Dr. Tian Hong: between acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Dr. Tian Hong: between acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Chinese doctor in Italy Dr. Hong guides us to discover a concept of health that everyone should make use of: for an integrated medicine that can prevent and cure.


She graduated in medicine in 1977. What spark pushed you down this path?

I was young, I was living in a particular political period and I wanted to do something that would allow me to grow, to take up a profession of help. I decided to enroll in the Faculty of Medicine. 

The course of study in China is “mixed” and includes the study of both Western and traditional Chinese studies .

Let’s not forget that people like me who are Chinese (born in Beijing ed), are born and live in a context where Traditional Medicine belongs to popular culture and influences the actions and choices of each person. 

How do the two medicines coexist in China today?

Both are practiced in hospitals in China today . Studies and research are aimed at demonstrating and confirming the theories of TCM, using methods and techniques derived from Western medicine in order to bring the two cultures closer and make them increasingly complementary.  

Tuina and Acupuncture refer to the same paradigm with different tools. Can you detail the differences?

Chinese Medicine is based on the fact that the body is energy, that the viscera and organs intervene in the assimilation and use of this energy and that it circulates continuously through channels or meridians, responsible for connection, distribution and conservation.

The state of health is guaranteed when the energy is produced and distributed in a harmonic way. The main purpose of TCM is to promote free circulation , support correct energy and limit the invasion of pathogenic factors. 

Acupuncture, often associated with moxibustion, is very effective especially in painful conditions and is used to treat and relieve the symptoms of a wide range of diseases.

Practicing Tuina, on the other hand, means using the hands in different ways in order to adapt to the various parts of the body and obtain different results. It is possible, in fact, to tone an area, attract energy or disperse it in case of fullness.  

Tuina practice is complemented by techniques such as cupping , moxibustion , guasha or hammer. It has a strong preventive and rebalancing action, it is very effective in rehabilitation programs and for osteoarticular, muscle and tendon problems. 

Are the hands an added value in the therapeutic action and in support of vitality?

The beauty of using the hands is the possibility of communicating with the body . Through the hands it is possible to perceive where the problem is most evident, the area where the energy is missing or on the contrary where it stagnates and intervene.

The treatment with the hands allows you to reach different levels and go down even in depth , which is why it is very effective in rebalancing internal organs, for example the female gynecological system.

It is often decisive in today’s widespread problems such as amenorrhea , dysmenorrhea , cysts and favors the possibility of pregnancy when this is difficult. 

How was your initial approach to our mentality as a Chinese doctor in Italy?

In 2005 I founded the ASIMTC (International Study Association for the Development and Protection of Traditional Chinese Medicine) which is based in Milan and I teach and practice Tuina and Mtc in various Italian schools. 
Chinese Medicine was born from nature , to get close to it it is necessary to develop a great capacity for observation and to reach conclusions in a simple way. 

I have noticed that in the West the observation of nature is little considered and often my students tend to make complicated what is instead before everyone’s eyes. 

Approaching nature starting from the simplest things helps to deepen and internalize the theory of TCM.

In your opinion, how do Italian students and patients experience the concept of health?

The low inclination to observe nature is also reflected in self-care . 

People have little knowledge of their body and the signs it sends, there is no awareness that man lives in an integrated way in the universe and must relate to it.

Few ask themselves if and how they must change while respecting the cyclical nature of the seasons and the continuous technological evolution does not favor the perception of this need. 

Another thing I have noticed is the lack of attention to prevention and the lack of knowledge or dissemination of good health practices such as nutrition, Qigong or Taichi . 

What does it suggest to us to achieve a better quality of life?

I believe that it is essential to find a common language that makes understandable and unifies the assumptions of TCM and the affirmations of Western medicine.

After all, the body is unique: why two medicines ?

When language is able to bring them closer, we will be able to use an excellent prevention system and an excellent treatment process.

Do you have any special projects planned?

My dream is to find and spread this channel of communication and rapprochement between the two medicines.

The Tuina massage, for example, is a treatment system that favors the effectiveness of the therapeutic techniques typical of Western medicine. 

My intent is to provide more and more tools for in-depth study and knowledge by stimulating curiosity and constructive thinking in order to have trained and capable operators.  

I would like my school to become a sort of “campus”: a place where people can learn more and more about the possibility of preserving their health within themselves. 


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