By: Nancy Zidonis and Amy Snow
From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective allergies occur when our immune system is not functioning at its optimal level. If our Wei (protective) chi is strong we will not be affected by allergies, the flu or other similar issues. In essence, our Wei chi, battles against the external pathogenic factors of Wind, Cold, Summer Heat, Damp, Dryness and Heat to keep us healthy and strong.
Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine technique that involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. The aromatic mugwort leaves are dried and repeatedly sifted until they are fluffy. Often the moxa is then rolled into a cigar-shaped cylinder, or stick, and wrapped in paper.
There are two heating techniques used to apply moxibustion: indirect moxa and direct moxa. We’ll be working with indirect moxa.
Indirect moxa makes use of the "moxa wool”. The cigar-shaped moxa stick is lit and held about 2 - 5 inches away from the chosen acupoint by the practitioner. Indirect moxa can be used on acupoints to achieve a systemic effect or it can be used directly at the site of an issue.
Moxibustion has been used for centuries to improve the flow of chi throughout the body, promote Yang energy, and benefit Damp and Cold conditions. An ancient acupoint combination has us using St 36 (Leg 3 Miles), and GV 14 (Big Vertebrae) to do just that. Applying indirect moxibustion at these two acupoints once per day for ten - fifteen minutes at each acupoint is an excellent way to strengthen the immune system and help prevent allergies.
St 36 has the energetics of strengthening the entire body, toning the muscles, aiding in digestion and relieving fatigue.Stimulating this powerful acupoint with the yang energy of Moxa maximizes the energetics of this point. Moxa St 36 bilaterally.
GV 14 is known as the Sea of Yang and applying moxa at this acupoint is a great way to support the body’s Yang energy and again, build the immune system and prevent allergies. It can also dramatically increase white blood cell production.
The chart below shows the location of these acupoints on your dog.