One of the effective techniques for dealing with chemotherapy and radiation therapy-related nausea involves an ancient Chinese technique called “moxibustion.” It involves the use of a rolled herbal cigar (see photos below) of dried and/or processed Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) also called “moxa.” When burned, the smoldering moxa serves as a medicinal heat source that is held directly over the skin at specific acupuncture points to stimulate their activity.
My Favorite Anti-Nausea Point:
Stomach 36 (or “ST 36” or “Zu San Li”) is my favorite acupuncture point for treating nausea. I feel that this point is even more effective than Pericardium 6 (“P 6”), the popular point on the underside of the wrist. Both PC 6 and ST 36 have been shown in multiple studies to be effective acupuncture and acupressure points.
How To Locate “Stomach 36” (ST 36):
ST 36 is located by finding the bump on your tibial (shin) bone about one inch (or 4 fingers width) below the knee. This bump is called the tibial tuberosity. ST 36 is level with the bottom of the tibial tuberosity, one thumb width towards the outside of the leg. When you press firmly on this point (it is in the muscle), you can often feel an achy sensation (called “de qi”).
How To Use Your Moxa On ST 36:
Take your lit and glowing moxa roll and hold it over ST 36 for a few seconds until you feel the heat sinking in, then pull it away from the skin to cool it down. You can do this on either or both legs, and it can be done repeatedly for a few minutes (i.e. going back and forth between the right and left ST 36 points). You should feel the nausea abating after a few minutes.
Where You Can Buy Moxa Rolls:
Moxa rolls are inexpensive, easy to use and are a great way to help relieve nausea without any side effects.
You can purchase moxa online or through stores in your local Chinatown. Here are a few recommended online suppliers: