Prominent Acupuncturists

George Soulié de Morant ( 1878 - 1955 ) a  French scholar  who worked several years in the French diplomatic corps in China, where he served as French consul in several Chinese cities. He is mainly known for his role in introducing acupuncture in the West and his translations of Chinese literature.

Soulié de Morant started learning Chinese at the age of eight, taught  by a Jesuit priest. Although he had originally intended to become a physician, he had to give up his plans when he father died.

At age twenty, Soulié de Morant was employed by a bank and sent to China in 1899.  Given Soulié de Morant's command of Chinese language, he soon joined the French diplomatic corps serving as French consul in Shanghai, Kunming and French Mixed Court in Shanghai for most of the following two decades.  Soulié de Morant became convinced of the importance of acupucture when he witnessed the effects of acupuncture treatment during an epidemic of cholera in Beijing.   While serving as consul in several Chinese cities, he sought out teachers who could teach him acupuncture.

When Soulié de Morant returned to France, he was persuaded by the prominent advocate of alternative medicine, Paul Ferreyrolles (1880-1955), to put all his efforts into translating Chinese works on acupuncture. Beginning in 1929, he authored a number of articles and works on acupcunture and he became an advocate of acupucture treatment in the French medical corps. His work l'Acuponcture chinoise, which was based on ancient texts such as Zhēnjiǔ Dàchéng (針灸大成), is still regarded as a classic work on acupucture and has been published several editions and translations.  Soulié de Morant also published a number of works on Chinese history, Chinese literature and Chinese art, as well as a number of translations of Chinese literary works.

In his article: Chinese Medicine in Italy Integrated into the Modern Medical System,  Subhuti Dharmana  attributes “that contemporary traditional acupuncture in the West started with George Soulié de Morant (1878-1955) in 1927 in France.” 


Nguyen Van Nghi(1909 - 1999) born  in Hanoi, Vietnam was educated in Vietnam, China and France.   He completed his medical degree from the University of Marseilles, and began a combined Eastern and Western medical practice in 1940.  In 1954 he devoted his practice entirely to acupuncture based on the classical texts: Huang Di Nei Jing (Suwen, Lingshu) and the Nan Jing. He died December 17th, 1999, in the town of his residence, Marseilles, France.

He was a doctor, author, teacher and scholar of the classic texts of Chinese Medicine (acupuncture-moxibustion).  Much of Dr. Van Nghi's life's work revolved around translating and adding his own commentary to an original Tang Dynasty copy of HuangDiNeiJing (Yellow Emperor's Internal Classic) from the ancient script into French. What distinguished this particular version of the Huangdi Neijing from those available in China was that it included commentary by two Tang Dynasty physicians, without which, Van Nghi claimed, made the texts indecipherable.

Van Nghi was insistent that Western medicine and Chinese Medicine were not separate scientific pursuits, but that there was One Medicine.


Dr. John H.F. Shen (1914 – 2000)  was a modern master of Chinese medicine, world-renowned for his skills, especially as a diagnostician.  Born in Shanghai  where he studied medicine at the Shanghai Medical College studying all aspects of Chinese Medicine, including herbs and acupuncture, he established the Shanghai Medical Clinic in 1938.

After he joined the intellectual exodus from China prompted by the Communist revolution, he continued to practice in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.  He moved to Taiwan in 1948 practicing Chinese medicine there for 17 years. In 1965 the National Medical Association of Malaysia invited him to work as a consultant in Southeast Asia. During the years 1965-1971 Dr. Shen traveled and worked in ten countries in Southeast Asia, meeting with more the 50,000 patients. Whilst in Vietnam, he is believed to have encountered a pulse tradition passed down from father to son in the Mekong delta.   Based on his diverse experience, Dr Shen developed a unique system of pulse diagnosis. He became well known for the extraordinary depth and accuracy of his diagnostic findings from the pulse.

Dr. Shen moved to the United States in 1971, opening clinics in Boston and New York City. In the United States he became one of the principal advocates for the practice of complimentary medicine, using the most effective and efficient treatments from both Eastern and Western medicine. He also lectured and taught throughout the United States.


Master Tung Ching-Chang 董景昌 (1916- 1975) referred as Master Tung, he was born in northern part of China, moved to Taiwan when Communists came to power.  Master Tung was known for the vast number of poor patients he treated for free and his outstanding often spontaneous results obtained with very few acupuncture needles.  

It was believed that the Tung’s style of acupuncture was kept as family secret handed down and refined through each generation.  Mater Tung Ching-Chang was the 11th generation in the family tradition of at least 300 years.  Because of disinterest of his own children to continue the art that Master Tung decided to reveal the family’s secret acupuncture system and he began taking in some students as apprentices free of charge.

Tung's family system of acupuncture is radically different from the conventional Oriental medicine that is based on theory of Meridians and Channels.  It is also distinct in needling technique and does not emphasize any different kind of needle manipulation as in the case of the conventional acupuncture of Oriental medicine. 


J. R. Worsley(1923 -  2003) is credited with bringing five element acupuncture, also known as 'classical acupuncture' or 'traditional acupuncture' (to distinguish it from the more widely-known Traditional Chinese medicine ("TCM") style of acupuncture), to the West.   For many years he resided in England where he opened a school of acupuncture, which trained many of the leading five element practitioners practicing today.  In US,  schools that emphasized training in 5-element style of acupuncture include:  Traditional Acupuncture Institute in Laurel, Maryland;  Academy for Five Element Acupuncture  in Hallandale, Florida; and  the acupuncture training school in Boulder, Colorado.

Professor Worsley's achievements and honors include:

A practitioner with over 58 years' experience, he was the author of several books, including: Is Acupuncture for You?; Everyone's Guide to Acupuncture; Talking About Acupuncture in New York; Meridians of Chi Energy - Point Reference Guide; Traditional Chinese Acupuncture, Volume I: Meridians and Points; Traditional Acupuncture, Volume II: Traditional Diagnosis; and Classical Five-Element Acupuncture, Volume III: The Five Elements and The Officials.

George Soulié de Morant

George Soulié de Morant on Wikipedia

The biography of George Soulié de Morant  from “Chinese Acupuncture.”  

Chinese Acupuncture by George Soulie De Morant    

The Nomination Database for the Nobel Prize
in Physiology or Medicine, 1901-1951 for George Soulié de Morant 

Collection of books by George Soulié de Morant (in French)

Nguyen Van Nghi

Institute Van Nghi International  

Nguyen Van Nghi - Wikipedia 

Institute Van Nghi USA

Dr. Miriam Lee

Dr. John H.F. Shen

Dr John H. F. Shen by Ray Rubio, D.A.O.M., L. Ac.   

Two Anecdotes from Dr. John Shen 

Contemporary Chinese Pulse Diagnosis written by Dr. Leon Hammer (based on training with Dr. John H.F. Shen)     

Master Tung Ching-Chang 董景昌

The World Tung’s Acupuncture Association(W.T.A.A.)

The Acupuncture of Master Tung Ching Chang

An Introduction to Master Tung’s Acupuncture  Ed by Dr. Chuan-Min Wang, D.C., L.Ac

Practitioners who brought Tung's acupuncture to US    

The Acupuncture of Master Tung  by Robert Chu

J. R. Worsley

J.R. Worsley on wikipedia   

Worsley Inc. 

JR Worsley's Legacy to the Practice of Acupuncture  by Peter Mole