For some time we have been thinking about sharing additional information on how moxa might help those who could most benefit from it (i.e. not just MDR-TB but for other health conditions as well). Our thinking grew directly from our recognition of what we know is coming down the track for the world's poor as the effects of Climate Change begin to have increasing negative impact on their health and their access to healthcare.
An important inspiration for us has been the health education text 'Where There is No Doctor'. This invaluable text is much more than a simple book on first aid: its underlying intentions has been not just to help the reader (the villager, the village storekeeper or pharmacist, the teacher, the village health worker or the mother or midwife) understand how much she can do herself, but equally to help her realise which problems she can't help with - which need the attention of a more experienced and expert health worker.
'Where There is no Doctor' (WTIND) is an incredible resource, and we tread on its turf with trepidation. But we were increasingly realising (just as WTIND recognise) that even in 'over-developed' (their interesting word for industrialised nations) countries existing health care systems are now in trouble - and that in under-developed ones a real crisis is emerging. We agree. We have, moreover, now revealed enough about how moxa can help promote recoveries from TB (and prevent disease reactivation from latency) to speculate how we might disseminate information on how it might help with a range of other conditions.
As mentioned above, our worrying scenarios were focusing on healthcare in low-income countries - so the question we started asking was quite simple: 'what conditions might moxa help within these scenarios?'. In early 2019 we began conducting our own research into what treatment protocols exist in the moxa literature for specific conditions, and in June last year, we launched the first version of a moxa manual with the help of the Korean Red Cross Foundation in North Korea. We did so with the idea that we would tease it into better shape for use elsewhere but this was not a high priority for us.
But then late last year we started to hear in the news about the new infectious disease that was making its presence felt in China. Since then this novel virus has changed our world upside down; and it’s also changed our thinking on the manual. We realised that we needed to accelerate our thinking because even in that over-developed world people are struggling to maintain their health in the most basic of ways. We know enough about moxa to know that it might help if it is more widely understood, and our instincts told us that it would be best now to urgently develop three different editions of the manual as follows: -
1. The most basic - a moxa manual for strengthening the immune system – specifically envisaging that this could potentially protect people from some of the risks of coronavirus infection.
2. A broader moxa manual identifying protocols for a variety of conditions for the under-developed world, envisaging scenarios in which even simple health care might be out of reach. Many millions are already living in such conditions - but we recognise that the combined threat of Climate Change and the coronavirus on their health means that as many as half a billion more may soon find themselves living with such constraints (according to recent UN projections).
3. A similar broader manual for that more over-developed world - designed for those who may not be able to access conventional health care because of circumstances or may simply want to use moxa as a therapeutic tool complementarily to existing conventional care.
We have not undertaken this task lightly. We recognise that human health is complex, and that advice can be easily misunderstood or misconstrued. What's more, none of these manuals is intended to act as a substitute for the sort of health care provision that most living in richer countries consider normal and their right. Furthermore, none should be considered as some sort of substitute for such provision. It is also not our intention to in any way undermine the noble aspiration of Universal Health Care for all, but we are all now living in exceptional times. As such, the contents of these three manuals are intended as aids towards preserving health in the circumstances in which all of us are now finding ourselves. They are also underpinned (as is WTIND) by the conviction that with clear simple information most common health problems can be prevented, mitigated or treated in peoples' own homes - and (what's more) that this really can be done cheaply and effectively without requiring access to unaffordable or inaccessible therapy. We also recognise (like WTIND) that human beings with little formal education can be just as much trusted to make informed decisions as those with a lot. What is fundamental for us in publishing these manuals, however, is not the issue of choice in making these decisions, however, it is the frightening lack of choice that is the reality for so very many.
Anything like this unfortunately requires a disclaimer, however.
In this case, we want to be clear that we are not recommending any moxa treatments as a substitute for standard conventional medicine or a consultation with an appropriately qualified physician. We are recommending them for when no such provision is available. Furthermore, given that we recognise that these treatments are intended for use in unsupervised circumstances in extraordinary times and in incredibly diverse sets of circumstances we also have to state that we can accept no liability for any loss, claim or expense arising from their use.
We will, however, most gratefully accept any feedback from anyone using any of them in the hope that we can continually revise and improve them.
Finally, and very importantly, anyone wishing to use any of these manuals is welcome to download it free of charge.
Permission to do so is not required although a donation to the Moxafrica charity would be very much appreciated. Translations into local languages for further distributions are furthermore encouraged provided that any distribution is done without profit. It would be sincerely appreciated, however, if any such translations or adaptations are shared with the Moxafrica charity for further use by others.
To wind up this introduction we can simply quote from WTIND's own introduction: ‘the health worker's first job is to share her knowledge and help educate people’. These manuals are offered in exactly this spirit.
Moxa Manual 1: Strengthening the Immune System
This manual is free to download and permission to reproduce its contents is not required. A donation to the Moxafrica charity would be very much appreciated, however. Translations of it into local languages are furthermore encouraged provided that any subsequent distribution is done without profit. It would be furthermore sincerely appreciated if any such translations or adaptations are shared with the Moxafrica charity for further use by others.
This publication is offered as an addition to the precious treasure of the human commons, (the cultural resources accessible to all members of the human family, as well as natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth). It should be recognised, however, that we consider this project to be developmental, and so welcome any feedback that might improve it.
Those intended to use it are recommended to first review the section of this website focused on COVID-19.
Download Moxa Manual 1 - Strengthing the Immune System
(Manuals 2 & 3 coming soon...)
* How to use moxa
Please click on this link to a short film made by some friends in Australia.
(We will soon be uploading a film of our own dedicated to the manual).
* Getting hold of some moxa
It's very important to use high-quality moxa when using these manuals which may be difficult to obtain. Japanese moxa that has been specifically refined to a quality suitable for this type of treatment is the ONLY type we recommend for this therapy it can be rolled into tiny cones and the peak temperatures reduced. IT'S STILL VERY ECONOMICAL! If you want to obtain some, please email and (depending on your location) we can advise.