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Box of non-scarring 'Ohmi' moxa tubes, Japan, 1980-1990

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Aimed at young people and advertised as non-scarring, these tubes are used for moxibustion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the burning of moxa (the Artemisia vulgaris plant) on the skin is believed to stimulate and unblock the flow of qi (chi), or energy in the body, considered essential for wellbeing. The box was collected from the surgery of a British practitioner of moxibustion in the 1990s.

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    Glossary: moxa

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    Glossary: moxibustion

    a therapeutic technique used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in which acupuncture points are stimulated by the application of burning moxa. Moxa is prepared from the ground young leaves of plants of the genus Artemisia – particularly Artemisia vulgaris. Slow burning moxa can be applied directly to the skin or burned on the head of an acupuncture needle in a combination therapy.

    Glossary: Traditional Chinese Medicine

    Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a medical tradition originating in China, but now used worldwide. Treatments include herbal medicine, massage and acupuncture, which are combined to create a therapy tailored to the patient.

    Glossary: artemisia

    A large group of plants. Many of the individual species have been used for medicinal purposes. Dried artemisia, known as moxa, is a key element in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Recently, artemisia-based drugs have been used to treat malaria.