Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine
Inscribed in 2010 (5.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- Acupuncture and moxibustion of traditional Chinese medicine
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 body’s 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 body’s 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.
Decision 5.COM 6.6
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: Acupuncture and moxibustion are a traditional knowledge and practice being transmitted from generation to generation and recognized by Chinese communities worldwide as part of their intangible cultural heritage;
- R.2: Their inscription on the Representative List could contribute to raising awareness concerning traditional medicine worldwide, while promoting cultural exchange between China and other countries;
- R.3: A set of present and future safeguarding measures aim at protecting and promoting the element, supported by the commitments of the State, the communities and the skill-bearers to their implementation;
- R.4: The nomination demonstrates that practitioners have participated in the nomination process and have provided their free, prior and informed consent;
- R.5: Acupuncture and moxibustion are inscribed on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage administered by the Department of Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture.
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