Friday, 6 December 2013

A bit of moxabustion

I had a new experience at my weekly acupuncture session last night. As I was getting used to the slight prickly pain of the needle going into my flesh - like ant bites, actually, if one hasn't experienced acupuncture before, but it was a BIG thing to me - the acupuncturist produced a bottle holding six small moxa rolls.

"You're going to use that on me??" I asked the lady, feeling fascinated yet horrified. She just looked at me and nodded. Then she got back to work. Gave my leg muscles a few soft slaps and told me to relax. But how was I to relax when I knew that she was going to burn me up? Or at the very least, smoke up the people around me?

First, she placed a piece of cardboard to cover the needle. Insulation, see, in case, she burned off my skin. Then she pressed one of those sticks into the needle and lit it up with a lighter. Ohh, I tell you, the smell from the burning moxa herb was pungent, yet sweet. Some people said it smelt like burning opium. Frankly, I wouldn't know the difference.

The lady told me that the heat from the burning moxa would be transmitted down the embedded needle into my flesh. It was supposed to provide greater relief. And I was supposed to feel the warmth from this treatment.

Actually, I was too fascinated with the process to even notice the heat. After about eight minutes, the lady came to replace the moxa roll as the old one had been reduced to ashes. And all too soon, the treatment ended and all the needles were removed.

Gosh, what do I need to endure next?

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