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Acupuncture, moxibustion essential part of traditional Chinese medicine

BEIJING, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- A senior official with China's Ministry of Health has stressed that acupuncture and moxibustion used in combination were a major part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

"Chinese people must protect and develop acupuncture and moxibustion," said Vice Minister Wang Guoqiang Wednesday at a news conference.

Acupuncture and moxibustion, along with the Peking opera, were inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity last week by UNESCO.

"Traditional Chinese medicine is hugely important to the country, and Chinese acupuncture and moxibustion have been evolving under the guidance of TCM theory... This technique combines acupuncture and moxibustion, instead of simply inserting needles," Wang said.

Wang added that the country will make more efforts in advertising TCM theory and the functions of acupuncture and moxibustion.

In addition, Wang said the fact that acupuncture and moxibustion were on the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list will not affect its medical costs.

However, he noted the current price levels, which many TCM doctors complain as being excessively low, did not fully reflect its value.

"Consequently, many people won't choose to learn TCM or pursue a career in acupuncture and moxibustion," Wang said, urging a more reasonable price system for TCM.

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