The Ming Men is an area on the body located between the second and third lumbar vertebrae, just beneath the two kidneys, and opposite the navel. It is also called “the gate of life”, and like all gates can open and close. At birth the Ming Men is opened, thus allowing the pelvic girdle to allow passage of the baby. With rest and recovery during the postpartum, the Ming Men properly closes, strengthening the lower back as well as the Kidney energy.
Moxabustion treatment posptartum helps to close the Ming Men. It can offer relief from lower back pain, internal cold, and helps the uterus return to its non-pregnant size. Physically, the mother is strengthened and is warmer after treatment. Spiritually and emotionally, she is filled by the heat and the gentle yet penetrating touch applied to the area where the moxa is administered. This touch helps to disperse the accumulating heat and also increases and prolongs the penetration of the heat. Burning moxa also produces increased immunity in the postpartum mother.
Moxa is made from an herb called Chinese mugwort. I use loose moxa in a moxa pot (or alternately, a moxa stick). The moxa is lit, the pot closed and covered with cloth before it is put on the body. Burning moxa sends a deep, penetrating warmth into the area being treated. It has a lasting effect, giving valuable strength to the healing process as well as tonification to the organs themselves. The areas treated are the lower back and/or the lower abdomen.
Binding the belly after the treatment holds in the warmth as well as offering muscular support. For centuries, Japanese mamas have used their “sarashi” to speed up weight loss and toning of the abdominal muscles and skin after childbirth, while Hispanic mamas believe their “faja” helps bring all the muscles used in the birthing process back together again. No matter what she calls it, women in Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Latin America, Mexico, Spain, England, and the Philippines have benefited from using an abdominal compression wrap after childbirth.
A treatment lasts from 45 – 60 minutes and may be given one time or repeated. The number of treatments are based on mom’s energy and recovery and may be given anytime from day 5 – week 6 postpartum.