Magdalena Konior, Poland: TCM will completely change your view of the world

Magdalena Konior, Poland: TCM will completely change your view of the world
photo: Konior, Poland
flag 28 / 10 / 2020

Magdalena Konior, PhD, is a Polish biologist in studies, another practice is mainly a TCM therapist, an erudite acupuncturist. Especially in recent years, it has been active not only in treatment, but also in promoting and strengthening the position of TCM in the healthcare system.

The situation in Poland is similar to ours, so it is important to communicate with patients as well as with the public and the establishment. The application of TCM as a complementary system of methods, supporting the treatment of classical or solving directly specific diagnoses, is also a goal in our northern neighbors. Last year, Magdalena was responsible for organizing the first TCM congress in Krakow, which also included our experts (Ludmila Bendová, MD, sent us information), and we bring you an extensive interview.


Please, is it possible to inform us generally about system of TCM, your experiences and study?

I started to learn TCM in 2009 – my first course was four year TCM basic course with Matthias Hunecke from Germany. In this time we still did not have strong TCM education in Poland, and not many teachers, and my choice was little bit accidental, but Matthias was able to convince me that TCM is worth studying. He was very passionate teacher who was able to weave stories from quantum physics or operation of the car to explain the theory of TCM. First years were difficult, because TCM changes completely the way you look on the world. It takes time to digest this system, to stop thinking in the western way. On the third year of my study I've got the possibility (thanks to Marek Kalmus – director of Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Health Prophylaxis) to go to China on one month of clinical work. Our group went to Nanning and we spent whole month observing the work of chinese doctors in Nanning University Hospital. It was great experience which helped me to start my own practice.


What about possibilites and ways of applications of these methods, interest of clients, education?

Now we have plenty of possibilities to widen our knowledge. More and more chinese teachers are coming to Poland, we have few schools, nearly in every region of Poland: Gdańsk, Katowice, Wrocław, Bydgoszcz, Warszawa and Krakow. More and morre people are interested in Chinese Medicine as patients and as students. We organise open lecture for our patients (or potential patients) and we always have a lot of interest. First, we started to organise short educational lectures on the occasion of chinese New Year, and now we havee cooperation with Confucius Institute who is helping us to organise it and propagate.


Are there any contacts between Polish and experts from other countries EU or V4?

Yes. We have cooperation with few well known experts who are regularly teaching in Poland. Mainly they are chinese professors who live in EU, but also we have experts from Israel and Germany. Our first teacher Claude Diolosa who started polish adventure with TCM is also teaching in Poland. By the occasion of educational events we have also clinical days with patients. This is also occasion for students to look how our teachers work.


Do you have any contacts with ETCMA?

In Poland we have Polish Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is a Member of ECTMA. When we organised International Congress of Chinese Medicine in Cracow we invited Gerd Ohmstede, from ETCMA who was our plenary speaker. In future we want closer cooperation, mainly by Polish Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine which is growing bigger.


Can the Chinese MD doctors treat in Poland? Have they their own practice centres, do they treat in hospitals etc.?

Unfortunately I have no information about Chinese MD treating in the hospitals. Today in polish hospitals they use only conventional medicine with the exception of pain treatment by acupuncture, but according to law it can be done only by medical doctor. But I know few Chinese and Mongol doctors treating  in their own gabintes or clinics. There is one well known Clinic in Warsaw Beijing Tong Ren Tang where Chinese doctors are working, but many of them are working in their own pracitces, so it is hard to estimate how many of them are treating in Poland.


Have you been patient of TCM yourself :), if you needed, any time? Do you treat your relatives, friends?

Of course – I am open to unconventional treatment, not only Chinese. I regularly use Chinese herbs. I like to have acupuncture and massage -usually as health prevention. I also had Kambo treatment last year, and it was also great and interesting experience.  Anyway, when we started to learn TCM there was no other way to be proficient in acupuncture only trying on ourselves. First we started with one of my friends from TCM school, and with time we had more and more friends as patients. Some of them were really fond of our treatments, and it was first occasion to see how well and how quick it really works.


What area of health care is the best for TCM treatment, as you could say?

 That is difficult question and there is no one good answer. The best patients for me are this patients who care for health and who come for acupuncture and herbs for prevention and regulation and to keep themselves in good form. Unfortunately, there is very few such patients. I like to treat patients who are aware of their bodies, then treatment is going ahead no matter what the disease is. Patient who wants instant help without his own complicity is usually difficult to help;

What about diagnosis, you are sure to help, by TCM?

Well, diagnosis is the part of TCM where we lack good practice. There is still not enough courses with clinical wokshops, so many of the students have gaps in their knowledge, or they don't believe in themselves. I believe that when you don't have success in treatment there is mistake in diagnosis. Of course I am not always sure about my diagnosis and many times I correct my treatment. There is also possibility for us to take our difficult patients on clinical supervision with Chinese professors.


Do you have experience, to combine TCM with high IT system, or other scientific methods, for measure, research, stronger effect etc.?

I often recommend patients to incorporate western treatment, especially physiotherapy and often recommend, to make medical tests to check what is the western basic for their disease. I never did research on acupuncture in the sense: to compare how it works.


Is TCM accepted as the way of treatment in Polish state health care system?

 As I said earlier, we have only treatment of pain by acupuncture done in the hospitals and medical clinics, but it has to be done by Medical doctor and they do not incorporate Chinese diagnosis. It is strict symptomatic treatment which often works. So, in fact TCM is not incorporated into Polish Health Care System.


What country, except China, is the most important for TCM development, in scientific research, by your point of view?

Israel I think. Except China the most number of teachers coming to Poland are from Israel. I have never been there, but they organise also a lot of events, like congresses, or possibilities to have clinical workshops in their hospitals. I have to mention Yair Maimon here, who is doing clinical research on herbal remedy helping in cancer treatment, and many other practitioners from Israel who are really as teachers and masters.  


Do you use fyto products original from China, or are there good, cultivated in European countries?

 For this moment majority of Phytoproducts used in Poland are imported from China. We use patent remedies, as well as concentrated powders and whole herbs to prepare individual prescriptions. Many therapists work on European herbs which are definitely cheaper. I don't know about Chinese herbs cultivated in Europe, but I think that in nearest future we will have our own Chinese herbs.


Are there any favourite methods, what you use or offer - acupuncture, moxing, fytotherapy...?

 Acupuncture, however I often combine needles, moxa, cupping guasha in one treatment, because point stimulation doesn't necessarily to be done with the needle. Patients like treatments with these extra tools and the results are often much better.


Can you say only one sentence, why to offer TCM?

Why Chinese medicine? Because it is simple and effective, and it is teaching the patient how to live better life. Only for this it is worth offering.

 Authot: Jan Hovorka (Published 2017)


Magdalena Konior, Poland

I was born in 1974 in Żywiec (southern Poland). I was studying biology on Jagiellonian University, and finished PhD also at Jagiellonian University. For few years I was working as a scientific worker and academic teacher at the Department of Biology and Earth Sciences. In 2009 I started basic TCM education with Matthias Hunecke in the Institute of Chinese Medicine and Health Prophylaxis in Cracow. After finishing basic course I was increasing my knowledge studying with many more teachers (Prof. Sun Peilin, Prof Li Jie, Claude Diolosa, Donald Halfkenny, Radha Thambirajah, Wang Weixiang, Dr Wiesław Nowak, Bartosz Chmielnicki, Jani White and Tadeusz Błaszczyk). I am secretary of Polish Society of Traditional Chinese Medicine., From 2013 I am working in the Centre of Chinese Medicine in Cracow as acupuncturist. In 2016 I was co-organiser of First International TCM Congress in Cracow.



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