Moxibustion Services Edmonton

Moxibustion (or moxa) is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that uses a combination of heat and a Chinese herb called mugwort to treat certain health conditions. This popular and effective therapy is to relieve pain and discomfort through organic and natural methods. Moxa may be applied directly to the skin or used in conjunction with acupuncture needles or thermal warmers. If you are interested in natural ways to heal your body, take a look at how moxibustion works and which conditions it is best for treating.

History of Moxibustion

The concept of moxibustion started in ancient China, where it was used to treat rheumatism as early as the Ming Dynasty. At that time, doctors would roll up mugwort leaves in paper, packing them so tightly that they’d resemble a stick. They would then light the moxa stick on fire and press it against the skin in the area that needed treatment. They believed that when the patient started to sweat, that meant the treatment was working. This practice evolved as doctors realized they didn’t need to press the burning stick against the patient’s skin since placing it a few inches away was just as effective. Soon, moxibustion spread to nearby areas, such as Japan, Korea, Tibet, Mongolia, and Vietnam. Now, most Western nations are home to people who believe in the healing properties of moxibustion as well.

How Moxibustion Works

The theory behind moxibustion is that the heat can stimulate circulation, which can increase the flow of energy—or qi—throughout the body. As a result, many health conditions can be treated with this therapy.

Additionally, mugwort has several inherent healing properties, which is why ancient healers chose this herb to roll into moxa sticks. For example, mugwort is known to calm the nerves, increase energy, improve circulation, reduce itching, and support liver health. So, combining this herb with the healing ability of heat has made sense to natural-minded people for centuries.

Moxibustion Benefits

This alternative therapy can be used to treat a variety of health conditions. For example, it is often used to treat gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. It can even help patients who are struggling with infertility or irregular menstrual cycles, and it has been known to help turn breech babies toward the end of pregnancy.

Additionally, this natural treatment method has been used to treat joint and muscle pain caused by arthritis, tendonitis, back injuries, and more. Other issues it can treat include eczema, headaches, migraines, nausea, hot flashes, and fatigue. It can even help with preventing the cold or flu since it can strengthen the immune system.

In general, any medical issue that can be improved with the application of heat can be treated by moxibustion. This is why many people familiar with this treatment say it can improve conditions like hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, slow digestion, bloating, and cold sensitivity. As you can see, there are lots of uses for moxibustion in healthcare, which is why it’s so popular among people who value alternative therapies.

Common Treatment Forms

Moxibustion can be applied either directly onto the skin, or indirectly through acupuncture needles, thermy sticks, or through radiant heat. 

With direct application, the practitioner puts a moxa cone on the part of the body that needs healing. After lighting the cone, the practitioner lets it burn briefly until the skin starts to turn red, at which point he or she removes the cone from the treatment area. Some practitioners may also opt to place a layer of garlic, ginger, or salt on the skin before placing the moxa cone on it. Note that direct application of the moxa cone can cause pain and even scarring in some cases, so it’s not nearly as common anymore as indirect moxibustion. 

With indirect application the moxa does not touch the skin. Instead, the practitioner lights the cone or stick and may hold it just above the treatment area, moving it away once the skin becomes warm from the radiant heat. 

Our clinicians may also place a thin moxa stick within a warmer holding sleeve or Thermy Stick and then ignite it. The holding sleeve is then placed into an outer protective cover and applied to the area to be warmed. Thermy Sticks come in several forms – Tiger Warmers are more point specific, and can be used all over the body as well as on the face, ears, nose or throat areas. Lion Warmers are more diffuse and are useful along the back shu points and for stretch moxa treatments for the legs.

Our clinicians may also combine moxibustion with traditional acupuncture needling, which is another very popular alternative treatment that arose from ancient Chinese medicine. With this type of application, the practitioner puts the moxa on an acupuncture needle and ignites it, letting it burn itself out within seconds. The heat travels along the needle to the point that makes contact with the patient’s skin. 

If you are thinking about trying moxibustion, it’s important to know what to expect from any of these treatment methods. In general, you can expect to feel warmth in the area that’s being treated, often followed by a noticeable reduction in the pain or discomfort you have been feeling there. Keep in mind that you may smell smoke as well as an odor of herbs as the moxa burns, so if you’re very sensitive to smoke or scents in the air, let your practitioner know before trying moxibustion. Smokeless moxa may be an option.

At Red Leaf Wellness we feel it is so important to choose a practitioner you can trust when considering moxibustion or other Acupuncture therapies. Contact us today if you have any questions about the services we offer patients in and around Edmonton!

Specialists on our Team:

Tammy Lalonde, CEO and Registered Acupuncturist

Dr. Tammy Lalonde

Position: CEO, Acupuncturist & Herbalist
Categories: Acupuncture, Addictions, Administration, Allergies, Amputation (Phantom Limb), Anxiety, Auto-Immune Health, Back Pain, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Cardiovascular Health, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Inflammatory Disease, Chronic Pain, Cupping, Cycle Health and PMS, Depression, Diabetes, Digestive Health, Electrostimulation, Emotional Health, Fertility, Fibromyalgia, Functional Medicine, Gender Reassignment, Guillain-Barre, Herbal Medicine, HIV and AIDS, Insomnia and Sleep Health, Lupus, Men's Health, Menopause, Migraines, Moxibustion, Musculoskeletal, Myasthenia Gravis, Neurological Health, Oncology, Pain Management, Post-Covid Syndrome, Pregnancy, Prostatitis, Psoriasis, PTSD, Respiratory Health, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sciatica, Seniors Health, Service, Sexual Dysfunction, Soft Tissue Injury, Specialization, Stress, Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ), Thyroid Disorders, Transgender and Non-Binary Health, Vasculitis, Whiplash, Women's Health

Caring for people is my passion and one of the greatest callings life has to offer.  I am a seasoned Paramedic and Acupuncturist with extensive experience assisting patients as they cope with obvious and invisible injuries. I have been there for those in desperate medical, psychological or traumatic situations, delivered beautiful babies in vehicles parked along the side of the road, and administered care in such odd locations as on a domestic airliner at 30,000 feet or when flying emergency medevacs over Arabian desertscapes. I know full well how to care for those in true crisis but have also witnessed so many more whose illnesses and injuries could be traced back to their treatment of the body as a whole, whether through their diet, fitness levels, or neglect. As my career has evolved, so has my focus, which has shifted to helping a greater number of people early on to prevent minor issues from evolving into larger and costlier illnesses.  In my practice I have found a niche offering by pairing these strengths in emergency care and women’s health with the respected skills and techniques from top practitioners in oriental medicine. All care is focused on returning the body, mind, and spirit to a whole.

My academic preparation closely incorporates oriental medicine with Western healthcare. My passions build on natural strengths in highly stressful complex interactions, care management, and treatment of anxiety, depression and PTSD – particularly amongst Armed Forces and Emergency Services personnel. Within North America and the Middle East I have enjoyed a long standing career as a respected clinician, clinical educator, fire and emergency medical dispatcher.  I hold active licensure/registration with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA), the California Acupuncture Board, and the Alberta Herbalists Association (AHA).  I am a past Board Director with the Alberta Pain Society and a present member of the CAA Competence Committee.


Education:

  • Doctorate of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine (DACM), American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Master of Science (MS) – Traditional Chinese Medicine, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Master of Science (MS) – Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, cum laude, South Baylo University
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) – Holistic Science, South Baylo University
  • Diploma – Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic), Augustana University

Licensure

  • RAc – Registered Acupuncturist of the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
  • RH – Registered Herbalist of the Alberta Herbalists Association (AHA)
  • LAc – Licensed Acupuncturist of the California Acupuncture Board
  • Dipl.Ac – Diplomate of Acupuncture of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM)
Tammy Lalonde, CEO and Registered Acupuncturist
CEO, Acupuncturist & Herbalist

Dr. Tammy Lalonde

Caring for people is my passion and one of the...

Dr. Seyed Abtahi, Registered Acupuncturist

Dr. Seyed Abtahi

Position: Acupuncturist
Categories: Acupuncture, Allergies, Amputation (Phantom Limb), Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Anxiety, Back Pain, Bells Palsy, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Cerebrovascular Accident (Stroke), Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Inflammatory Disease, Chronic Pain, Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI), Cupping, Dementia, Diabetes, Electrostimulation, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Gua Sha, Guillain-Barre, HIV and AIDS, Insomnia and Sleep Health, Lupus, Men's Health, Migraines, Moxibustion, Multiple Sclerosis, Musculoskeletal, Myasthenia Gravis, Neurological Health, Pain Management, Parkinsons, Post-Covid Syndrome, Prostatitis, Psoriasis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sciatica, Seniors Health, Sensory Disorders, Sexual Dysfunction, Shingles, Soft Tissue Injury, Speech Disorders, Sports Injury, Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ), Thyroid Disorders, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Vasculitis, Whiplash

Dr. Abtahi is a well-respected and sought-after clinician who firmly believes that the greatest personal wealth an individual can have is good health. In his clinical practice, Seyed is known for addressing highly complex medical conditions with a gentle, empathetic, soft touch, and also for taking the time to translate into simple terms what may be going within each body system. His focus is on helping patients not only understand why discomfort and disease manifest in convoluted ways, but also in helping them develop balanced and holistic treatment plans to better guide their health journey.

Seyed is an avid life-long learner and researcher, always striving to understand the evolving intersections of classical Eastern and modern Western medicine. There is no doubt he has deep expertise in the delivery of complex care – he was a distinguished faculty member for several Universities and academic institutions in Iran, where he leveraged his graduate anesthesia and pain management studies to develop and deliver course curriculums for future generations of clinicians. He lectured widely on topics such as the pathophysiology of medical diseases, intensive care, pediatric and gynecological disorders and medical surgical needs. It was during this tenure that Seyed also discovered a natural curiosity for complementary medicine, as he was able to see the profound impacts it would have on helping people reach better levels of physical, mental and spiritual fitness.

His professional interests tend towards a broad spectrum of ailments, including chronic pain management, musculoskeletal pain, general health, digestive disorders, stress management, functional disorders, insomnia, emotional and psychological disorders, gynecological issues and auto-immune disease, among others. Seyed likes to incorporate different modalities to help his patients including acupressure, tuina (Chinese massage), gua sha, moxibustion, electro-stimulation, cupping, scalp and ear acupuncture.

Seyed holds a Master of Science degree in Anesthesia, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. He is an honors graduate of the Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture program at Reeves College and is fully qualified with the College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA). He is also a certified Su Jok Acupuncturist from the International Su Jok Academy, which is a highly specialized style of Korean acupuncture with a unique focus on those treatment patterns involving the palm and foot.


Education:

  • Master of Science (MSc) in Anesthesia, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
  • Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Nursing, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences
  • Diploma of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac), Reeves College
  • Certificate of Su Jok Acupuncture, International Su Jok Therapy Association, Su Jok Academy
  • Certificate CPR Level C – AED, HCP from Canadian Red Cross

Licensure:

  • RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of
    Alberta (CAAA)
Dr. Seyed Abtahi, Registered Acupuncturist
Acupuncturist

Dr. Seyed Abtahi

Dr. Abtahi is a well-respected and sought-after clinician who firmly...

Dr. Michell Winton, Registered Acupuncturist

Michelle Winton

Position: Acupuncturist & Massage Therapist
Categories: Acupuncture, Amputation (Phantom Limb), Back Pain, Cardiovascular Health, Chronic Pain, Cranial Sacral Therapy, Cupping, Cupping, Depression, Digestive Health, Electrostimulation, Gua Sha, Insomnia and Sleep Health, Lymphatic Drainage, Massage Therapy, Migraines, Moxibustion, Musculoskeletal, Pain Management, Pregnancy, PTSD, Relaxation Massage, Respiratory Health, Sciatica, Seniors Health, Soft Tissue Injury, Sports Injury, Stress, Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ), Therapeutic Massage, Whiplash

Helping people comes naturally to Michelle! As a highly skilled Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, and Advanced Care Paramedic she is widely recognized for developing unique care plans which draw on her knowledge and therapeutic touch gained across each of these specialized disciplines. Having over twenty years of combined expertise in caring for her patients, Michelle has had a front row seat to observe how stress and emotion affect the mind and body. Complementing her acupuncture services at Red Leaf Wellness, Michelle offers a variety of therapeutic and relaxation massage therapies, including pregnancy massage, myofascial release and myofascial cupping.

Michelle began her health career as a massage therapist, graduating the 2200hr Massage Program at Macewan University in 2001. Being active in competitive sport in her youth, Michelle understood the benefits of massage on sport performance, recovery and injury prevention. She subsequently branched into emergency care and became an Advanced Care Paramedic where she was able to offer a calming presence in stressful, emergent situations. Michelle has always believed that soft skills, an extra moment spent with family, or a hand to hold on the way to the hospital, can be as healing as the specific medical interventions themselves. Working as a Paramedic Michelle saw, and began to question, how it is that people differ in disease and the aging process and why the same drug benefited one person, but not the other. Her lifelong learning journey had her begin to look for these answers in the time-tested practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture, thus kicking off another quest for knowledge at MacEwan University’s Acupuncture Program.

Education:

  • Diploma – Acupuncture, Macewan University
  • Diploma – Emergency Medical Technician (Paramedic), Augustana University
    • Honors standings
  • Certificate – Massage Therapy Grant MacEwan College

Licensure:

  • RAc, College of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
  • RMT, National Health Practitioners of Canada (NHPC)
  • ACP, Alberta College of Paramedics
Dr. Michell Winton, Registered Acupuncturist
Acupuncturist & Massage Therapist

Michelle Winton

Helping people comes naturally to Michelle! As a highly skilled...

Yoko Masuda, Registered Acupuncturist

Dr. Yoko Masuda

Position: Acupuncturist
Categories: Acupuncture, Addictions, Amputation (Phantom Limb), Anxiety, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Back Pain, Cardiovascular Health, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Cupping, Cycle Health and PMS, Depression, Electrostimulation, Emotional Health, Insomnia and Sleep Health, Menopause, Migraines, Moxibustion, Musculoskeletal, Post-Covid Syndrome, PTSD, Sciatica, Soft Tissue Injury, Sports Injury, Stress, Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ), Thermie (Tiger), Whiplash

Dr. Yoko Masuda is a master practitioner – skilled in the rare craft of Japanese style acupuncture – where she incorporates and tailors gentle needling, moxibustion (specific deep heat), therme (heat massage) and cupping into her treatment plans. These skills, as well as her reputation for delivering tangible results, make her a sought-after provider, especially in the areas of pain management, sports injuries, orthopaedic injuries and emotional health. Yoko firmly believes that the mind and the body are intertwined in healing and she continually advocates for a healthy lifestyle alongside of the care she provides.

Yoko received her acupuncture degree in Japan and, after working at several clinics in Tokyo, she accepted a staff acupuncturist position with the world renowned Cirque du Soleil touring show. For nearly twenty years, she went on to travel the far reaches of the globe, working on several other productions, and earning the respect of an international group of artists, staff and athletes before eventually selecting Edmonton for her permanent clinical practice. As a former high school physical education teacher, and also as an alumnus of the Japanese national rhythmic gymnastics team (where she competed internationally on numerous occasions), she has amassed an impressive background in sports therapy and physical education, uniquely positioning her to address all manner of orthopedic and performance related concerns.

Outside of work, Yoko enjoys travelling, the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and two elementary-aged daughters.


Education:

  • Diploma of Acupuncture, Hanada College, Tokyo, Japan

Licensure:

  • RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
Yoko Masuda, Registered Acupuncturist
Acupuncturist

Dr. Yoko Masuda

Dr. Yoko Masuda is a master practitioner – skilled in...

DR.CIARA BUCHAN

Dr. Ciara Moynihan

Position: Acupuncturist & Reiki
Categories: Acupuncture, Amputation (Phantom Limb), Anxiety, Back Pain, Cardiovascular Health, Chronic Pain, Cosmetic Acupuncture, Cupping, Cycle Health and PMS, Depression, Digestive Health, Electrostimulation, Facial Cupping, Facial Rejuvenation, Gua Sha, Insomnia and Sleep Health, Menopause, Migraines, Moxibustion, Musculoskeletal, Pain Management, Pediatric Acupuncture, PTSD, Reiki, Respiratory Health, Sciatica, Soft Tissue Injury, Sports Injury, Stress, Whiplash

In a world that is constantly moving, in which we continually push ourselves to achieve more, do more, and be more, Dr. Moynihan believes that a gentler approach with ourselves and our bodies will achieve an overall greater well-being, and that all else flows from there. Acupuncture is the modality she uses to help people explore and heal deeper issues within their bodies, opening up their capacity to truly thrive.

After working in the health and fitness industry as a Personal Fitness Trainer for many years, Dr. Moynihan bore witness to the many patterns of roadblocks that clients can face in their quest for wellness. Working closely with her clients’ bodies for years she observed the undeniable and powerful energy the body has. This insight, coupled with her innate desire to help others attain a deeper level of physical, emotional, and mental healing, led her to become a certified Reiki Practitioner, Crystal Healer and Doctor of Acupuncture.

Dr. Moynihan is widely known for her therapeutic touch, gentleness and compassionate approach. Her main treatment goal is to create an environment where all her clients feel comfortable, and have an understanding of what is occurring within their body and why. Accomplished in the art of traditional Chinese medicine, she is able to assist with a myriad of ailments and disease states such as pain management, digestion, insomnia, and anxiety. Dr. Moynihan has completed additional highly specialized, Cosmetic and Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture training from leading Oriental Medicine practitioners, and has also attained Subconscious Imprinting certification. Subconscious Imprinting Technique is one of the most effective ways to discover and remove subconscious beliefs, decisions and patterns that are negatively influencing your health, relationships, and the way you show up in your life.


Education:

  • Diploma of Acupuncture (Dipl.Ac) Reeves College

Licensure:

  • RAc, College and Association of Acupuncturists of Alberta (CAA)
DR.CIARA BUCHAN
Acupuncturist & Reiki

Dr. Ciara Moynihan

In a world that is constantly moving, in which we...

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