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Dr. Cheng-De Wu

Dr Cheng-De interview

Prof. and Dr. Cheng-De Wu (1930 – 2020)

中医骨伤科主任医师,王氏伤科,王氏武术,继往开来的传承者 –  吴诚德教授

(Master Helen Wu’s father)

A highly respected member of the Chinese medical community, Dr. Cheng-De Wu (b. 1930) has devoted his time and energy to promoting all aspects of the benefits of traditional Chinese medicine. Drawing on more than 40 years of clinical experience in Chinese medicine, he has devoted himself to researching and studying the benefits of Chi-Kung in helping patients improve the speed and quality of their recoveries and deal with chronic pain.

As a young boy, Cheng-De Wu suffered from a weak constitution. His mother, skeptical of the value of medication on its own, enrolled her 12-year old son in the martial arts program of Grandmaster Zi-Ping Wang. She was justified in her belief that martial arts training would improve her son’s health. There were immediate improvements. Cheng-De Wu rapidly became a well-rounded martial artist, with a fondness for the spear and the broadsword, and for wrestling.

At the same time, he was fascinated by traditional Chinese medicine. After more than a decade of study, he helped Dr. Zi-Ping Wang assemble and develop the 20-postures Chi-Kung system. He is the co-author and the person responsible for publishing Twenty Therapeutic Exercises for Treating Diseases and Prolonging Life in 1958.

From 1959 until 1989, he served as Director of the Shanghai College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Professor and Medical Doctor-in-Chief of the Long Hua Hospital in Shanghai. There, he established a new clinic program, teaching patients to use Chi-Kung to strengthen and speed their recoveries. At the same time, he established morning training programs at many physical training centres in Shanghai, and trained instructors in his methods and philosophy of healing.

With the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and 70s, professionals and scholars were subjected to humiliation, demotion, imprisonment or worse. The Communist government discouraged practice of the martial arts in the strongest terms. Wushu schools were closed and masters were forbidden to teach. Dr. Cheng-De Wu was required to perform cleaning jobs and to treat farmers in the countryside. This entailed walking up to 12 hours at a time to get from one village to the next. This extensive travelling often meant having to spend the night in temple ruins, only partially protected from exposure to the elements.

In spite of the privations and dangers of those times, he maintained a positive attitude. Rather than seeking solace in the outside world, he turned to the inner life. He took all of the indignity in stride, remaining positive and employing all of his skill and energy to help the farmers he was required to treat. As he later told me, the important thing is to really know who you are. Whether he was treating patients in a state-of-the-art hospital or in the countryside, he respected the nature of the task at hand. His patients returned that respect.
In 1989, he moved to Houston, Texas, where he opened a private practice. He continues to treat patients, combining traditional Chinese medicine, therapeutic exercises and his decades of medical experience into a powerful program that includes acupressure, acupuncture, herbology and Chi-Kung.

Dr. Cheng-De Wu, my father, has taught me to find solutions within myself during times of adversity. He has flourished even in the most challenging circumstances, and has risen to a position of immense respect in the traditional Chinese medicine. He is living proof that genuine independence and freedom come from within oneself.

Dr Wu teaching Therapeutic Chi-Kung

Dr. Wu’s titles include Director of the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Association, former Vice Chairman of the Shanghai Traditional Chinese Medicine Traumatology Association, Committee Member of the Shanghai Rehabilitation Medicine Association and Committee Member of the Shanghai Sports Medicine Association. Dr. Wu holds an Honours Degree of Doctor of Science from Eurotechnical Research University. He is a Committee Member of the All China Wushu Society, Advisor to the U.S.A. Wushu Kung Fu Federation and Honorary Advisor to the Martial Arts of China Historical Society. He has published a number of books, articles and University teaching materials on traditional Chinese medicine and Chi-Kung.