Intangible heritage

Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine. ©UNESCO 2009
Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine

Share this content:
Language: English
Available »English »Français

Summary/Historical Context

Related material that you
may also like:
Medical sciences Opens in new window
Acupuncture Opens in new window
Traditional medicine Opens in new window
Asian cultures Opens in new window
Basic sciences

Acupuncture and moxibustion are forms of traditional Chinese medicine widely practised in China and also found in regions of south-east Asia, Europe and the Americas. The theories of acupuncture and moxibustion hold that the human body acts as a small universe connected by channels, and that by physically stimulating these channels the practitioner can promote the human bodys self-regulating functions and bring health to the patient. This stimulation involves the burning of moxa (mugwort) or the insertion of needles into points on these channels, with the aim to restore the bodys balance and prevent and treat disease. In acupuncture, needles are selected according to the individual condition and used to puncture and stimulate the chosen points. Moxibustion is usually divided into direct and indirect moxibustion, in which either moxa cones are placed directly on points or moxa sticks are held and kept at some distance from the body surface to warm the chosen area. Moxa cones and sticks are made of dried mugwort leaves.

Acupuncture and moxibustion are taught through verbal instruction and demonstration, transmitted through master-disciple relations or through members of a clan. Currently, acupuncture and moxibustion are also transmitted through formal academic education.

on this subject: Nomination file/ Dossier de candidature (

Place/region China, Asia and the Pacific
Series: 2010 Inscriptions on the Representative List
Type: Documentary
Production: CCTV, producer ; Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China, producer.
Published in:
Rights/Droits: Institute of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, China

   LICENSING: for inquiries about licensing or requests for CD/DVD copies of this material, please contact the producer or the author directly. You may also wish to consult our FAQs 6 to 9

Request embed code for your website

Find Content
(OPTIONAL) Only in:
Audio recordings
Search by name of country or region