54th TCM Kongress Rothenburg 2023
54th TCM Kongress Rothenburg 2023
54th TCM Kongress Rothenburg 2023

TCM Research Day EN

Friday, 27.05.2022
10:00-13:30, 15:00-18:00
  • Recording available until 01.09.
  • Scientific Research
  • All levels

Together with Florian Beissner of the Insula Institute Hannover, Velia Wortman will moderate an all-day session covering the latest research results in Chinese medicine and in naturopathy. As in past years, we will host an international group of researchers who will share their exciting new research results with us. Audience participation is encouraged at the end of the Research Day.

  • 10:00-10:10
    Welcome and Introduction
    Prof. Dr. Florian Beißner (DE), Velia Wortman (DE)
  • 10:10-10:50
    Hands-on TCM research – different methods and low-threshold approaches to conduct meaningful research
    Dr. Jan Valentini (DE)
    Jan Valentini

    This lecture will discuss different approaches and low-threshold possibilities to conduct meaningful research beyond established research institutions. Three different projects will be presented: i) Crowd Researching for Long-Covid, ii) an accompanying evaluation of a TCM outpatient clinic and iii) emerging research practice networks.

    i) Crowd researching is a low-threshold approach via online research that is accessible to everyone and can be carried out and evaluated quickly. The main focus will be exploratory and on a few main questions. Analogously, the term "swarm intelligence" is used, which is to be utilized in a synchronized and targeted manner. With the aim of identifying effective and previously unknown therapy options for Long-Covid, a possible crowd research approach is presented as an example and its (complementary medicine) results are reported.
    ii) A structured evaluation of one's own practice can be carried out successfully on a low-threshold basis and is often associated with just a small (additional) effort. Using the example of the outpatient clinic for Chinese medicine at the Institute for General Medicine and Interprofessional Care at the University Hospital of Tübingen, an ongoing accompanying evaluation of the TCM outpatient clinic set up in 2019 is shown and its results and implications are presented.
    iii) As an example of "research from practice for practice", nationwide emerging research practice networks in general medicine will be presented and it will be shown how practices can actively and participatively shape research activities. Such a structure and cooperation enables effective research on questions relevant to general practice and thus makes an important contribution to further improving primary care in Germany.


    In diesem Vortrag werden verschiedene Ansätze und niedrigschwellige Möglichkeiten diskutiert, um auch außerhalb von etablierten Forschungsinstitutionen aussagekräftige Forschung zu betreiben. Dabei werden drei unterschiedliche Projekte vorgestellt: i) Crowd Researching bei Long-Covid, ii) Begleitevaluation einer TCM Ambulanz und iii) Forschungspraxennetzwerke im Aufbau.

    i) Beim Crowd Researching (von englisch „crowd“ für (Menschen-)Menge, und „research“ für Forschung) wird in einem niederschwelligen Ansatz eine online-gestützte Forschung ermöglicht, die für alle Personen zugänglich ist sowie schnell durchgeführt und ausgewertet werden kann. Dabei wird ein explorativer Fokus auf einige wenige Hauptfragen gelegt. Analog dazu kann der Begriff der „Schwarmintelligenz“ verwendet werden, welche man synchronisiert und gezielt nutzen will. Mit dem Ziel, effektive und bisher unbekannte Therapieoptionen bei Long-Covid zu erfassen, wird ein möglicher Crowd Researching Ansatz beispielhaft vorgestellt und dessen (komplementärmedizinische) Ergebnisse gemeinsam mit den Herausforderungen und Chancen berichtet.
    ii) Eine strukturierte Evaluation der eigenen Praxis kann niederschwellig erfolgreich durchgeführt werden und ist oft nur mit einem geringen (Mehr-)Aufwand verbunden. Am Beispiel der Ambulanz für Chinesische Medizin am Institut für Allgemeinmedizin und Interprofessionelle Versorgung des Universitätsklinikums Tübingen wird eine laufende Begleitevaluation der 2019 eingerichteten TCM Ambulanz gezeigt und deren Ergebnisse und Implikationen vorgestellt.
    iii) Als Beispiel von „Forschung aus der Praxis für die Praxis“ werden bundesweit neu entstehende Forschungspraxennetzwerke in der Allgemeinmedizin vorgestellt. Dabei können teilnehmende Praxen aktiv und partizipativ an Forschung teilnehmen, sie gestalten und auch selbst Forschungsideen einbringen. Eine solche Struktur und Zusammenarbeit ermöglicht eine effektive Erforschung hausärztlich relevanter Fragestellungen nach internationalem Vorbild und leistet damit einen wichtigen Beitrag, die Primärversorgung in Deutschland weiter zu verbessern.

  • 10:55-11:35
    Is there interdisciplinary and interculturally binding knowledge? Recent approaches in philosophy of science
    Dr. Jan Brousek (AT)
    Jan Brousek

    Whenever Chinese Medicine (CM) is being investigated from the stance of western science we are confronted with the question whether CM is scientific or not. The most serious consequence of the still predominant denial of CM’s scientific credibility is that the majority of patients in western countries do not get (free) access to classical Chinese medical treatments, as public health care barely covers them.

    But what does “scientific” actually mean? From the point of view of philosophy of science, the question of scientific credibility is strongly related to the problem of knowledge and its commitment. In short: without commitment there cannot be knowledge. The main problem about knowledge in western philosophy is that commitment is always challenged by the inevitable condition of human subjectivity. In this sense, subjectivity is also the key to understand the emergence of culturally different knowledge systems which are to some extent based on incommensurable paradigms. And this especially refers to medical systems: biomedicine (BM) is based on a paradigm of objectivity, whereas CM is founded on a systemic paradigm. 
The difficulty is that objective medicine, such as BM, which relies on a concept of absolute commitment and universal “truth”, is obviously not suitable for apprehending the dynamics and complexity of systemic medicine, such as CM.

    The Viennese School of Constructive Realism (CR) proves to be a promising epistemological basis for approaching CM more adequately. This is mainly because CR enables a form of relational commitment of scientific statements beyond the epistemological dead ends of absolute (or objective) commitment on the one hand and relative (or subjective) commitment, respectively no commitment at all, on the other hand. As expressed by the term “relational”, commitment can only be gained by dialogically interrelating different (subjective) constructions about reality. That means that subjectivity is not an obstacle for commitment, but rather its condition. In the same sense, according to CR, different or even contradicting scientific paradigms are the condition to obtain knowledge, understood as the unconscious presuppositions of a scientific model. In contrast to the principles of verification and falsification, CR´s main method(ology) to gain knowledge is the one of “strangification” which will be explained and demonstrated throughout the lecture.

  • 12:00-12:40
    Defining the details of acupuncture treatment for pelvic pain in endometriosis: literature review and e-Delphi study
    Nora Giese (DE)
    Nora Giese

    Defining the details of acupuncture treatment for pelvic pain in endometriosis: literature review and e-Delphi study

    Growing evidence suggests that acupuncture can improve pelvic pain in women with endometriosis. As treatment details used in research differ, it remains unclear which treatment is recommended for clinical practice. The aim of this lecture is to present the methodology and results of a research project that defined how acupuncture should be used in treating pelvic pain in endometriosis.

    The research comprised a systematised literature review to extract acupuncture treatment details from published research and an e-Delphi study to gain knowledge about details as used by expert acupuncturists.
    Review: Four databases were searched using predefined inclusion/exclusion criteria. Data were extracted based on the STRICTA criteria.
    E-Delphi: Recruitment for the e-Delphi consisted of purposeful sampling found by personal acquaintances, recommendations, internet search, and snowballing. An open first round gathered qualitative data, analysed with the Framework method. In rounds two and three, experts rated statements to build group consensus, defined as a rating of five or more on a 7-point Likert scale by at least 70% of the experts. The strength of agreement was graded using the median score and interquartile range. Results from the systematised literature review and the e-Delphi were compared and contrasted in a synthesis using the STRICTA items.

    The systematised literature review (n=29 unique studies) found a wide range of treatment details with little agreement. The e-Delphi of international experts (n=20) resulted in agreement on 94 statements (such as TCM-style, Master Tung-, Electroacupuncture and combinations), lack of consensus on 55 statements (such as the number of needle insertions per subject per session), and disagreement on another 29 (like acupuncture sessions three times a week). Comparison of the review and e-Delphi results found little agreement on treatment details.

    The details of acupuncture treatment that gained consensus in the e-Delphi are provisionally recommended for use in clinical practice. These include the style of acupuncture, specific acupuncture points, the treatment frequency and duration, and other components of treatment. Future research needs to explore the efficacy of the recommendations based on this e-Delphi study.

  • 12:45-13:25
    Treating Anxiety: A feasibility clinical study using acupuncture and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
    Cinzia Scorzon (DE)
    Cinzia Scorzon

    In 2018-19 I conducted a small-scale clinical study that compared acupuncture with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in treating generalised anxiety disorders (GAD). The study aimed to assess retention, safety and compared the outcome of the two treatment modalities. The study consisted of two groups (12 participants each) who were randomly allocated to one of the two treatment groups. Each participants received 8 treatment sessions on a weekly and fortnightly interval according to their progress and needs.
    The data collection was based on GAD 7 questionnaire, which is used in primary care, and Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP) questionnaire.
    The results were very positive in both arms of the study, with a better outcome in the acupuncture group.
    The questionnaires were used at different times: GAD 7 at the beginning, on the fourth and last sessions; MYMOP at every session. I used two questionnaires instead of only one, to gather more specific and detailed feedback of the treatment the participants received.
    Although the questionnaires provided a very satisfactory evaluation of the study, they did not give a complete appraisal of the treatment effects in relation to participants’ change of circumstances, which profoundly affected their emotional condition, thus, the score of both GAD and MYMOP.
    I will outline with a few examples the limitations of the questionnaires and initiate a discussion on what we could include in future studies by examining what previous research has employed and what we could use for new projects.

  • 15:00–15:40
    When Western Science meets TCM – The worst (mutual) misunderstandings and how to avoid them
    Prof. Dr. Florian Beißner (DE)
    Florian Beißner

    Die Geschichte der wissenschaftlichen Erforschung der TCM ist eine Geschichte voller Missverständnisse. Einer der Hauptgründe für das Scheitern vieler naturwissenschaftlicher Projekte sind Schwierigkeiten bei der Übersetzung der über 2000 Jahre alten Grundbegriffe der TCM in moderne Sprachen (inkl. des heutigen Hochchinesisch). Dies hat dazu geführt, dass heute viele westliche wie östliche Naturwissenschaftler*innen nach Dingen suchen, von denen die TCM niemals gesagt hat, dass es sie gibt. Eine weitere Quelle von Missverständnissen ist der in der TCM verbreitete Vitalismus, also die Vorstellung einer Lebensenergie, der die Naturwissenschaftler seit jeder spaltet. In diesem Vortrag zeige ich wissenschaftliche Ansätze und Arbeitsweisen, die die häufigsten der o.g. Probleme umgehen und wie Naturwissenschaften und TCM voneinander lernen können.

    The history of scientific research of TCM is a history full of misunderstandings. One of the main reasons for the failure of many scientific projects is the difficulty in translating the more than 2000 years old basic concepts of TCM into modern languages (including today's High Chinese). This has led many Western and Eastern natural scientists to look for things that TCM never said existed. Another source of misunderstanding is vitalism, the idea of a life energy, which has divided scientists since time immemorial. In this lecture I will show scientific approaches that circumvent the most common of the above problems and how natural sciences and TCM can learn from each other.

  • 15:45-17:00
    Everything you always wanted to know about TCM research but were afraid to ask
    Prof. Dr. Florian Beißner (DE), Velia Wortman (DE)
    Florian Beißner
    Velia Wortman

    Der diesjährige Thementag Forschung hat das Ziel, all diejenigen zu unterstützen, die selbst zur TCM forschen wollen. Hierzu wird jeder der Vortragenden eine interaktive Gruppendiskussion leiten, in der die zentralen Themen der TCM-Forschung behandelt werden und in denen die Teilnehmenden alles fragen können, was sie wollen.
    Zu den Themen gehören: Wissenschaftstheorie, Integration von Forschung in den Praxisalltag, Rechtliche Fragen (Ethikantrag, Aufklärung, Datenschutz), Recherche von Forschungsergebnissen, Einbeziehung von Förderern und Stakeholdern.
    Die Teilnehmenden können frei zwischen den Gruppen wechseln.

    This year's TCM Research Day aims to support all those who want to do their own research on TCM. To this end, each of the presenters will lead an interactive group discussion covering key topics in TCM research, where participants can ask anything they want.
    Topics include: Philosophy of science, Integration of research into everyday practice, Legal issues (IRB application, informed consent, data protection), Literature research, Involvement of funders and stakeholders.
    Participants are free to rotate between groups.

  • 17:00–18:00
    Round table discussion
    Prof. Dr. Florian Beißner (DE), Velia Wortman (DE)

More classes with Florian Beißner


Introduction of Sinosomatics

How to use the psychosomatic dimension of Chinese Medicine in a neuroscientifically substantiated way

Prof. Dr. Florian Beißner (DE), Dr. Annemarie Schweizer-Arau (DE)DE
  • Recording available until 01.09.
Saturday, 28.05.2022
  • Acupuncture
  • Scientific Research
  • Classics/Philosophy
  • Advanced
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More classes with Velia Wortman


Engaging with the Qi

A journey into palpation

Felix de Haas (NL), Dan Bensky (US)EN
  • Recording available until 01.09.
Thursday, 26.05.2022
  • Diagnostics
  • Classics/Philosophy
  • Acupuncture
  • All levels
  • Hands-on with practical exercises
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More classes with Nora Giese


Theme Day Fertility

Nora Giese (DE), Dr. Ursula Ritz (AT)EN
  • Recording available until 01.09.
Wednesday, 25.05.2022
10:00-13:30, 15:00-18:30
  • Acupuncture
  • Herbal Therapy
  • Diagnostics
  • Advanced
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Show/hide schedule

  • 10:00-13:30
    Implantation Failure - the Understanding and Improvement Possibilities with TCM Therapies
    Yifan Yang (NL)


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Programme Committee

Scientific Advisory Board

Dr. Dr. Dominique Hertzer


Sieglinde Wilz, Ruthild Schulze


Nora Giese, Ursula Ritz, Christophe Mohr


Susanne Lindenthal, Antje Styskal

Western Herbs

Birte Hinz


Christiane Tetling


Velia Wortman


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