What’s that smell in the clinic ?
Recently a few patients have been in this position… they’ve booked their treatment at the Buddha Bar and they’ve been looking forward to it all week. They head over to Newtown and enter the clinic, escaping the hustle and bustle of King Street, and there it is. It’s subtle but they can smell it and it seems kind of familiar. They take a seat and they think they know what it is – someone is smoking funny stuff! They see the Acupuncturist, Ilan, and the smell is following him around. It’s clear he is up to something. He introduces himself and they follow him into the treatment room. Everything seems normal, he makes a few jokes about the burning of Moxibustion, or Moxa, which causes the ‘funny smell’ in the room, sometimes getting a laugh and other times to just raised eyebrows.
Moxibustion is the therapeutic practice of burning Moxa, a tinder made from the dried leaves of Artemisia vulgaris, commonly known as mugwort. It is safely lit on or near the skin to aid treatment. The history of this heat therapy can be traced back to people living in cold climates who used burning Moxa to warm up painful areas.
So, contrary to popular belief, Ilan is not smoking funny substances before your treatment, it’s just Moxa and it’s all in the name of healing!
Acupuncture as Preventative Medicine
Traditionally Acupuncture was used more for prevention than as a cure. Each village would have an acupuncturist, usually an older male, and the local people would visit him during the change of seasons which is traditionally a time when the shifting climate causes significant changes in humans. If any of the town’s people fell ill outside of these ‘treatment times’ they would not pay for the extra treatment. It was the role of the practitioner to prevent disease and keep the people healthy.
Living in a climate such as in Sydney, this climatic shift between seasons is subtler then in parts of Asia but we are still influenced by these changes.
You may have noticed how it’s usually around the change of seasons that many people get a cold or a stomach virus.
This is relevant to Sydney’s current changing weather recently of hot humid days followed by a wild storm. This can effect people in different ways. The body can struggle to regulate the heat, especially when the temperature dips later in the day. Getting caught out in the rain with summer attire can be unfortunate and also not good for your health. Keeping your body warm during these cool periods can help prevent a cold, maintain healthy sleeping patterns and reduce fatigue. The humidity is also a big influence affecting digestion. Did you know that acupuncture can help you maintain a harmonious body and mind during fluctuating weather conditions?
These days we live more stressful lives and often sleep less than we need to and have less than desirable eating habits. Most acupuncturists recommend a treatment once a month to keep the body and mind in balance and maintain good health and well-being. New patients may be treated more regularly initially to ‘kick-start’ the body and then settle into regular monthly treatments to enhance the body’s ‘constitution’ and prevent symptoms from arising.