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Relief for painful joints

One of the most common Lyme disease symptoms is achey knees, fingers, and other painful joints. If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, you may find relief with moxibustion, which you can create with the heat from a lighted, tightly wrapped bunch of dried mugwort. Moxa is mugwort.

Author, Herbalist and acupuncturist Lesley Tierra, whose arthritis massage oil formula I've posted here, says many arthritis sufferers find relief from moxibustion. To use it on your knees or fingers, light one end of the moxa stick by holding it over a candle, or with a lighter. The flame will go out but the stick will still be burning, like hot coal. Hold the cool end and aim the hot end of the moxa over the achey place, close enough to feel the heat. Be careful not to touch the moxa to your skin. I've been using it on my aching knees for about ten minutes at a time, once a day. Sitting quietly for a few minutes and appreciating the soothing warmth flooding my joints has also helped remind me to slow down during a busy work week.

Moxibustion is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to warm a patient's skin and stimulate qi, the life force. You can obtain a moxibustion bundle from an acupuncturist, which is where I got mine. It's about the same size as a cigar, and while I think it smells a whole lot nicer than most cigars, it does create a fair amount of smoke and incense while burning.

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