“A disease that may not be treated by acupuncture may be treated by moxibustion”

Lingshu chapter 73

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.

The usage of incense in Japan to ignite the mogusa was first started by monks in Osaka about 150 years ago.

The technique of burning mogusa is to put it off until it burns off and sometimes leaves and garlic slices have even been used in between the mogusa and the body.

Moxibustion is ideal to improve blood flow in the body and is used to treat minor problems such as a cold in the limbs but also major medical treatments such as infertility and various gastrointestinal conditions.

MOXAFRICA, a British charity that is researching Japanese style direct moxibustion as an adjunctive treatment for tuberculosis in developing nations. This work includes a 180-patient phase II RCT at Makerere University, Uganda.

For more information about Moxafrica please click here.


A hands-on body massage treatment opening the body’s defensive to move energy to the meridians and muscles.


It is one of the oldest holistic health therapies still in use today and is part of the state healthcare system in China.


Toyohari Meridian Therapy is unique to Japan and is part of the oldest system of acupuncture still in daily use.


Used to help treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling.