Fire in the Snow: It’s time for Winter San-Fu Moxa

Fire in the Snow: It’s time for Winter San-Fu Moxa

Paul Cybularz, L.OM.

As we fast approach the winter solstice, we’re delighted to introduce you to the second half of this yearly preventative medicine, often called “San Jiu Tian – or Heavenly Moxibustion. San Jiu Tian has been used for centuries to treat asthma, rhinitis and stimulate immunity.[i][ii]

Ask anyone in medicine- or ask your neighbor: this is already a challenging winter for Upper Respiratory Diseases: RSV, the Flu, Head Colds and still COVID are surging. 

For years, every summer, Six Fishes offers “San Fu” moxibustion during summer’s “Dog days” to encourage a more robust constitution throughout winter and beyond.  

I had such a strong feeling of wellness from my summer San-Fu treatment, I wanted to bring to the practice to give everyone, including me, a boost.

Because of this, and also how well I felt from the summer’s treatment, I’m bringing in a new tradition at Six Fishes: Winter San Fu

Fortunately, Chinese medicine excels in situations such as this. Just as we string up our lights to ward off winter’s darkness, San Jiu Tian can provide a warm balm for our winter moods, achy backs, and low energy. 

We use the same combination of herbs as in the summertime. the warming treatment brings warmth deeply into the body to harmonize and revitalize the body’s functions when needed most! 

So give your immunity a boost with winter san fu moxa

When To Schedule:

The schedule for San Jiu Tian begins on December 21st and is applied again on the 30th and January 8th. Space is limited, so please book early.

Three treatments are best, but even one treatment promotes a more robust immune system and a more resilient body. The application is similar to San Fu Moxa (in case you missed the blog earlier this year, click here).   

Before jumping in, please review these FAQs, to make sure it’s a fit for you! 

  • How does it feel? Everyone is different! For some, leaving the past on for hours yields only a slight amount of warmth and redness – for others, it can become warm and itchy very quickly (this is actually part of the therapeutic goal and a sign that it’s working. It’s also a sign that it’s time to remove the medicine).  

It’s important to note that like San Fu Moxibustion, San Jiu Tian Moxibustion also traditionally aimed to leave a small area of irritation and/or a blister. Although this is traditionally sought after, the chance of this can be minimized by removing the medicine as soon as warmth and irritation are felt. 

Is it right for me? 

  • Those who suffer from chronic asthmatic diseases, allergic rhinitis, arthritis (particularly of the shoulder, neck, and back), IBS (particularly type D), diarrhea, gynecological diseases, and those who have challenges to their constitution like low immunity, dysphoria, and diminished energy.

Who shouldn’t receive it? 

  • Those with sensitive skin or those who scar easily (and want to avoid this) 
  • Those who have an active infection, e.g., sore throat and fever 
  • Those who are pregnant or may be pregnant 

How to care for and remove the medicine: 

  • Remove the plasters after 6 hours or when they become warm and itchy, then clean the area with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly.  
  • If a blister forms (again, this is traditionally a sought-after sign that the treatment has been correctly applied), then care for it as you would any blister. You should avoid breaking the skin of the blister, keep the area clean and dry, and protect it with a cloth bandage. If desired, you may use a small amount of bacitracin or one of our herbal balms on hand at the office. 

About Paul: believes that a healthy body fosters a healthy mind, and that society can only be as vibrant as its members. Through improving his patients health, he hopes to contribute to a kinder, more compassionate, more vibrant world.

[i] Chinese Medicine Acupoint Herbal Patching for Allergic Rhinitis: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial, Wei-Hung Hsu, 2010, The American Journal of Chinese Medicine

[ii] San Fu Moxibustion (三伏灸) and Lung-Related Disorders, Lorraine Wilcox, Journal of Chinese Medicine, Vol.89, 2009