The 3rd American TCM Congress Takes on Washington, DC

The American Traditional Chinese Medicine Association (ATCMA) and Traditional Chinese Medicine Alumni Association (TCMAAA) hosted the 3rd ATCMA Congress just outside the nation’s capital on September 16th and 17th 2017. The lively event was attended by over 300 including multiple esteemed presenters and researchers from China and international practitioners. Two tracks were offered in advanced acupuncture needling demonstrations and a research and educational forum to discuss trending topics. Modern researches, the importance of Acupoint specificity and need to preserve traditional aspects of theory and needling brought together the East and West.

The 3rd American TCM Congress organizers, the Traditional Chinese Medicine Alumni Association (TCMAAA) and the American TCM Association (ATCMA) brought US and Chinese practitioners together socially and academically. Many top leaders were in attendance offering their support for ATCMA/TCMAAA while building relationships to enhance the impact of acupuncture around the world. Dr. Haihe Tian, AP, Ph.D., President of TCMAAA and ATCMA, opening remarks echoed the mission of the ATCMA in its strong desire to promote deeper understanding of TCM medicine in the US.

The opening ceremony included Congresswoman Judy Chu Ph.D., representing the 27th District of California, and Delegate Mark Keam, representing the 35th District of Virginia offered words of welcome and success to all attendees and organizers. Keynotes speakers Dr. Baoyan Liu, President of World Federation of Acupuncture-Moxibustion Societies (WFAS), and Binsheng Sang, Secretary-General of WORLD FEDERATION OF CHINESE MEDICINE SOCIETIES (WFCMS), both from Beijing, then highlighted the growth of not only acupuncture but Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the US thanks to some of the pioneers that were present in the room.

TCMAAA was formed in 2014 by uniting 25 Chinese university alumni association branches in the US and several professional colleagues.  Many of these members are distinguished speakers and authors known worldwide.  In 2016 with the support of TCMAAA, ATCMA was formed as non-profit organization to help advance acupuncture and TCM acceptance in the US. 

The importance of Acupoint specificity was an interesting link between many of the presentations. Proper identification, location and indication were emphasized to improve treatment effectivity and outcome. These demonstrations offered invaluable perspectives from clinical observations and growing clinical research. The research and education forum identified some of the issues unique to the practice of acupuncture in the US.  As modern technology becomes more available, research results, analysis and communication back into the clinical field will be enhanced. Other interesting points discussed were the effects of “Sham” acupuncture and the necessity for the inclusion of psychological conditions in the research.

Since the recognition of CAM research by US government agencies, the practice of acupuncture has growth from developing accredited educational training programs and standards into an accepted, still underutilized, but important treatment option in the US.  The Congress addressed the growth of acupuncture in the US and trend for increase educational training moving towards post-doctorate and PhD programs.

Special thanks to the wonderful team of translators who worked throughout the weekend allowing for a heightened education experience for all. The simultaneous translations of all Chinese presentations made it easier for English-speaking attendees to follow.  Presentation materials were offered in both English and Chinese with live screening of acupuncture demonstrations for optimal viewing.

As the 3rd Congress concludes, plans for 4th American TCM Congress, which will be held in Seattle, Washington on August 4-5, 2018, are already in motion. ATCMA is open to all TCM practitioners including students and more information can be found on their website is external).