LHB Blog

A girl, a blog and a cactus named Pudding

Moxibustion Therapy

Alternative title: Is it just me who gets not only a visual aura (personal light show all up in my eyeballs!) but an olfactory one too (the rather pleasant scent of white chocolate!)?  

As part of my ‘Ruebi attempts alternative therapies because Migraines make her want to remove her brain with a spork‘ series I decided to try a hand therapy called Moxibustion … Or rather my Therapist (yep, the same one who tried out Cupping Therapy on me) insisted on giving it a go and me being me, just shrugged and went with the flow!

In my defense I’d started to experience aura en route to her office so she could have said she was going to stick pins in my eyes and I would probably have gone with it.

So, what is Moxibustion Therapy I hear you ask? Well, in a nutshell, Moxa (dried mugwort) is placed on to certain Acupuncture points or Meridian lines and burned, the heat produced is thought to stimulate blood flow and Qi (Chi). Moxibution can be direct (placed onto the skin – this can result in scarring) or indirect (using a medium – which doesn’t produce scarring but may cause a little bit of temporary redness) … We went with indirect using a form of stick-on Moxa.

Moxibustion can be used for a variety of conditions including digestive issues, colds/flu (so a bit of an immune booster), Arthritis, headaches and Migraine … And is even used to try turn breech babies (have to say I had my ‘what the heck’ bemused face on when she said that one)!


Moxibustion single acupuncture point

We tried this Acupressure point first as we’d pricked the finger earlier in the session – apparently doing so releases stagnant qi (chi) related to head pain …


Moxibustion Meridian Line

… And then followed it’s Meridian line (which also focuses on giving your immune system a kick up the butt – which mine sorely needs!) …


Moxibution hand therapy

… I’ve got to admit it was quite a balancing act!


We followed this with a bout of Acupuncture (which I’ve talked about previously here).

So if you’ve got this far you’re probably wondering how it actually felt? Well, the warmth was actually quite calming for my nervous system which given the fact my Anxiety has been flaring recently is positive thing. It seemed to shift my focus onto watching the Moxa burn down, rather than listening to the demons in my head telling me that something really bad is going to happen any minute, resulting in my body relaxing a bit. Another advantage is that the Moxa doesn’t burn brightly nor did it give off much of a scent so the light and smell sensitivity I get with an impending Migraine weren’t aggravated.

BUT, I have to say it didn’t work with stopping the progress of my Migraine as about four hours afterwards it was very much painkillers, a dark room, a cold compress on the back of the neck and as much sleep as I could manage to get with my head wrapped in a pillow (for some reason applying pressure seems to help? Weird huh?)! Though maybe it’s more of a prevention thing (more than one session?) or maybe it could be a placebo thing (quite frankly, if something is a placebo and it works I don’t care what it is) … Or maybe it’s not fast acting enough to halt a Migraine in it’s tracks (if painkillers can’t touch it then short of magic there ain’t anything touching it!).

So my fellow Migraineurs – have you got any tricks for halting a Migraine in it’s prodrome phase? Usually when aura strikes I just have to prepare to lose the remainder of the day in an abyss of sickness, dizziness and excruciating pain.

R x

PS – I’m not entirely sure why but I’ve had “All That Glitters Ain’t Gold” stuck in my head all day … So figured I’d share it with you lovely lot.




OCD 1,2,3


  1. I feel sorry you have to go through all these migrains. I am not entirely sure what I have, but sometimes due to pressure at work combined with being sleepdeprived, by head feels like exploding and it often comes with vomiting. A monthly preventive visit to (a good!) osteopath doing craniosacral therapy often works for me, to have more inner calmth and thus less fysical discomfort…
    I hope you find something that works for you!

    • Ruebi

      Oh ouch! They sound so painful! 🙁

      I hadn’t heard of Craniosacral Therapy until you mentioned it, it’s definitely something I’m going to look into trying! Well, I think I need to find a decent Osteopath first 😀 I’m glad to hear that it helps as a preventative for you!

  2. Wow – definitely a balancing act – have had acupuncture before but only in my back where I couldn’t see (a blessing!) – hope you find the answer soon lovely. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

    • Ruebi

      Did you find it helped with your lower back Stephanie? … Usually acupuncture needles don’t bother me, but during my last session I had the needles put into the sides of my nose! Argh! Was so weird! x

  3. First of all, you are ace to be researching and finding these treatments and then going whilst you are feeling so anxious. I’ve never heard of this before but hopefully it’s a slow burner (no pun intended) and will help in the future. I don’t get bad ones often but if I did, I’d try this for sure. Thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

    • Ruebi

      Have to admit … It didn’t work for me 🙁 The Migraines have been as bad as ever and I can’t seem to locate a trigger for them. Sigh! The doctor suspects they’re triggered by stress but I’m not hugely convinced.

      Ah well … I’ll have to keep searching for something else to try!

  4. I have to confess to not being a great fan of alternative therapy but was intrigued by the title of your post. I have never heard of this so have learnt something new today. I have started suffering from migraines more as I approach the menopause and the only thing that works is as you say, a dark room, sleep and lots of chemically manufactured painkillers! #PoCoLo

    • Ruebi

      So far the dark room, sleep and painkillers approach is the thing that works the best for me … Which is a shame really as I hate taking so many pills just to have a clear, pain free head! Back to the drawing board with this one.

  5. I’ve never tried alternative therapies. I’ve also never managed to stop a migraine once the aura strikes. It always progresses and I end up like you, in a dark room with lots of painkillers and a cold compress. Good luck with it.
    Thanks for linking to #pocolo

    • Ruebi

      As soon as the aura starts I don’t have a chance of stopping it. It starts with Olfactory Hallucinations (smelling white chocolate), Visual Disturbances (zigzag lines), loss of focus (and words) and balance is shot (I walk into EVERYTHING!) – it all happens in such a short space of time that preempting it seems impossible! Urgh!

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