The Oriental medicine and acupuncture community recently mourned the death of Giovanni Maciocia. He passed away peacefully at the age of 73 on March 9, 2018. His career and contributions to the field occurred over the many decades of his fruitful life.
Giovanni Maciocia was born in Italy, where he received a degree in economics. However, the allure of Oriental medicine must have taken hold of him, as he set off to study at the College of Oriental Medicine in Sussex, England. After receiving his degree he then attended the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in 1977.
To further solidify his understanding of the foundations of Oriental medicine, Maciocia headed to the original source--China. There he engaged in various internships at the Nan Jing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine during the 1980s. He learned the Chinese language and in doing so was able to study a vast cache of original, old texts on Oriental medicine.
Maciocia penned seven books, some of which became standard textbooks in colleges across the globe. His upbringing as a westerner, combined with his intricate and hard-earned knowledge of Oriental medicine, afforded him a unique way of explaining this ancient medicine to western minds. As a testament to his popularity as an author, his books have been translated into nine different languages.
He also pioneered new ways of addressing modern medical problems through the use of traditional Oriental medicine theories. For example, he created a new way of diagnosing and treating the deadly swine flu virus, which emerged in 2009. He highlighted how a traditional Oriental theory called the Four Levels is effective in the treatment and management of swine flu symptoms.
His other accomplishments include the development of two herbal formulas for gynecological issues. He was also prolific in his journal writings, seminars, continuing education classes and lectures. He was celebrated as an expert in Oriental medicine and gifted with the ability to pass on his knowledge. He even received high accolades from the Nan Jing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where he was a Visiting Associate Professor. According to this college, Maciocia is titled as the "Father of Chinese Medicine in Europe."
His Chinese name is Ma Wan Li, and as the Father explains on his online blog, it means "horse of ten-thousand thousands." In the Chinese zodiac, the horse represents enormous power, strength and endurance. Maciocia himself was a powerful source of wisdom, combining the old and the modern into something new. His life work and achievements will certainly endure and enrich the lives of those connected with acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.