Moxibustion is the application of heat to acupuncture points and is one of the oldest and most effective forms of oriental therapy. It is a technique that originated in China and was introduced to Japan more than a thousand years ago. There are two different types of moxibustion: direct and indirect. Japanese Acupuncturists, like Monica, adopted both methods but prefer to use direct moxibustion because of its effectiveness.
Both direct and indirect methods create heat by burning moxa, an herb derived from drying the underside of the mugwort plant's leaves. Mugwort is part of the chrysanthemum family. Great variation occurs in the grade of moxa available for therapeutic practice. Japanese moxibustion uses the highest grade of pure moxa possible, which allows for its application directly on the skin.