In olden days, people in northern China dealt with illnesses arising from the cold weather by applying a warm herb on the back of the neck to keep runny noses and sneezing at bay. This treatment was especially used for toddlers.
Today, applying a paste of mixed Chinese medicinal herbs on the dazhui, fengmen and feishu acupuncture points on the back three times a year on dog days (the sultry days of summer), is becoming increasingly popular for many Hong Kong children suffering from allergic rhinitis and bronchial asthma. This traditional Chinese medicine treatment is called day-moxibustion.
The dazhui acupuncture point is between the seventh cervical vertebrae and the first thoracic vertebrae, an important spot that carries the ions of the moxa leaf into the body to warm channels, expelling cold, activating the blood, neutralizing viruses, regulating qi and blood, and dispelling wind and dampness.
When children come over for day- moxibustion on their dazhui acupuncture point, Chinese medical practitioners also apply the herb on the other acupuncture points to strengthen their digestive system by enhancing their appetite and stimulating the absorption of nutrients, as their digestive and immune systems are still developing,
The herb that Chinese medicine practitioners use in moxibustion gives patients yang energy and allows their body to resume a balanced state.
Traditional Chinese medicine suggests that moxibustion complements health in areas where acupuncture may fall short.
The three dog days are counted as the hottest days of the year (usually in July and August), and are the best times for our body to absorb yang energy from the herbal drug paste and from the environment.
These three days between mid-July and mid-August are particularly good for applying day-moxibustion.
As a result during these three days, hundreds of people in the mainland rush to hospitals to avail themselves of the treatment.
Wong Pui-man is a Hong Kong- registered Chinese medicine practitioner with a Bachelor of Chinese Medicine degree from Hong Kong Baptist University