Best Acupuncture and TCM Documentaries

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Guy, TCM Academy

Guy, TCM Academy

Best Acupuncture and TCM Documentaries

We aim to bridge the world of TCM, to connect the community across the globe. Part of that is Sharing the Wisdom, a series of interviews with familiar and less familiar teachers. In one of the episodes, our host Kevin Durjun had the pleasure of talking with Mia Donovan, editor of Dope is Death, a documentary about the evolution of acupuncture in the USA and its relation to The Young Lords and Black Panther.

Following, in random order, you will find some of the most notable documentaries about acupuncture and Chinese medicine. Knowing the history and current status of acupuncture is a stepping stone in moving our profession forward.

Watching these documentaries, we get in touch with the world, we learn something new or enjoy a little entertainment. We all learned to appreciate a little bit of escapism this year. Alternatively, you might want to share it with patients and family members who wonder about what you do. 

If there is any film or series that we have missed, please write to us. If you want to write a review about any of these, we will be happy to share it with our worldwide practitioners.

☯ Dope is Death

The story of a radical movement that sought to end heroin addiction in communities of color with acupuncture, led by Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the step father of Tupac. Check out for more. “The producers of Dope is Death would like to acknowledge an error in the documentary: Gloria Fontanez has been misidentified as Iris Morales, both were members of the Central Committee of the Young Lords. We apologize for this error and we would like to honor both women for their work.”

Watch our interview with editor Mia Donovan

☯ 9000 Needles

Having faced the confines of the American health care system, a forty-year-old stroke patient travels to Tianjin, China in search of the rehabilitation he needs.
Winner of the Audience Award for Best Picture at Phoenix Film Festival 2010.

☯ The Children’s Hospital of Orange County

From the Acupuncture Now Foundation, Getting to the Point – Episode 1.

Brought to you by the Acupuncture Now Foundation and award winning film maker Doug Dearth (9000 Needles), this touching documentary chronicles the stories of two young boys diagnosed with brain cancer who were cared for at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) in the city of Orange, California. Facing the complications from brain surgery and their upcoming chemotherapy treatments, CHOC neurosurgeon, Dr. William Loudon, suggests to Cade and Max’s parents that they try something outside the box and introduces them to CHOC hospital acupuncturist Ruth McCarty. Over the next few years, this unique treatment approach helps ease the fatigue, nausea and pain so common in cancer victims while Cade is also helped to recover from a devastating stroke he suffered after his second brain surgery.

☯ After 15 Million Needles – The Life Story of Dr Zhu 針灸神醫朱明清

Here is one documentary about one of the most famous acupucnterist in the world.
Prof. Zhu is the original founder of Zhu’s Scalp Acupuncture, one of four scalp acupuncture systems known in China. Throughout his 50-year career in TCM, Prof Zhu has never stopped teaching and treating patients and is sought after from every corner of the world.

☯ Who am I

At the age of 3, Dr. Ming Jie Wu witnessed his father cure his sister’s asthma with ancient Chinese herbs.  This left a deep impression on young Ming, who was amazed.  At a tender age Ming decided to dedicate himself to the ancient practice of Taoist Chinese Medicine (TCM) like his father and grandfather before him.  TCM is based on taoist philosophy.  Health is achieved through the balance and harmony of the whole body system, mind and spirit.  This interconnected and interdependent relationship is understood as yin and yang. 

Experience Ming’s story, philosophy, and wisdom, as he teaches and heals in China and the U.S.  His practices and beliefs are almost but lost in modern day.  He encourages and teaches us to take back our power, gain a deeper understanding of “Who Am I” and maintain a healthy balance.   We see that much of this is in stark contrast to the western approach to medicine and health.  Ming wants us not to be a passive patient, but to learn how to take care of ourselves and then teach and help others. 

The teachings are deep.  The interactions touching.  The testimonies heart wrenching and triumphant.   You may learn, perhaps even awaken. You may cry and you may cheer.  This documentary will touch your spirit and uplift your soul.  

Watch the full film on the director page:

☯ The Tale of Chinese Medicine S1 EP1: Master of TCM

From south to north, and from west to east, under the guidance of traditional Chinese medicine, the film crew explored the moving stories of traditional Chinese medicine and traditional Chinese medicine hidden in mountains, plateaus, Gobi, and deserts.

☯ Return to Life

Another film from the director of 9000 needles.

“Return To Life” is a documentary film which dives into the fascinating and promising world of Neuro-Acupuncture. We learn how Dr. Jason Hao and Dr. Linda Hao have developed this unique treatment and have teamed up with western medicine doctors and practitioner’s to treat patients with traumatic brain injury, post traumatic stress disorder, muscular sclerosis, stroke, autism and many other challenging neurological conditions.

Through personal, inspiring and heart-warming stories of patients who have benefited from Neuro-Acupuncture, the film explores the challenges and opportunities that come with bringing this miraculous treatment to those who need it most and the Neuro-Acupuncture Institute’s desires to train more doctors and practitioners on this life changing, and often times, life saving medicine.

*Top picture images are taken from the release kits of the films

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