Information according to the Members countries
ICMART Member Societies in the Spotlight
under construction, giving the example of OEGA
Austrian Society of Acupuncture – OEGA
At the beginning of the second half of the last century Johannes Bischko, a young Austrian surgeon, linguistically gifted, got in contact with literature about acupuncture written in French and Italian. Deeply impressed he dedicated his remaining life to acupuncture. His aims were to integrate this ancient Chinese medical system into Evidence Based Medicine, to translate the sometimes mystical descriptions used in the old Chinese classics into a language that medical doctors are able to understand and to research and find a scientific explanation about the mechanisms of acupuncture. In 1954 he founded the Austrian Acupuncture Society and stayed as president for more than 35 years (fig.1).
Together with an enthusiastic team of Austrian medical doctors he started to teach acupuncture, to publish books and to write articles. In cooperation with the German Medical Acupuncture Association an “Acupuncture Journal” in German language was published first in 1952 and until nowadays this German Journal of Acupuncture (Deutsche Zeitschrift für Akupunktur – DZA) is the journal with the widest circulation outside China.
The Outpatient Service
In 1958 Bischko got the opportunity to run an outpatient service for acupuncture only at the Policlinic Hospital, a clinic owned and operated by the Viennese government. It was the first acupuncture outpatient service where acupuncture treatment was fully covered by all Austrian insurances for any patient and this service is still in operation. For political reasons the place of this outpatient service changed two times but over the years the capacity had been growing and at the moment there are more than 10.000 treatments per year which means around 200 patients weekly. A large number of medical doctors had been visiting our outpatient service for practicing acupuncture under the supervision of advanced acupuncturists. (fig. 2)
Science and research
To emphasize education and research the “Ludwig Boltzmann Acupuncture Research Institute” was founded by the society in the same year as China opened to the west. In the very same year the first “western” tonsillectomy in acupuncture-analgesia took place, of course managed by Bischko and done in “his” working place: the Policlinic-Hospital in Vienna (fig. 3). Since this year 1972 an acupuncture-boom started in Austria and acupuncture was spread all over Europe. Medical doctors from around the world came to the Austrian Acupuncture Society to learn acupuncture from Bischko and his team. After Bischko´s passing away in 2004 the Ludwig Boltzmann Acupuncture Institute was renamed in Johannes Bischko Acupuncture Institute in honor to the founder.
1983 “Birth” of ICMART during the World Congress of Scientific Acupuncture which took place in Vienna, Oct. 17 to 20. Bischko acted as first president and Beyens was elected General Secretary. It has been an honor for the Austrian Acupuncture Society to get the opportunity to organize 3 ICMART congresses and one ICMART symposium over the last 30 years including the jubilee congress of ICMART in 2013 – 30 years of ICMART –in Vienna.
Every second year OEGA organizes the “Johannes Bischko Symposium” in Vienna under the motto: “STATE OF THE ART meets TCM” to build bridges and to bring together conventional “western” medicine and TCM! In 2017 our 7th Bischko Symposium will take place in Vienna and will focus on chronic recurrent infections!
Back again to the year 1986! This date could be seen as a milestone for medical acupuncture and for the Austrian Acupuncture Society: Acupuncture was recognized as a medical healing method by the Austrian Medical Board! Since that time acupuncture was accepted in university medical education. Students are now allowed to be trained in acupuncture at the end of their medical studies and they are free to attend a lecture in acupuncture at Medical University. In 1991 the Austrian Medical Chamber installed an official diploma for medical doctors after appropriate training. This diploma acts as a quality criterion and therefore any medical doctor who wants to treat patients with acupuncture has to pass a theoretical and practical exam.
Acupuncture came first but within the last 25 years our society extended the array of training and now offers education also in herbal medicine, mind-body medicine, Tuina and dietary therapy in an increasing rate. So we are happy to offer our students a huge range of patient-centered, holistic therapy belonging to TCM.
The Austrian Acupuncture Society with its acupuncture outpatient service and the Johannes Bischko Acupuncture Institute represents “three departments under one single roof”:
Education – Research – Treatment
We are standing for a holistic and integrative medicine!