Newsletter ETCMA, December 2018

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Dear Members, Colleagues, and Friends,

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you, to your society, and to your members!  May 2019 bring a positively good year for Chinese Medicine and all of its practitioners! With forward steps, let us continue to promote our medicine on all levels….

 Well, the World Acupuncture Day (WAD) at UNESCO & the World Acupuncture Congress (WSCDA), in Paris during November 2018 was hugely successful, due to the demanding work that went into the creation of it.  We captured the attention of the world!  We all (WADO and more) tried to generate a better public understanding of Acupuncture and Moxibustion being practiced all over the world.  And we made the best out of it! 

 There was a huge meeting of the minds, as we attempted to build a stronger bridge between the East and the West, the Western Medical Acupuncture Societies and the TCM Societies from various nations. We experienced how difficult it is to communicate using different languages, and to come to a real understanding of each other’s standpoints. This was the first attempt to share our passion world-wide and speak with one voice - all for the sake of our amazing medicine. And, it was a success and well received! Still a first step.

 I hope we can continue to bridge the different worlds together - sharing our forces because it is the only answer for all of the tasks that still await us in this Western oriented medical world, for our patients, and for public health in general.

In November, we heard about the great news about the legalization of TCM in Portugal!  In December (in far contrast), the Spanish government tried to forbid all CAM therapies. (Please read more about this in this newsletter).  Incredible.  We must continue to speak up!  The ETCMA works on the side of all of its members to move the governments to offer a better choice, and to allow freedom of the people to choose their own healthcare.  It is certainly a dynamic time.  

 Please!  Let me ask you to forward this newsletter to your members, friends, and other associates.  Or, send them a link so they can sign up for our Newsletter at the ETCMA’s website.  This way we can get all the important and latest up to date information to them. We need to have our practitioners informed on the current trends happening - both good and challenging.  There are important political processes happening all of the time (which will sooner or later affect our clinical practice), as well as the latest research.  Education about what is going on in the world of Chinese Medicine, not only in Europe, but in the world is empowering for all of us.

I wish you good health, happiness, and prosperity for 2019 - Year of the Earth Pig!

Together we are stronger!

World Acupuncture Day

The house of UNESCO was the stage of the World Acupuncture Day, where more than 1300 acupuncture enthusiasts from 49 countries got together to celebrate the 8th Anniversary of the inscription of Acupuncture as an intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

This event brought together practitioners, researchers, politicians, academics, and administrators of all disciplines related to acupuncture and moxibustion to share their knowledge and experience. More than 20 speakers presented the current state of acupuncture around the globe. 

WHO representatives were present to talk about the work they have been developing regarding CAM therapies, it was also possible to learn a little more about humanitarian projects carried out by several colleagues in different regions of the globe.
This whole day culminated in a unique show where Chinese culture intertwined with Western culture. 

ETCMA as an integral part of the organization welcomes the success of this event.


World Scientific and Cultural Dialogue on Acupuncture

The WSCDA / WFAS Congress was held in the City of Science & Industry in Paris. This congress had 900 participants 165 speakers, 20 exhibitors, 25 scientific posters, a cyber space and a Gala Dinner.

Apart from the excellent speakers who came to share their work, this Congress was also an opportunity to develop topics discussed in the World Acupuncture Day.



What's the latest


First TCM Professional Licenses

On July 24th, 2003 the Portuguese parliament approved a new law regarding Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) therapies. This law provides a series of fundamental statements that give a legal umbrella for CAM.

After ten years, in September 2013, Portuguese government published the law nº 71/2013, a law that regulates the previous on CAM regarding the professional exercise of all activities that apply to 7 CAM therapies (Acupuncture, Herbal Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Osteopathy, Naturopathy, Chiropractic and Homeopathy). In order for this law to be in full practice it needs some specific regulation (Ordinances or Bill’s) that were published during the following years.


CAM in Spain

The Spanish government considers that CAM therapies are not endorsed by science and, therefore, imply a "risk" for patients.

The Spanish government presented a plan to expel all CAM services, or "pseudotherapies", from public and private health centres. The main objective of the Ministries of Health and Science, responsible for the initiative, is to "protect the health" of Spanish citizens from therapies that "do not work" and, therefore, constitute a deception for the user. When this initiative comes into force, no health centre in Spain can offer alternatives that are not scientifically proven. This includes Reiki, Acupuncture, Homeopathy and more than 100 other services that the official list contains.

A new organization has been recently created in Spain named "Fundación Terapias Naturales". This organization was created to defend CAM therapies and it represents arround 90% of the CAM sector in Spain, which is quite impressive. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine is also represented. Their website is still under construction "".  

ETCMA’s EC has decided also to support a private practitioner’s petition that will be sent to the Spanish Health Authorities to reconsider their stance.

ETCMA has received a letter addressed to the Spanish Authorities from a Practitioner now living in the U.S. The Author has agreed to publish it as an open letter (see below)


WFAS - 2018 Paris Declaration

During the World Acupuncture Day, was issued by WFAS EC, supported also by WFAS members from the ETCMA network: HSCM, NAA, NVA, PTTCM, Zhong and ETCMA as whole, the 2018 Paris Declaration – Work Together to Create a Community for Human Health.

Work Together to Create a Community for Human Health - 2018 Paris Declaration (携手共创人类健康共同体—2018 巴黎宣言)

TCM acupuncture and moxibustion which is rooted in China, has been spread to 183 countries and regions in the world, becomes “ World Acupuncture”. It is playing an important role in preventing and treating common diseases, frequently-occurring diseases, severe, difficult, and complicated diseases and infectious diseases as well as in responding to public health emergencies, etc. With the changes of health concepts, scientific evidence and medical models, TCM acupuncture and moxibustion is increasingly recognized and accepted by the international community. In particular, for overcoming many difficulties and challenges in the development of health life medicine science, people can get inspiration from TCM acupuncture and moxibustion.


Upcoming Events...


ETCMA General Assembly 2019

Next year the General Assembly will be held in Lisbon (Portugal), on the 22 and 23 of February. It will be held in a country that has become a pioneer in CAM legislation. 

The General Assembly meets annually in regular sessions. ETCMA’s Executive Committee presents about all the work done, discussing about the burning problems, giving relevant news and giving voice to all the member societies’ suggestions on how we can do more and better. The EC’s workload had multiplied and needs help in the committees.

The EC is looking very much forward to welcoming and meeting all 29 ETCMA members, especially the 3 new members from 2018 (OeAGTCM, OeGKA (both Austria), IAA (Iceland)) in the awesome ambience of Lisbon, in Portugal where the recent big TCM step happened.


50th TCM Kongress Rothenburg

Next year the TCM Kongress Rothenburg will celebrate half a century of existence and will be held from the 28th May to 01st of June 2019, in Rothenburg,Germany. The main topics this year are "Gynaecology and Andrology, Fu Qing-zhu: Gynaecology from the Early Qing Dynasty". Click on link  to see the main TCM congress program.

As usual ETCMA will have a parallel program with a more TCM political approach. This year we have made a few changes to the program, we expect to distribute the final program very soon. 

ETCMA thanks TCM Kongress Rothenburg for a 18 year cooperation with strong mutual support.



Australasian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Annual Conference

17-19 May 2019 | Pullman Melbourne on the Park, 192 Wellington Parade, Melbourne VIC 3002 Australia

Presented by Australian Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Association

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine practitioners throughout the Asia-Pacific region will gather in Melbourne from 17-19 May 2019 for the Australasian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Annual Conference (AACMAC).

Know More


Open Letter

Excma. Sra. Dña. María Luisa Carcedo Roces
Ministra de Sanidad, Consumo y Bienestar Social

My name is Andrea Thorpe and I have been licensed in Chinese medicine for the past 25 years. I am Spanish born and obtained my professional titles and accreditations by completing two 4 year degree courses in Chinese Medicine in both England and the United States. I am currently completing a Doctoral degree at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine; this program is an accredited doctoral program in the US. I write to you in regard to your plans to expel what you term pseudo-therapies from the Spanish National health system in which you have included Acupuncture. Before I go into details of why I consider this a major mistake.



Share your story, we want to hear from you. Please send us your articles to, and we will submit them to the ETCMA Editorial Board.


Happy Holidays and a Joyful New Year

ETCMA wishes for all its members, colleagues and friends that your holidays will be filled with joy and laughter throughout the New Year. 

Also wishing to you all a great success in the year to come.

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