What is moxibustion?

Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine therapy, which utilises the heat generated by burning herbs, especially a type of herb called Moxa. The name of the herb comes from a Japanese word Moe Kusa that means burning herb. Acupuncture points are stimulated by the herb with the generated heat. Moxibustion consists of lightening a moxa stick which will be brought closer to the skin to get the health benefits described below.

Is moxibustion safe?

Lightening moxa produces smoke and there may be a risk that the inhalation of smoke causes some side-effects including irritation of respiratory tract if you have some respiratory diseases. However, no reports have been made of the side-effects after some large scale research attempts [1][2]. If you have any concern about moxa smoke, please let us know before your treatment. We will see if there is any potential danger on individual basis.

Ligtening moxa involves in the use of fire so there are some risks of causing burn if the treatment is carried on in an inappropriate manner [3]. At Hydra-time, our primary concern is your safety and so we are highly trained not to cause any accidents. However, if you find yourself in need of making the safety protocol clear , don't hesitate to ask us before your treatment.

Moxibustion is a process where some chemical reactions are taken place and so there are some risks that it causes allergic reactions on some people [3]. Please seek our friendly staffs for advice on allergic concerns.


How does moxibustion help me ?

・Breech presentation. Increasing foetal movements [4] [2]. Under week 28-32, the fetus who is in head-up position is allowed to move around in the womb. During the phase of high degree of mobility, the fetus adapts itself to the head-down position . The fetus would suffer from the lack of oxygen if the mother gives a birth with this incorrect position untreated because the foots and legs of the fetus comes first. This would lead to the death of the fetus and so the fetus in head-up position must be turned to head-down position [4]. However, some fetuses fail to adapt themselves to the correct position. Moxibustion was found to be effective to encourage the fetus to go to the right position. According to The Cooperative Research Group on Moxibustion, 1841 of 2041 women who were treated with moxibustion, that is with 90% of success rate, resulted in correcting the head-up position of their fetus [6]. In addition, when moxibustion is combined with acupuncture, a higher success rate was reported [7].However, acupuncture only was reported to be ineffective for this purpose [8]. At Hydra-time, we offer both acupuncture and moxibustion and we wish to be the most supportive and friendly massage therapy practitioner to expecting mothers in Brisbane.

・Some studies suggested limited effectiveness for treating hypertension [9]. It has to be supported by more sound scientific evidence.



  • [1]Vas, Jorge, et al. "Correcting non cephalic presentation with moxibustion: study protocol for a multi-centre randomised controlled trial in general practice." BMC complementary and alternative medicine 8.1 (2008): 1.
  • [2]Coyle, Meaghan E., Caroline A. Smith, and Brian Peat. "Cephalic version by moxibustion for breech presentation." The Cochrane Library (2005).
  • [3]Yamashita, Hitoshi, et al. "Adverse events in acupuncture and moxibustion treatment: a six-year survey at a national clinic in Japan." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 5.3 (1999): 229-236.
  • [4] Vas, Jorge, et al. "Correcting non cephalic presentation with moxibustion: study protocol for a multi-centre randomised controlled trial in general practice." BMC complementary and alternative medicine 8.1 (2008): 1.
  • [5]Ewies, Ayman, and Karl Olah. "Moxibustion in breech version–a descriptive review." Acupuncture in medicine 20.1 (2002): 26-29.
  • [6] Wen, Wei. "Correcting abnormal fetal positions with" Moxibustion"." Midwives chronicle 92.1103 (1979): 432.
  • [7]]Neri, I., et al. "Acupuncture plus moxibustion to resolve breech presentation: a randomized controlled study." The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine 15.4 (2004): 247-252.
  • [8]Neri, Isabella, et al. "Effects of three different stimulations (acupuncture, moxibustion, acupuncture plus moxibustion) of BL. 67 acupoint at small toe on fetal behavior of breech presentation." The American journal of Chinese medicine 35.01 (2007): 27-33.
  • [9] Kim, Jong-In, et al. "Moxibustion for hypertension: a systematic review." BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 10.1 (2010): 1.