Prof. Dr. Tianjun Wang, United Kingdom: TCM as a part of the medicine can be really beneficial and can help in general

Prof. Dr. Tianjun Wang, United Kingdom: TCM as a part of the medicine can be really beneficial and can help in general
photo: Tianjuan WANG
flag 03 / 06 / 2021

Prof. Dr. Tianjun Wang works in the United Kingdom/Great Britain, Ilford, Essex as a Consultant Acupuncturist. He has a strong position in the community of Chinese TCM doctors, working abroad.

His experiences are very important for cooperation between European medical doctors, and professional TCM doctors coming from China, especially. He feels different between culture, understanding of theories, science, and usual point of views to treating.


Many important positions, much of his personal work, empathic perception of local conditions has been doing his good results. TCM doctors from China, working abroad, would have to read his answers in our interview very closely. Personal mistakes and misunderstandings in relations and communication in new country are much worse, than worse condition of TCM there. Professor Dr. T. J, WANG speaks:


 Professor TJ WANG


You are the chairman of the British TCM Forum, you have taught acupuncture at the University of East London, and you have been a doctor in the UK for many years. What is the interest in TCM here?

I started my career long ago. I was university student of TCM in China, Nanjing. I study and practice acupuncture in total more than 30 years, so TCM is my career. I believe it’s like my religion. I love to practice, I love the education, to transport and to introduce this unique Chinese medicine, part of Chinese culture to the western countries. That is also why when I moved to the UK, besides teaching at the university. I started my own clinic. I believe more practice and promotion of TCM will benefit not only to Chinese people but also more European people and countries as well.

We have had more than a year of pandemic. Do you have results on how TCM methods and products have worked in the fight against covid-19?

As you know, from the start of the last year, the virus was first explored in China. In that moment, we as practicians are aware this could be a big problem not only for China, but for all human beings worldwide. We had many discussions with TCM doctor colleagues in China, so we gained some experiences from those colleagues. As the pandemic had its outbreak in Europe from March last year,  we Chinese doctors in the UK started to contribute to not only Chinese people in the UK, but also for western people. We established the special volunteer team to fight against the corona virus. At the end we had around 100 TCM doctors to publish our contact information for public. So, we can provide help, if someone suffer from the virus or only is worried about the virus. We also helped a lot of people to prevent the symptoms of the virus.

As you know, in the western countries, if people suffer from the corona virus symptoms, there is no way of treatment, only they can get a paracetamol to treat the temperature. But we TCM doctors we apply the Chinese medicine to help them, to boost immune system, providing herbs to reduce the symptoms, to prevent getting worse.

Till early this year, me and my team, we have already helped more than 10 000 people in the UK, and we treated more than 1000 people who suffered from the virus. I believe, during this pandemic, we have used our knowledge to help people in European countries and managed to promote TCM as well.

There is a large group of Chinese people living in the UK. Do they prefer the TCM they know from their motherland?

As part of Chinese culture, TCM has been practiced in China more than 2000 years, so Chinese people mostly understand or are aware of the TCM. In the UK, they are around. I believe that originally some of them are familiar with TCM, but they are still some, particularly the young generation, that is not so familiar with TCM. Because of the pandemic, I believe much more people, including the young people are now more familiar with TCM. They are more aware, that TCM, alongside with western medicine can be really beneficial and can help, not only during the pandemic, but in general. So, I think the number of Chinese people who believe TCM is increasing. I believe similar situation is in another European countries.

Do you orient other populations, English, Scots, Irish? Are they your patients?

Speaking in general, I am based in the UK so basically the most patients are the local English people. But because I am a professor, I have also a lot of students from different places of the Great Britain or other countries like Poland, Germany or Netherland. I travel a lot to teach practitioners, or to publish my work, so also a lot of European countries residents contact me for consultation or questions. Also, there are people who come to the UK to see me for treatments. So yes, I have patients from different places and countries.

Do you have experience from other European countries of how the population accepts TCM?

Before the pandemic, I have been traveling a lot through the European countries for teaching. So, I understand, in each country there is another policy regarding TCM. Some of them are quite open, such the UK, but some of them are very strict, for example only western doctors can practice TCM. So, when I travel to these countries, not a lot of local people are familiar with TCM. Or they heard something about it and they are interested in it, but it is difficult for them to find TCMdoctors in their countrySo, there is still a long way to go, we have a lot of work to do and hopefully in the future the overall situation with TCM can be better.

Do you think it is effective to adapt the interpretation of principles and communication to European perceptions? Abandon the classical interpretation of TCM principles and philosophy?

You know, Chinese medicine is a part of Chinese culture, so it is easier for people from China or East Asia to understand the culture. When we transfer TCM to the western countries, it is a big challenge for promotion of TCM. Now, more of the western countries like the UK or American countries are more and more interested in the acupuncture compared to the herbal medicine. In China, more TCM doctors are focusing on the herbal medicine, in western countries it is opposite, they are focusing mainly only on acupuncture, herbal medicine is less than 20%. 

Secondary, even some people in western countries who practice acupuncture, only do acupuncture but they don’t believe the theory ofTCM  as a whole. For example, the theory of Ying and Yang, five elements or qi theory, they only learn some simple acupuncture points to treat pains for example headache. In western countries, this is a question if limit the application of acupuncture of Chinese medicine. 

One reason why we established The London Academy of Chinese Acupuncture is to educate public, that acupuncture is not just some needles or some points, but  there is a culture behind this medicine. So, we try to promote the medicine in a comprehensive way to the public. I believe, with more promotion and more practice, more western people will understand that Chinese medicine is comprehensive. 

Do you cooperate or work with doctors of Western medicine?

Unfortunately, not. In the UK Chinese medicine is not part of the main system medicine, so no western doctors are working with us on a regular base. 

We have some collaborations with western doctors such as I joined their associations, join their conferences as speakers and so on. These are some occasions, but not as a regular base. 

You are professionally focused on areas that are current in Europe today. Mental illness is on the rise. Infertility is becoming a serious problem.

First of all, the mental syndrome is oneof the main problems looking for acupuncture treatment. The second,  another one of the top problems looking for an acupuncture treatment is infertility. There are some researches, on this area and also infertility is a question for western medicals and doctors. Now, particularly in the UK TCM doctors are  working with more infertility patients and acupuncture practicians than before.

There are very  few acupuncture practicians in the UK that know how to help brain related  problems. There is few knowledge of theories or techniques for this taught in the colleges. So, after I came to the UK, I started to establish a lot of training courses, and also I have published a lot of papers or a book here. Now, more and more TCM practicians and doctors are interested to learn about the brain knowledge, theory, brain techniques and problems and disorders related to it. For example, now in my clinic, more that 70% of the patients are neurological or psychological patients. So I think there is a room to increase the interest  for public or the practicians and to understand that this could be a new area for western people to get  benefits from the TCM and I will do more to promote this area.

 TJ Wang /


What would you recommend as prevention in general, both for mental health and infertility?

Most practicians and many patients know that acupuncture and TCM support these areas. But still, very few in public can understand, TCM could help other neurological or mental problems, such as stroke. Before, many western doctors don’t believe that TCM could help for stroke. But now, more and more people believe or understand the acupuncture has definitely benefit for these neurological diseases.




with Michaela Zelinkova


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