Moxabustion diagram showing where singeing should be avoided, 1712.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Chart showing the meridian points which are used in moxabustion, the burning of leaves of moxa, the Chinese wormwood tree. Acupuncture and moxabustion use a system of about 800 points along 14 lines or meridians running head to foot. This medical technique has been practised in China for over 3000 years. Treatment consists of the insertion into the skin of fine needles, or of the burning of moxa, at the points or meridians relating to the tisue or organ believed to be disordered. From 'Amoenitatum exoticarum' (often translated as 'Exotic Novelties', published in Germany, 1712), by Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716). Kaempfer was a German who travelled in Persia (Iran), India, Siam (Thailand), Java (Indonesia) and Japan.