The History of Chinese Medicine in Rothenburg ob der Tauber
The conference began in 1968, 15 years after the foundation of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft. A group of 20 to 30 acupuncturists got together in Rothenburg to deepen their knowledge of this ancient medicine.
The name 'Arbeitsgemeinschaft' expresses the idea behind the unity of this group, which is working hard for something in close association. It is a community which meets together and where an exchange takes place. At the same time there is the work (Arbeit) for the common cause and for the continuing training in classical acupuncture and Chinese Medicine. At that time there were only a few good textbooks available so that it was necessary to deepen our understanding by this sort of meeting. This was the beginning of the Rothenburg conferences.
The earliest publications date from 1971 ('Beiträge zu zehn Tagungen', T. Marzell, München, out of print). The conference was held over 2 1/2 days from May 20th to May 23rd. The 10th conference in 1979 lasted already 4½ days with 6 whole day courses and 1 ½ days of lectures. In 1989 it was a great honour for the Arbeits-gemeinschaft to organize the World Conference in Düsseldorf on behalf of the SIA (Société Internationale d'Acupuncture, France, a world organization of different acupuncture associations of which the Arbeitsgemein-schaft was a member).
Over three days there were 33 lectures and 10 workshops. In 1999 there were 25 speakers over 5 days, with 16 whole day courses and 13 half day courses at the Rothenburg conference. In 2002 there were 68 courses and 2 days of plenary sessions, 650 participants were registered and 49 speakers participated, 16 of them from all over the world. This does not mean that the Rothenburg conference should grow a lot more. As the limits of numerical growth have nearly been reached, we will attach even greater importance to the quality of the courses and the organisation.
Even at the beginning the most important speakers of their time lectured in Rothenburg: Jack Worsley, Dr. Van Buren and Nguyen van Nghi. From 1979 on Prof. Porkert came regulary to Rothenburg and introduced Chinese Materia Medica. He took care to clarify the confusion of terms and decisively supported and determined the development of Chinese Medicine in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft through the eighties. To read up further details about the speakers who have come to Rothenburg, please refer to the speakers' list.
The open-minded atmosphere at the meeting, the direct contact with the speakers, and the friendly way the participants connect with each other have always been preserved in Rothenburg. The medieval setting of the town may have greatly contributed to this. Thus it's a living example for the ideal of Chinese Medicine: the free flow of Qi and Shen. Teachers and practitioners both agree that we all share the same concern in trying to alleviate suffering and cure disease, although there are different methods of diagnostics and therapy in Chinese Medicine, which lead to this same goal. This point of view represents a very important step towards unity within the profession and broad acceptance of Chinese Medicine in Germany as well as in Europe.
In the past the secretaries of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft used to be in charge of the organization of the Rothenburg conferences. In 1999 this arrangement was abolished because of the very extensive work related to the conference organization. The conference direction became an independent department of the managing committee of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft:
1968 - 1974 Doris Baginsky
1975 - 1978 Günter Lange/Dr. Karl O. Heimann
1979 - 1986 Dr. Karl O. Heimann
1987 - 1989 Horst Ferger
1989 - 1994 Marlies Sonnentag
1995 - 1998 Gerd Ohmstede
1999 Claudia Papst-Dippel, Herbert Vater, Concept: Gerd Ohmstede
- 2000 - 2010
- Gerd Ohmstede
- since 2011 until today
- Gerd Ohmstede and Christian Yehoash