(TJM) Traditional Japanese Medicine Theory

Japanese Moxibustion Techniques - Ibuki, Tiger Warmer, Misc. - TJM Theory

Ibuki, use of the Tiger Warmer and various other moxibustion techniques used in Japanese Acupuncture treatments are described below. The information presented below discusses basic theory behind the technique, guidelines for applying the technique and examples of clinical use. Some of the techniques listed here require significant amounts of training to be performed correctly and should only be performed by practitioners who have been trained properly.

  • Clinical Usage:
  • Ibuki can be used as the moxa application in any of the treatments described in the Okyu, Kyutoshin and Chinetsukyu technique pages - generally using 1 ibuki at each point
  • Tiger Warmer - is more point specific, it can be used all over the body as well as on the face, ears, nose a/or throat areas, useful in stretch moxa treatments described below
  • Lion Warmer - broader influence, useful along the back shu points, back pain, stretch moxa treatments for the legs
  • Precautions and Contraindications:
  • Generally not on patients with strong heat signs - high fever, etc.
  • Not on or near inflammed a/or red areas of the body
  • In patients with diabetic neuropathy - or in any situation where the patient may not respond to the sensations of heat
  • Any point where moxibustion is contraindicated
  • Patient should be advised to not bathe or shower for up to 24 hours after a moxibustion treatment
  • Ibuki Techniques:
  • Dr. Fukaya Transfer Moxa Treatment (can also be done with Okyu
  • Works well with musculoskeletal pain especially joint pain a/or arthritis
  • Is mildly challenging to apply
  • The general technique is to apply two pieces of moxa at the same time so that the heat transfers to the skin at the same time.
  • Repeat the moxa until the patient's ROM a/or pain improves
  • If using Okyu this requires consistent moxa
  • Knee - SP 9 & GB 34
  • Wrist - PC 6 & TH 5 or LI 4 & SI 5
  • Ankle - KD 3 & UB 60 or SP 6 & GB 39
  • Elbow - LU 5 & LI 11 or HT 3 or SI 8
  • Common Cold - 1 ibuki at GV 12 & UB 12 bilaterally, or 1 ibuki at GV 13 & UB 13 bilaterally
  • Digestive issues - 1 ibuki at UB 17, UB 18 & UB 20 bilaterally
  • Hara treatment - 1 ibuki at CV 12, CV 6 & ST 25 bilaterally
  • Rose/Lavendar Ibuki treatment
  • Lavendar - useful on yintang a/or taiyang to calm patient, may also be used on CV a/or KD points on the upper chest
  • Rose - generally used on the abdomen to promote the flow of Qi in the triple jiao for digestive issues
  • Apply using Tohaku Ishi's hara pulsing technique (apply 1 rose ibuki at the high point of the pulsing)
  • May be useful for mild depressive symptoms - apply 1 ibuki to a cold area in the vicinity of GV 12 & GV 14

  • Tiger/Lion Warmer Techniques:
  • Stretch Moxa Treatment (may be applied to either the legs or the arms (only arm is described here)
  • For problems with arm - repetitive strain, carpal tunnel, etc.
  • Check the LI, SI, LU a/or TH meridians for tender points
  • Stretch the channel using the following stretches to find the most tender points, marking them as you find them
  • LU - arm is out to side with thumb pulled upwards back towards the body (palm forward) - LU 1, LU 3 or LU 4
  • LI - arm out to side with the index finger pulled upwards back towards the body (palm down) - LI 15, LI 14 or LI 11
  • TH - arm out to side with the 4th finger pulled upwards back towards the body (palm down) - TH 9, TH 14 or TH 15
  • On the points you have marked burn Okyu or use the tiger/lion warmers in the following manner - have the patient inhale, then on the exhale light okyu or apply tiger/lion warmer when the patient feels the heat a/or the moxa is burnt out have them drop their arm from the stretch
  • Repeat until pain a/or ROM improves

Sources and More Information

The information on our site is drawn from our own lecture notes and clinical experience. The following lecture notes were used within this section:

  • Iuliano, Diane: New England School of Acupuncture, Extraordinary Vessel Techniques Lecture Notes
  • Kuwahara, Koei: New England School of Acupuncture, Advanced Japanese Techniques Lecture Notes

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