More than 50 years ago, we launched the TCM Kongress Rothenburg. Today, it brings around 1,200 participants from over 40 countries to Rothenburg ob der Tauber every year (and now also in front of their screens). Around 130 renowned speakers talk about the latest developments and exciting topics. More than 30 exhibitors present themselves and their products. Beyond that, we look forward every year to our joint congress taiji, community spirit and the incomparable Rothenburg flair.
With the congress we pave the way for national and international exchange. Specialized knowledge is conveyed and developed further – aiming at promoting TCM expertise. The AGTCM e.V. has dedicated itself to this task, not only as the organiser of the congress, but as one of the most important inter-professional associations for Chinese Medicine in Germany.
How it all began
The story of Chinese Medicine in Rothenburg o.d.T.
Fifteen years after the founding of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Traditionelle Chinesische Medizin, 20 to 30 acupuncturists met in Rothenburg o.d.T. for the first time in 1968. In the city’s medieval atmosphere, they gathered to learn about the ancient medicine and deepen their existing knowledge.
At that time good textbooks were still rare, so this type of meeting was the best way to increase their understanding of Chinese medicine. It turned out to be the starting point for what has grown into the TCM Kongress, which is held every year during Ascension week.
The records that survive (“Beiträge zu zehn Tagungen”, T. Marzell München, out of print) date back to 1971. In that year, people interested in TCM met for two and a half days. By the time of the 10th meeting in 1979, the meeting had expanded to four and a half days (with six full-day courses) and one and a half days of lectures.
In 1989 the Arbeitsgemeinschaft had the honor to put on the world congress for the SIA (Societé Internationale d’Acupuncture headquartered in France, a global organisation of acupuncture associations) in Düsseldorf. During the three-day congress, TCM-interested persons could choose from among 33 lectures and 10 workshops.
In 1993 AGTCM entered into official cooperation with the TCM university Chengdu (China), which to this day enriches and inspires AGTCM and the TCM Kongress Rothenburg.
At the five-day congress in 1999, 25 lecturers offered 16 full-day and 13 half-day courses. They covered primarily the TCM subjects acupuncture, phytology, the Classics and the Five Elements. Other courses were given in tuina, qi gong and auriculotherapy. From that time on, Japanese acupuncture has been a permanent part of the congress.
In 2001 pediatrics was added with eight continuing education courses.
During the congress in 2002, 68 courses and two plenary lectures took place. Forty-nine lecturers, 16 of whom came from all over the world, instructed 650 participants. The congress was expanded to include the subjects “Western Herbs in TCM“ and “Midwifery (obstetrics) in TCM”. Both topics still have their place in the congress programme.
In 2004 Richard Tan presented his palpation-based acupuncture system with distal points. Since his death, his former students have been teaching his system and passing along his knowledge.
Over the years, questions about the relationship of Chinese medicine to Western science came up with increasing frequency. In response, the congress introduced “TCM Research Theme Day” during which respected researchers present and discuss current studies on the effectiveness of Chinese medicine.
The congress in 2008 was dedicated to the spirit of Sun Simiao. Pediatrics was another main focus and laser therapy was added to the programme that year.
The 40th anniversary of the TCM Kongress was celebrated in Rothenburg in 2009. More than 1,000 students of TCM from around the world and 89 instructors took part. These numbers nearly brought the Rothenburg space to capacity. Growth at the same rate as in previous years was no longer possible. That is still true today. The goal remains to ensure quality and good organisation of the congress.
For the first time in 2011, highly experienced therapists of Japanese acupuncture Denmai Shudo und Kiiko Matsumoto came to Rothenburg and attracted numerous participants to the congress.
The 60th anniversary of the Arbeitsgemeinschaft was celebrated in Rothenburg in 2014. The theme of the congress—Lifestyle Diseases (also known as “Diseases of Civilization”)—reflected the ability of the congress to deal with current topics of the time.
International cooperation was enhanced by the participation of WHO in the first WHO Forum at the congress in 2014. In the following years the forum was made a permanent part of the programme. Similarly, formats such as the European Day of School Directors were initiated and every year a different partner country was named with the goal of increasing international interaction.
The year 2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the TCM Kongresses in Rothenburg. Besides the established topics of fertility treatment, gynecology and lifestyle seminars, treatment of multi-resistant germs with Western herbs was added to the programme.
Due to the corona pandemic in the years 2020 to 2022, the congress could not be held in Rothenburg as usual. Digital media made it possible to put on digital events in those three years, with lecturers and participants coming together via the internet. The congress team under the leadership of Julia Stier did the impossible, transforming the traditional TCM Kongress into an online congress within a few weeks with assistance from the Canadian company Net of Knowledge.
In the first two online years, nearly 700 participants were gained for this format.
A major advantage of digital learning is that the knowledge was recorded for posterity in videos, which will remain available in the coming years.
From the beginning, the most renowned lecturers of their time made presentations in Rothenburg. The following is a small selection: Auswahl
Jack Worsley, Dr. Van Buren, Nguyen van Nghi, from 1979 Professor Porkert was a regular lecturer who introduced Chinese pharmacology to the AG and clarified the confusing terminology. He had decisively promoted and shaped the development of Chinese medicine in the Arbeitsgemeinschaft in the 1980s. The archive of the lecturers contains the names of all who have been in Rothenburg.
The open atmosphere, direct contact with lecturers and friendly interaction among participants have shaped the Kongress Rothenburg up till today. The ambience of the medieval city also has contributed to making the Kongress so special. Just as Chinese medicine would have it—with the free flow of Qi and Shen.
Teachers and practitioners consider themselves equals in the common effort to reduce suffering and cure diseases and say that the different therapeutic and diagnostic methods in Chinese medicine can lead to the same goal. This attitude is important on the way to achieving normality and acceptance of Chinese medicine in Germany and in Europe.
In the beginning, the managing directors of the AG served as organisers of the Rothenburg meetings and congresses. This practice was ended in 1999 as the result of the growing amount of work involved. Since then congress organisation has been a separate department on the board of directors.
Shan Shan Wei-Blank was born in Beijing (China). Studied in Beijing
Graduated from the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts, Bachelor of Arts.
After graduating, she worked as a designer in a textile design institute in Beijing.
When she came to Germany in 1990, she worked as a graphic designer in the field of porcelain samples and packaging samples.
At the same time in some adult education centers and educational institutions as a painting and drawing course leader.
More knowledge, more health, more exchange.
And more benefits for you.
As a member of AGTCM, we offer you many advantages. Learn more here: www.agtcm.de.
Would you like to become a member?
If you would like to join the AGTCM e.V., please download our membership application including the membership form and obligatory direct debit authorisation for our annual fee (currently 200 €). In addition, please send a passport photo, a copy of your lisence to practice medicine (if available) and copies of your training certificates.
The application and the accompanying documents contain all important information about your membership and our credit system.
Do you have any further questions?
We will be happy to assist you:
Phone: 0049-231-98 343 999
Office hours by telephone:
Monday and Thursday from 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.
Membership in the AGTCM e.V. is open to all interested parties. It is divided into three types of membership: Full members, associate members and supporting members.
Full members are therapists who are licensed in Germany, i.e. non-medical practitioners or doctors, who have either obtained a diploma from the AGTCM e.V. at one of our cooperation schools according to our nationwide standard or have proven at least equivalent external training. These members are listed in our therapist database if they also provide evidence of regular further training in our credit system.
Is for those who do not meet one or more of the criteria for full membership. Associate members are almost equal to full members, but with two exceptions: no recommendation in our therapist database and associate members cannot be elected to the AGTCM e. V. board.
Supporting members are natural or legal persons who are interested in the activities of AGTCM e.V. for professional, commercial or scientific reasons and who wish to support our objectives.
Here you can find the statutes of the AGTCM, as of April 2021.