Traditional Chinese Medicine and Longevity – Famous TCM Doctor dies at the age of 104


Professor Dr Deng Tietao of Guangzhou University of TCM in 2011

Professor Dr Deng Tietao of Guangzhou University of TCM in 2011

Dr Deng Tietao was a great friend and supporter of the Irish College of TCM. He died, earlier this month, at the age of 104, although as explained in his Wikipedia entry, this would be calculated a little differently in China. In the West, he would have been said to be nearly 103 at the time of his death.

We first met him in 2000 when he was already 85 years old. He came to teach us during one of the specialist Medical Qigong Courses that was being run exclusively for staff and graduates of the ICTCM.

Professor Deng was a kind, refined and enlightened man who understood the importance of being healthy on all levels – body, mind and spirit. He was a much published author of books on many aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine and his seminal book on Chinese Medical Diagnostics has been published in English. When only in his 50s, his students published a book (in Chinese) as a sign of respect for his excellence as a medical practitioner and teacher, which outlined his regimen for a healthy life and longevity.  This included his daily practice of one of the most famous traditional Qigong forms, called Baduanjin.

A very early illustration of the traditional Qigong form called Baduanjin

A very early illustration of the traditional Qigong form called Baduanjin

During the subsequent years we met him a number of times when he gave guest lectures to groups from our college and met the Director of the College Tom Shanahan to discuss the most important attributes of a Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner. Both agreed that it was kindness to one’s patients.

The last time we met was in 2011 after he had been awarded the very highest award by the Chinese Government in 2009. He was named a “Master of National Medicine” of China, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the China Society for Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, and won the Guangdong Science and Technology Award (First Class).

Dr Deng, in his home in Guangzhou, with the President of the ICTCM, Tom Shanahan and the Registrar, Mary Plunkett

Dr Deng, in his home in Guangzhou, with the President of the ICTCM, Tom Shanahan and the Registrar, Mary Plunkett

During our last meeting in 2011 he brushed a unique calligraphy for the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine showing that he gave his great support to our efforts to spread high-quality, authentic Acupuncture and TCM across Europe and the world.  Further information can be found in our 2011 ICTCM news item.

News of his death was announced by the Guangzhou Daily on 10th January 2019. Their article gives an interesting extract from an interview with Dr Deng, who will be much missed by his friends, family and students.