Written by Nicholas Beasley | Tuesday, 7 February 2023
Master Tung Ching Chang (1916-1975) has been referred to as the most important and greatest acupuncturist in the history of Chinese medicine. Acupuncture graduate, Nicholas Beasley shares his thoughts and learnings on Tung Acupuncture.
Master Tung Ching Tang, simply recognised as Master Tung, was born into a family of traditional Chinese medical practitioners whose history traces back thousands of years to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE) in Shandong, China.
Over the last two thousand years China, including its plethora of medical teachings and literature, has been through significant challenges and endured multiple revolutions. During Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s reign (221 to 210 BCE) many scholars and physicians were killed and thousands of books were burnt in an attempt to centralise power and control public thought. Books on astrology, agriculture, medicine, divination, divination, and history were all burnt with only fragments of knowledge and teachings surviving.
In response to protecting this ancient wisdom, physicians began to teach their apprentices directly through oral transmission involving memorising medical texts through songs and stories which were impossible to burn and steal like earlier bamboo scrolls and stone slabs. Over thousands of years, this form of teaching became vital in the development and survival of various aspects of traditional Chinese medicine practices such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, Qigong, and Taijiquan.
In more recent times, China experienced another major upheaval with the rise of communism in 1949. Acupuncture, along with many other traditional practices, was strictly prohibited and suppressed. In an attempt to restore some form of the medical system and standardised curriculum, four schools of Chinese medicine were then formed and instructed by the government with a pursuit to modernise medicine by removing all spiritual and classical references.
During this period, many Chinese fled the mainland, leaving their homes and seeking refuge all over the world including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the States, and Australia. Master Tung with his family, escaped to Taiwan where he was free of communist control and able to openly practice his family’s medicine. Master Tung arrived in Taiwan empty-handed, without any books or possessions. All he carried was his knowledge and his inherited medical knowledge passed down through generations of cultivated wisdom.
The medicine practiced by Master Tung’s ancestors was very different from the fourteen-channel system that was currently being taught and practiced in China during the last century. Master Tung claimed that the form of medicine his ancestors practiced and passed down was much more authentic and closer to the classical practices and teachings of the Yi-Ching, Ba Gua, Wu Xing (Five Elements), and Taoist philosophy. The connection of medicine to these ancient philosophies and spiritual practices was considered vital to understanding the health of an individual and their place in the universe.
For the next 25 years, Master Tung dedicated himself to re-establishing and restoring his family’s acupuncture system and gained a tremendous amount of clinical experience treating up to 150 patients each day. During this period, Master Tung’s reputation as a profound physician grew rapidly and spread across the world with practitioners intrigued by his ability to provide immediate and lasting results.
Master Tung made certain that his system of medicine remained focused on stimulating a strong sensation in reaction areas of the body which helped rebalance and align an individual’s energy. He often used techniques which were not found in contemporary practice such as Dao Ma (Point Coupling), Active Qi Moving, and bleeding which produced profound healing effects. The medicine Master Tung practiced became famous for its simplicity in balancing channels based on anatomical mapping and reflections, similar to the idea still found today in reflexology.
Fortunately, Master Tung left one book for us which was dictated and transcribed by one of his most senior apprentices titled Tung’s Acupuncture, Its Regular Channels and Unique Points. His book didn’t contain the vast amount of theory and secrets Master Tung inherently acquired from his ancestors, rather it was a basic offering of point locations, actions, and indications. Master Tung had three primary disciples Dr. Wei-Chieh Young, Dr. Palden Carson, and Dr. Chuan-Min Wang who helped spread his family’s system to the western world.
Other important students of Master Tung’s lineage include the famous Dr Miriam Lee OMD who was the first acupuncturist in America to legalise the practice and bring it to the attention of the medical hierarchy. Her student Dr. Susan Johnson L.Ac, a profound acupuncturist, teacher, and former head of the American Association of Acupuncture has dedicated her career to the teachings of Master Tung’s work offering comprehensive courses and workshops with the intent to spread this incredible medicine to all corners of the world and revitalise its deep ancient wisdom.
Chinese Medicine (no date) Pinterest. Consuming Patterns. Available at: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/59/82/53/598253d6abbb2fb2d9b5fac4d414d47a.jpg
Ho, P.Y. and Lisowski, F.P. (1998) A brief history of Chinese medicine: And its Influence. Singapore: World Scientific
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Johnson, S. and Dong, J. (2019) Master Tung's magic points: A definitive clinical guide. California, Cal: Magic Points Press
Mao's Revolution (no date) Pinterest. History.com. Available at: https://pin.it/27jsHpY
Master Tung (no date) Pinterest. Radiant Acupuncture. Available at: https://pin.it/51mWinq
Palm Diagnosis (no date) Pinterest. Natural healing. Available at: https://pin.it/35CzLgP
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With over 12 years’ of experience in both Western and Eastern medicine, it’s safe to say that Dr. Nicholas Beasley has a broad range of knowledge in the field. Gaining a vast amount of experience in his early career, Nicholas began to research and adopt a more holistic approach to training. Part of his approach involved evaluating nutritional deficiencies and internal practices, such as meditation, to help balance the stressful and toxic culture that was growing within the commercial fitness industry.
In 2017, Nicholas began his journey with Endeavour, studying a Bachelor of Health Science (Acupuncture). His passion for natural medicine shone through in his studies, as he completed his degree in five years with a distinction average. Alongside his studies, he founded Wuji Medicine to help teach students and practitioners the art of Qigong and Daoyin – both healing branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
In 2019, Nicholas started to train Chen Taijiquan weekly with Sifu Dan Mesnage, to help advance his skills and ability both in combat and in health preservation. He is now studying the Master Tung Certification in Acupuncture to advance his skills and clinical efficacy through the art of Taoist philosophy and arts.