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5th TCM goes political!

"Pseudoscience and faith healing: the threat of totalitarian scientism in Europe?”

ETCMA event - TCM Kongress Rothenburg

5th TCM goes political! 15 – 18,00 h: “Pseudoscience and faith healing: the threat of totalitarian scientism in Europe?”

Location: Eisenhut, room Winterbach.

If you would like to attend please confirm your attendance by sending an email to by May, 7th, 2019.

Entrance fee (30 €) will be payable in cash on the day of attendance and a receipt will be provided for the payment.

Please note that attendance at ETCMA events does not require a ticket for the main congress.

ETCMA event

Moderation: Gerd Ohmstede (President ETCMA), Giulia Boschi (Advocacy Committee ETCMA).






Gerd Ohmstede (Germany) Johanna Biemans (NL)



Ton Nicolai (NL)

EUROCAM’s Spokesperson: “Putting Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the European Union agenda: the role of EUROCAM”


Ramon M. Calduch (Spain)

“The TCM in Spain: the strategy of the FTN against the Government's attempt to prohibit them.”


Mel Hopper Koppelman (USA)

Via Skype

“Science and the Evolution of Consciousness: A framework for understanding differing perspectives and communicating with greater skill”

16:10-16:25 BREAK


Ives Giarmon (France)


 “The situation of Practitioners in France and their actions in favour of a professional regulation”



Ludmilla Bendova (Czech Republic)

“A legal TCM rollercoaster in Czechia”



Giulia Boschi (Italy)

Closing remarks: ” How does the anti-CAM strategy work”


Question Time




Speaker’s CV

Ton Nicolai 


Ton Nicolai graduated as a medical doctor in 1972. He started working as a General Practitioner. Not being satisfied with the limitations of conventional medicine, he studied several CAM modalities, including homeopathy, acupuncture, manual therapy and naturopathy and worked as a consultant homeopathic doctor for 35 years.

He was on the Boards of national and international associations. He was one of the founders of the European Committee for Homeopathy (ECH) and served as its president for 12 years. Over the last six years he has worked as spokesperson of EUROCAM, the European foundation representing patients and health professionals (medical doctors, veterinarians and practitioners) in the CAM sector.

He is author of several reports and position papers, and co-author of a number of scientific papers. He received several awards for his international work and became Companion of the Order of Orange-Nassau on behalf of the Queen of the Netherlands.


Ramon Maria Calduch


Prof. Dr. Ramon Mª Calduch


Doctor of Laws (Thesis title: “Towards an European Training of Chinese Medicine: Its Incorporation in the Spanish University System”, having obtained the qualification of Cum laude);

Doctor of Economics; Medical anthropologist; Auditor.


Vice-president of the European Foundation of TCM- Spain

Vice-president of Pan European Federation of TCM Societies (PEFOTS)

President of the European Chamber of Commerce for TCM (ECCTCM)


Chairperson of the WFCMS Working Committee of Promoting the Regulation of Chinese Medicine, Chairperson of the Supervision Board of World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS).

Executive Council Member of the Committee of Examination and Evaluation of WFCMS. Vice Chairperson of the Educational Instruction Committee of WFCMS.

Vicepresident of the Specialty Committee of Standardization of WFCMS.


Vice-president of the World Federation of Acupuncture and Moxibustion Societies (WFAS). Member of Standardization Working Committee of WFAS.

Head of Spanish delegation for ISO/TC249TCM and member of the Chair’s Advisory Group.

Vicepresident of World TCM Forum. 


Mel Hopper Koppermann


Mel Hopper Koppelman is passionate about improving people’s access to safe and effective health care by communicating acupuncture’s scientific evidence. She received her MSc in Acupuncture for the Northern College in York, UK in 2012 and her MSc in Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States in Oregon, USA in 2015. She lives and practices in Rhode Island, USA and is the Director of Evidence Based Acupuncture.


Yves Giarmon


Yves Giarmon, President of FNMTC (Fédération Nationale de Médecine Traditionnelle Chinoise) since 2013. FNMTC is the first TCM organisation in France. He’s also co-president of CFMTC (Confédération Française de MTC) and delegate to the General Assembly of ETCMA since 2006.

Since 1987 he teaches in one of the most ancient and most important Institutions of TCM in Europe: « la SFERE »,Where Chinese Traditional Energetics is taught in French style.

He’s a TCM practitioner since 1987 and osteopath since 1988. He has been Kinésithérapeute (1975). He has studied mainly in France and Switzerland. He’s co-organizer of more than thirty Congresses of TCM.

Man of compromise, he’s strongly engaged in policies for professionals and has been fighting for more than twenty years for the recognition of the CM profession in France.


Ludmilla Bendova


Dr. Ludmila Bendová has been one of the leading promoters of Chinese medicine in present day Czech Republic, the former Czechoslovakia, for almost 30 years.

 In 1990, she was one of the co-founders of the Czech-Slovak Sinobiological Society -- sinology is the study of Chinese language, history, customs and politics -- and the School of Traditional Medicine in Prague (the first TCM school in the country). Since then she has taught TCM theory and history, acupuncture, tongue diagnosis and pulse diagnosis and as well as being a practitioner of acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. She helped organize and participated in two TCM Congresses in Prague; often gives talks internationally; and is a member of the Czech Chamber of Traditional Chinese Medicine (CCTCM) and chairperson for its education branch.

 In 2007, she completed the herbal medicine program and acupuncture program at the Chinese University Guangming in Beijing. In addition, she has also completely several monthly internships at Dongzhimen Yi Yuan, a medical hospital dedicated solely to Chinese medicine in Tianjin, China.

 With a medical degree from the Charles University Medical School in 1982 and postgraduate medical studies, and her many years of TCM studies and work in the field, Dr. Bendová is uniquely qualified to understand the two worlds of Chinese medicine and western medicine and to advocate for upgrading the status of TCM practitioners in the Czech Republic.





Giulia Boschi

  • Giulia Boschi is head of Advocacy and member of ETCMA’s Executive Committee, member of the Executive Committee of WFAS (World Federation of Acupuncture Societies), founder and Honorary President of O.T.T.O. (Italian professional association of Tuina-Qigong practitioners: Operatori Tuina-Qigong e Tecniche Olistiche).
  • O.T.T.O. has directed and recently concluded (2018), together with three other European Associations, a EU financed project: Learning methods in TCM and Yangsheng:  towards excellence in adult education (Erasmus+ Programme 2014-2020 - Key Action 2: Strategic Partnership Project AGREEMENT no 2016 -1 -IT 02-KA204-024678) in which she’s been working as TCM expert.
  • She’s presently Adjunct professor of Chinese Medical Terminology at UNINT Rome's University of International Studies (last year of the master's course) and of Chinese Culture at the Bachelor's course of the same University.
  • She's been teaching for almost 30 years in TCM masters in different Italian Universities and other private and public Institutions.
  • She wrote several articles and a textbook of Classical Chinese Medicine (now at its third Italian edition, English edition in print) and translated other books from English and Chinese.
  • Besides her teaching activity she also works as TCM Practitioner and Physiotherapist  in Rome.,





Ton Nicolai: Putting Complementary and Alternative Medicine on the European Union agenda: the role of EUROCAM

EUROCAM is raising its profile and achieving a significant political presence in Brussels. This way EUROCAM seeks to influence the decision making of the European authorities with the final aim to achieve the integration of CAM into European healthcare systems.

EUROCAM’s activities include meetings at the European Parliament, with European Commission officials, and participation in a network with leading Civil Society Organisations.

Other means to influence the decision makers are the publication of position papers on specific needs of the CAM sector and on CAM’s benefits for EU public health policies, as well as responses to Commission consultations on various health policies. The use of social media helps to raise the visibility of EUROCAM and CAM in general.

EUROCAM has also connections with the World Health Organisation and seeks to bring WHO’s global view on the integration of Traditional&Complementary Medicine into healthcare systems to the EU authorities.

Continued, active collaboration and strong commitment of EUROCAM’s affiliated organisations and their delegates, as well as substantial financial support are needed to support EUROCAM’s activities and to ensure EUROCAM can achieve its aims.



In recent years we have seen information appeared in Spain, more and more assiduously, accusing natural therapies of being unnecessary and even dangerous.

In the last months of 2018, this information and statements became an aggressive campaign to discredit natural medicine and natural therapies, as well as the non-health and health professionals who practice them.

This unprecedented campaign, which aims to solve supposed health protection needs of citizens that have never been accredited, is inexplicably orchestrated from the government by the Ministry of Health, Consumption and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, and belittles those patients who have opted for natural therapies for years under prescription, recommendation and professional observance.

Today in Spain, the Natural Therapies Foundation represents the voice and the claim of these patients and professionals.

The Government's claim to eradicate natural therapies from our health options and to persecute doctors and therapists who use them has been rejected by tens of thousands of citizens who have been clearly opposed to the ministerial claims.

During the last few months, the current President of the Government and the Ministries of Health and Science have been contacted and requested on multiple occasions by citizens, public entities, associations of non-health professionals, associations of doctors, associations of patients, etc., national and international, in order to seek healthy debate and constructive conversation.

So far it has not been possible to obtain any response from the government or the Ministries of Health, Consumer Affairs and Social Welfare and of Science, Technology and Universities.

Faced with this situation of helplessness, on the part of the government, the Natural Therapies Foundation was born with the aim of rising with a single voice, representing and defending the #PatientFree and become the spokesman and referent of natural therapies and professionals who practice them.

The Natural Therapies Foundation is a non-profit and apolitical organization, which was born to defend the inalienable right of citizens to access natural medicine and natural therapies, as well as all current professionals, health and non-health, who advocate for a broader vision of health.

The Natural Therapies Foundation brings together natural therapy training schools, professional associations of natural therapies and natural medicine, associations of users of natural health methods and laboratories and manufacturers of natural products and medicines. Currently it represents more than 90% of the natural health sector in Spain.


Currently the entity has 6 Observatories or technical bodies (Osteopathy, Acupuncture and TCM, Phytotherapy, Food Supplements and Supplements, Homeopathy, Naturopathy and Manual and Natural Techniques), each specializing in a natural therapy, whose objectives are:


1.- To offer citizens a reference framework contrasted by experts in the sector.

2.- Accredit scientific evidence.

3.- Position itself to represent each therapy for an effective regulation.

4.- To compile the best international practices for the regulation of natural therapies.


As for the actions to be carried out in the short term by the Natural Therapies Foundation:


  1. a) Proposal for regulation of natural therapies, the professionals who practice them and training


(b) Legal actions:

            Submission of a complaint to the General State Prosecutor's Office (Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office) and Request for access to the files of the Spanish network of agencies evaluating health technologies and services of the NHS, of the Ministry of Health.


  1. c) Defence of patients' rights. #PatientFree

Within the context originated by the Spanish Government of censorship of the knowledge and use of natural therapies, which nullifies the rights and freedoms of the patient, the Natural Therapies Foundation created and launched in January 2019 the #PacienteLibre initiative. The declaration was presented in 8 requests from 3 to 15 January, during which more than 60,000 signatures were collected.


  1. d) Vigilance, criticism and proposal to the health programmes of the Spanish political parties with a view to the general elections of 28 April 2019 and the municipal, autonomous and European elections of 26 May 2019.


Mel Hopper Koppermann: Science and the Evolution of Consciousness: A framework for understanding differing perspectives and communicating with greater skill

Given the overwhelming evidence of acupuncture’s effectiveness for a variety of conditions and its vastly superior safety profile compared to many conventional treatments, it can be difficult to understand the perspectives of those in conventional medicine who criticize the practice of acupuncture as unscientific. Sometimes it seems like the ‘bad guys’ are out to get us!

In this talk, we will explore a helpful map of the evolution of human perspectives, values and meanings and how intelligent, well-meaning people can feel so differently about the same topic, in this case, the scientific validity of treatments such as acupuncture. This model will make important distinctions so that we can be strategic when communicating with different people and organizations.     Using these tools, you will be able to maximize effectiveness with minimal effort in promoting health through a better understanding of acupuncture’s considerable evidence base. 


Yves Giarmon: The situation of Practitioners in France and their actions in favour of a professional regulation 

There are, in France,  1400 acupuncturists who are medical doctors. Apart from that, we consider there are 7000 TCM-exclusive practitioners who are not medical doctors, tens of thousands who use acupuncture in addition to their job (dental surgeons, physiotherapists, nurses, osteopaths etc.) and hundreds of thousands who have been trained, during all those years, and who have practiced for a time, or who studied for their own personal development.

They are often called TCM Practitioners, like everywhere in Europe.

Those 7000 practitioners are actually a part of the french health landscape, though they do not have any legal status to date. They gathered by creating organizations which build the profession step by step.


Ludmilla Bendova: A legal TCM rollercoaster in Czechia

Presently, only medical doctors may legally practice acupuncture. Since most Czech TCM practitioners are not medical doctors, they have worked quietly under a massage license or a health consultant license. This situation is changing, however, and a roller coaster ride began a few years ago.

 In 2015, two Chinese western medical doctors, with little knowledge of TCM, in cooperation with a Charles University hospital in Hradec Kralové started a TCM hospital. The Czech Chamber of Doctors filed lawsuits against this facility, ending with rulings that Chinese doctors cannot practice medicine in Czech hospitals. The clinic failed after two years.

 Despite this negative spotlight on TCM, and thanks to years of the Czech TCM community promoting Asian medicine, the possibility of positive changes for TCM pracititoners appeared on the horizon. In 2017, both chambers of the Czech Parliament passed an amendment to the Non-doctor Medical Professions Act, which included two non-doctor medical professions into the health system: a therapist of TCM and a specialist of TCM with specific professional conditions and health educational requirements.

 Unfortunately, with political changes in the Czech government in 2018, this amendment was revoked. In hopes of reversing this decision, Dr. Bendová and Dr. Josef Lucký, the director of the TCM Institute, met with a representative of the Minister of Health in November 2018. Documentation was presented which included the recognition of TCM as medicine in many countries and the results of a 19-year sociological study in which 80-90 percent of Czechs praised TCM and had experienced positive health outcomes, when western medicine had failed them. But this information fell on deaf ears.

Legislation that is now being prepared recognizes TCM as part of a healing system, not a part of medicine, and relegates it to the status of faith healers, with no educational requirements.

The present legal status of Chinese medicine in the Czech Republic is extremely unclear.


Giulia Boschi

The anti-CAM strategy seems to be articulated in five steps:

Step 1- «homologate»

Step 2- «denature and validate»

Step 3- «divide et impera» (divide and rule)

Step 4 “reduce and limit”

Step 5 “forbid”

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