There are two main types of Moxibustion: direct and indirect.
Direct Moxibustion is further categorised into scarring and non-scarring and consists of a small cone-shaped moxa placed on top of an acupuncture point and burned. In scarring Moxibustion, the ignited moxa is placed on a point and remains until it burns out completely. This may lead to local scarring, blisters and scarring after healing. However, in non-scarring Moxibustion, the ignited moxa is extinguished before it burns the skin. In this case, the patient should not experience any pain, blistering or scarring.
Indirect Moxibustion presents a much lower risk of pain or burning. In this case, a practitioner lights one end of a moxa stick (roughly the size and shape of a cigar) and holds it close to the area being treated, until the area turns red. Another form of indirect Moxibustion involves a combination of acupuncture and indirect Moxibustion, whereby a needle inserted into an acupoint is wrapped in moxa and ignited, generating heat into the point and the surrounding area. After the desired effect is achieved, the moxa is extinguished and the needle removed.