the cold and dry dampness that causes pain throughout the body (shoulder, abdominal, knee, back, and other joint pain).

Moxa works to improve digestion by warming up the meridians and strengthening the whole digestive system. Moxa treatments can also improve overall health and wellness by strengthening the immune system, thus reducing the risk of illness.

So, what does it feel like to have a moxibustion treatment? For many patients, it feels like a sudden flooding of warmth throughout the entire body. It has a pleasant smell and for most, it is a very relaxing experience as it promotes the flow of qi throughout the body.

Talk to me to find out if moxibustion is the right option for you. There are some potential side effects and Iwill go over them with you as you determine if this is the right course of action for your particular health concern.

Dr. Mindy Boxer is a holistic practitioner who has grown into her specialties in an organic way. Understanding a range of disciplines allows her to integrate the wisdom of Ancient healing in combination with the most recent innovations in Scientific research. This dynamic blend has enabled Dr. Boxer to help patients in the prevention and treatment of disease for over 25 years.
At age 15, Dr. Boxer began her lifelong practice of Yoga & Meditation, read many Nutrition books, began Juicing her Vegetables, and explored and all Raw Diet.  Recognizing the importance of Nutrition in overall health, she earned her Ph.D. in 1986 in Nutrition and Human Behavior, providing her with a solid foundation to counsel and educate patients on how to attain health and vitality.
Her informative Lectures and appetizing Cooking Classes were the perfect forum to educate the community about the effects of food on Mood and Behavior, as well as in innovative ways to balance Body Chemistry in order to achieve overall well being.
Sensing a need to expand her training and understanding of the human body as a whole system, Dr. Boxer continued her studies in Acupuncture & Chinese Herbal Medicine,  and in 1993 earned a Masters Degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine. She is licensed by the Medical Board of the State of California in Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine and is also licensed by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine.
These diverse disciplines give Dr. Boxer a unique view of the human body and how to keep it functioning in an optimal manner. Her practice of Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Functional Nutrition have a profound effect on Hormonal balance, Rejuvenation, and Immune system enhancement.

Dr. Boxer has a particularly keen understanding of Women’s Health issues including Gynecological irregularity, PMS, Fertility, IUI & UVF support, Healthy Pregnancy & Delivery, and Menopausal issues. Her interest in the human body as a dynamic system has given her the understanding to deal with such problems as improper Digestion and elimination, Cancer Support, Allergies, back pain, tight neck and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory distress, chronic fatigue, Insomnia, Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
She has also studied the art and science of Homeopathy, earning her Diplomate in Homeopathy from the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in 1995. This allows her to treat the whole person — physically, mentally, emotionally.

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