3 Chinese Medicine Health Tips While on Quarantine; 1st of 3 Posts: Immune Boosting Moxa

In my last blog post I wrote about supplements, dietary suggestions and lifestyle modifications that can enhance your immunity and keep you in good health. Thank you to all those who reached out to let me know how helpful this was. Your interest in the licorice and ginger decoction also allowed me to develop a homeschool herbal apothecary curriculum at home!  I hope you find the licorice and ginger tea both helpful and delicious.

Licorice and ginger tea

In this series of 3 posts, I want to share some easy things you can do at home to keep you and your loved ones in good health.  The three practices I want to highlight are the following:

  • applying moxibustion at a special immune-boosting point 
  • tapping along the chest and back to open the heart and lungs
  • guasha around the face and neck for keeping fluids, lymph and qi circulating for upper respiratory health

Remember, if you are already showing any cold or flu-like symptoms, or you suspect you have COVID-19, the advice will be different. Please reach out for a consultation so we can get you the best care possible.  We have already been doing a fair number of virtual herbal consultations for those who have tested positive for coronavirus and those who suspect they have it.  Chinese herbal medicine has been helpful in resolving symptoms and preventing the disease from worsening.

In a future post, I’ll share some tried and true ways to help manage and alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms–another way to keep you healthy during this season and keep your immune system in tip top shape!

Moxibustion at Acupoint Stomach 36 (Zu San Li)

Moxibustion is a heating therapy that has classically been used in conjunction with acupuncture to warm and move qi. Moxibustion involves burning an herb called, ai ye, or mugwort, which has warming and nourishing qualities.There are various ways to apply heat to different acupuncture points and areas of the body. The one I describe here makes use of pole moxa.  Let us know if you need help ordering it for at-home use.

The acupuncture point called Zu San Li, “Leg Three Mile” or the 36th point along the Stomach meridian channel, is considered one of the most powerful ‘tonics’ or general health points on the body. This point is often used for various respiratory or digestive conditions as well as a means of strengthening the body to prevent illness or speed up recovery. Warming this point regularly can help keep you strong during this pandemic.

Zu San Li is found 4 fingerwidths below the kneecap on the lateral (outside) side of the shinbone.  Your finger will ‘fall’ into the point and it will be tender to the touch.

Funding Acupuncture Point ST36

Thumb on Acupuncture Point ST36

Method:

    1. Locate the point using the above method.
    2. Light the moxa pole until you get a cherry red tip.  Periodically you’ll want to tap off the excess ash that accumulates into an ashtray or jar.
    3. Place one hand around the point so you’ll always know how hot the moxa is.  You want it to be a comfortably warm distance away from the point.

Moxa Application

  1. Make gentle circular motions around the point.
  2. Another technique is sparrow-pecking moxibustion. Start with the pole about 8-10 inches away from the point and slowly and gently move the tip of the pole closer to the point till it reaches that comfortably warm distance.  Imagine packing in heat, energy, love, qi, because that is what you are doing!
  3. Do this for 10-15 minutes on each leg.  If you can do it daily, hooray! But plan on doing it at least 1-3x a week for best results.
  4. Be careful when extinguishing the moxa pole. We recommend putting it in a jam or mason jar, tightening on the lid so it goes completely out.  Another option is to run it under cold water and leave it out to dry till you use it next.

Stay tuned for my next post on Tapping for health!

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