Current Conditions of Moxibustion Therapy in China
  31 Jul 2023
Current Conditions of Moxibustion Therapy in China

In naturopathic clinics of Europe, moxibustion is a widely used traditional Chinese therapy. What are the current conditions of moxibustion therapy in its birthplace China? Recently I read the data from a Chinese article written by Zhao Xiaoguang, Wu Zhongchao and their team, based on their research in Hospital of Changping District of Beijing and Hospital of Acupuncture and Moxibustion of China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences. I would like to introduce their research result in this article.

Table of contntents:

1) Acceptance of moxibustion

2) Methods of moxibustion

3) What we can do for you

Acceptance of moxibustion

In the research of Zhao Xiaoguang, Wu Zhongchao and their team, all of 210 respondents are practitioners of acupuncture and moxibustion. 32.38% of the respondents never use moxibustion, and 32.4% of the respondents use moxibustion as a regular therapy, while the rest may use moxibustion sometimes.

In the clinical practice of Chinese practitioners, the most treated diseases are bone and joint diseases, pain diseases, gynaecological diseases, digestive system diseases.

Almost all of the respondents recognise the efficacy of moxibustion. The reasons that prevent practitioners from using moxibustion mainly include the smoke of burning moxa, time-consuming manipulation and low service fee. Based on the knowledge that the smoke of moxa acts an important role in therapeutic effects of moxibustion, 41.9% of moxibustion therapists use smoky moxa without any ventilation, and only 16.67% of moxibustion therapists use smokeless moxa. Most of the respondents doubt if smokeless moxa and alternative therapeutic devices can take the place of traditional smoky moxa.

Methods of moxibustion

Moxibustion therapy has a lot of methods.

Moxa burner boxes are used by 79.58% of moxibustion therapists. A moxa burner box has some special advantages. It can collect burning moxa ash that may burns the skin, and it can regulate the effectiveness of burning moxa. Except a box, a moxa burner container can also be a cylinder.

Warm acupuncture with burning moxa is used by 65.49% of moxibustion therapists. During the method, the handle of a needle is inserted into a short moxa roll or a small moxa cluster. It is a combination of acupuncture and moxibustion.

Indirect moxibustion is used by 38.03% of moxibustion therapists. The method generally puts a slice of ginger with pinholes on the skin. And then a moxa cone is put on the ginger slice. A slice of garlic is an alternative of ginger. For the acupoint Shenque (CV 8), salt can be an alternative put on the navel. In order to strengthen the effectiveness of moxibustion, some therapists use a small round piece of pre-made covering called “aconite cake” as the alternative of a ginger slice. Aconite cakes are the dried mixture of the powder of aconite root and Chinese rice wine.

Direct moxibustion, which means a moxa cone is directly put on the skin, is used by 30.28% of moxibustion therapists. There are two kinds of direct moxibustion. The first method is to keep the moxa cone until it burns out, and the other method is to remove the moxa cone before it burns out. The first method brings a big pain to the patient and makes a scar. So it is rarely used in modern times.

Moxibustion along a channel is used by 23.94% of moxibustion therapists. It is also called   spreading moxibustion. Du moxibustion, which is moxibustion on the Du Channel located on the back, gets a special name “long snake moxibustion” for its look. During the therapy of Du moxibustion, gingers or garlics are smashed and made into rectangular covering on the acupoints of the Du Channel. And moxa cones are put on the coverings.

Bird-pecking moxibustion is used by 23.94% of moxibustion therapists. The method requires the therapist to hold a moxa roll by hand. At the beginning, the distance between the burning moxa roll and the skin is about 3 cm. During the moxibustion, the distance is not fixed, and the moxa roll can be moved up and down like a bird pecks.

Alternative therapeutic devices are used by 22.54% of moxibustion therapists. Infrared devices  can simulate the infrared effects of moxibustion, while electric heating devices can simulate the heat effects of moxibustion. But the devices don’t have the herbal effects of moxa smoke.

Nowadays, there are some other alternative products that try to simulate the herbal effects of moxibustion. Moxa essential oil can be coated on an acupoint before an infrared therapy; A moxa cake can be put on an acupoint and take effect through electric heating. Moreover, there are some electric devices that try to automate moxibustion.

What we can do for you

We offer a wide range of products for satisfying the needs of different moxibustion methods, including smoky moxa products, smokeless moxa products and moxa burner containers. We provide moxa rolls, moxa sticks, moxa cones and loose moxa. Our specially selected moxa rolls are made of moxa aged three years, five years, eight years or ten years. We offer moxa burner boxes and cylinders. In addition to brass moxa rollers, there are moxa boxes made of wood, bamboo or jade with steel liner. Some containers can satisfy the therapy of moxibustion on multi acupoints at the same time. Moreover, we offer a kind of steel cup that can be put on a normal needle for warm acupuncture.


1. Zhao, X., et al., 2022. Investigation Report on Application of Moxibustion in China. Basic Traditional Chinese Medicine, 1 (4), p. 61-66. 

2. Wang, F., et al., 2016. Methodology of Acupuncture and Moxibustion. 4th ed. Beijing: China Press of Traditional Chinese Medicine.