Moxibustion is one type of hyperthermia therapy method that originated in ancient China well over 2,200 years ago. The method was brought to Japan along with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine around the sixth century.
The Japanese word for moxibustion is ‘Okyu’ and the definition is ‘putting fire with the help of incense to ‘mogusa’ (艾=mug wort). It is used to stimulate acupuncture points on the body with a small amount of heat directly applied to the body with the help of “mogusa.”
Japanese mogusa is made from the leaves of the mug wort plant.
Due to the numerous qualities of mogusa, it has been used in many kinds of products, but only 3 percent of the total weight of the finest leaves of mug wort can be used in Okyu. From 270kg of mug wort leaves you can only obtain 900g which is suitable for mogusa.
It is twisted by fingers, formed into a narrow long pyramid or rice grain thread, and put on the desired acupuncture point. Then the incense is lit on fire and used as a tool to light the top of the mogusa. Then the fire slowly burns down the mogusa and for one second or less the heat touches the body’s skin and stimulates the acupuncture point.