Giants in History: Nguyễn Tài Thu

The king of acupuncture 

Nguyễn Tài Thu (6 April 1931 - 14 February 2021)


After witnessing death and suffering as a youth in his home village during World War II, Nguyễn Tài Thu (6 April 1931 – 14 February 2021) set his sights on alleviating pain by becoming a doctor. After studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in China in the 1950s, Thu returned to Vietnam to serve in military hospitals. Eventually, he became the country’s foremost practitioner of acupuncture, a technique he first learned by inserting needles into himself. Treating injured soldiers, Thu used acupuncture to relieve pain without relying on drugs. He later used acupuncture to treat drug addiction, and also developed a technique called tân châm (renew acupuncture), using long needles to stimulate acupuncture points deep in the body to shorten treatment time. Thu taught acupuncture to many students from all over the world and in 1982 founded the Central Acupuncture Hospital in Vietnam to promote its use. In recognition of his contributions to the field, Thu is known as the “King of Acupuncture”.

Central Acupuncture Hospital