Changing China

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Smoking out the flu


Suffering from a bout of winter flu? Chinese traditional medicine has its own answers – you can¬†rebalance¬†your bodies’ meridian with moxibustion, the smoky twin to acupuncture, or bleed the bad toxins away with wet cupping.

The practice of burning moxa, the herb mugwort, above or on the skin can treat many ills, according to moxibustion therapist Fan Changwei.

Usually associated with just needles, acupuncture in fact consists of two elements, demonstrated by its Chinese name “zhen jiu”. “Zhen” is the inserting of needles into acupoints in the body and “jiu” is moxibustion, the burning of moxa over the body.

Fan plans to use the moxa as his own vehicle to battle winter flu, including H1N1. He advises a moxibustion treatment which focuses on the Shenzhu acupoint on the upper back, believed to strengthen the immune system.