Adventure #3 – Acupuncture (specifically Moxa Treatment)

January 12, 2010

My weekend of yoga and too much Downward Facing Dog led to painful spasms in my trapezius muscles.  It’s a reoccurring injury, and I’ve been to physical therapy numerous times in the past 3 years.  I wanted to try a different method to treat it.  I read that people have experienced amazing results through Acupuncture, so I figured I would give it a try.

The first part of my treatment consisted of needles stuck in various points such as my feet, hands, neck, back, and shoulders.  After about 10 minutes with the needles, the acupuncturist asked me if I’ve ever had Moxa before.  She explained that it was dried plant matter rolled into balls and placed on top of the needles.  It was a technique used specifically to treat whiplash.  It sounded a bit strange, but I wasn’t alarmed until the balls were placed on top of the needles and she proceeded to tell me that the next part of the treatment was to light the balls on fire!  I was nervous about having flaming balls of plant matter on my back.  I asked her how she knew the flaming plant matter would actually stay on the needles and not roll onto my back?  She assured me that the treatment had been used and refined in the Japanese culture for hundreds of years.

As bizarre as it sounds to place plant matter on top of needles and light it on fire, I have to say it worked!  I only had one treatment so far, but already I have much less pain and soreness in my shoulders.