MOXA: “when fire meets water, a transformation into influences takes place” (Nan Ching)
Why is it that Moxa (the smelly, smoky, cigar-like stick of compressed mugwort) generates such a long-lasting sensation of warmth and nourishment in the receiver?
Traditionally, the mugwort is dried and aged – for some years – in natural sunlight. It is said to have a unique capacity to trap the sun’s extreme Yang energy and, consequently, activate our human Yang energy essential for growth, clarity, strength and inspiration. It is also worth pointing out that Moxa burns very slowly, at an extremely high heat creating a high level of infra-red energy which allows the heat to penetrate very deep into the body generally and the meridian specifically. There is a third part to this story however, and this is where it gets really interesting. As an infra-red projector, moxa is instrumental in the transformation of common or garden water (H2O), the water we drink, into Exclusion Zone (EZ) or Structural water (H3O2), the water that we need to have in our body system.
Given that we are, of course, 60 – 70% water, this is quite important. Structural water is denser and more alkaline than regular water. It also carries more oxygen and, being negatively charged, actually holds energy in a way that standard drinking water does not. It is known as Exclusion Zone water precisely because it actively excludes all sorts of small molecules, including toxins. All of which helps to explain why the application of moxa helps to reduce pain / inflammation while enhancing the healing and renewal of tissue – along with drying systemic dampness and generally leaving you feeling really good!
Now our bodies don’t need Moxa to perform this water transformation. We do it naturally when we take in the sun &/or move around and create heat in our bodies – two things that 21st century people tend to do less and less of unfortunately. So if someone offers you some moxabustion treatment: ignore the smell, do yourself a favour and soak up the transforming heat.
[For more information on EZ Water, try Prof. GH Pollack’s The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid and Vapor. Alternatively, you could watch his Tedx Talk: ]

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