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Clay device used for Helmet Moxibustion, Japan, 1980-1995

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Japanese legend has it a Samurai warrior experiencing a terrible headache. He was unable to remove his helmet during battle. Moxibustion was applied on top of his helmet. His headache vanished and he went on to claim victory. Moxibustion is a treatment where the moxa or Artemisia vulgaris plant is dried then burnt. This earthenware hat is used for Helmet Moxibustion. It is also known as Dream or Earthen Mortar Moxibustion. It is similar in shape to that of a Samurai warrior’s. It allowed burning moxa to be supported on a patients head. This example was made by and intended for blind practitioners in Japan. Traditional Chinese Medicine is also practised in Japan. TCM believes moxibustion stimulates the flow of the life force known as qi (chi) around the body. Qi is considered essential for wellbeing and health.

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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: moxibustion helmet

    Clay 'Helmet' device used for Helmet Moxibustion, also known as Dream or Earthern Mortar Moxibustion, to allow burning moxa to be supported on a patients head, for use by blind practitioners in Japan