Object 2: Article written by Crystal Raypole on moxibustion

May 27, 2021


My second object is an article written by Crystal Raypole on moxibustion. In this article it is explained that moxibustion is an ancient Chinese medical treatment of heat therapy where Chinese mugwort leaves are burned on or near the skin. It explains that moxibustion is said to have many health benefits such as turning a breech baby (Christopher). Although there is no scientific evidence of its outcomes, as this article mentions, practitioners believe that the heat from the mugwort stimulates points of the body, improving one’s flow of qi (energy) (Raypole, 2021).

This object is enriching to my exhibition as practitioners today performing this type of treatment acquire the knowledge through stories of ancestors, valuing their culture and heritage, without doubting its origin although there is no scientific proof that it works.

Practitioners that believe in moxibustion also believe in qi which is a theoretical energy in one’s body that is rooted in the Chinese culture, being the basis for many ancient Chinese medicines and philosophies such as my object. Chinese descendants might overlook the non- existent scientific evidence of this practice and rely on acquiring this knowledge by word of mouth of other Chinese ancestors as they value their culture over scientific evidence.

Another way that moxibustion adds to my exhibition is how people who have the treatment done might value spirituality and ancient medicine, meaning they acquire the knowledge based on their personal values. Individuals who have this treatment would value ancient cultural medicine and qi, believing that moxibustion could help heal their issues but others who value science more than spirituality, would acquire help in other ways. For example, one who personally values this type of treatment would go to a moxibustion practitioner to help themselves heal, whilst others who personally value science and proof would go to a hospital and have themselves treated by a medic. The value of science or spirituality can therefore change ones method of acquiring knowledge.

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