Moxa is a herb (mugwort – Artemisia Vulgaris) used primarily for tonification in Chinese medicine and can be administered in a variety of ways. For example, on the end of a needle to transmit warmth deep into an acupuncture point.
Direct moxa refers to the herb being burnt directly on the skin with cones of varying sizes – from the size of a rice grain to a couple of inches high. As soon as the patient feels it is getting too hot the cone is removed to avoid being burnt.
The only disadvantage of this therapy is that it is rather smoky and a bit smelly, but most patients find the process very comforting and pleasant. There is also a smokeless version.