New at ADLER Spa Resort BALANCE - Dr Ekaterina Bilchugova Luciani, MD

New at ADLER Spa Resort BALANCE - Dr Ekaterina Bilchugova Luciani, MD


Today, we are delighted to introduce Dr Ekaterina Bilchugova Luciani, who has recently joined the medical team at ADLER Spa Resort BALANCE.

Read this short interview to find out about her, her field of specialism and how she can support your well-being using Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

Good morning Dr Bilchugova, thank you for being with us. We’d like to start by asking you to tell us a bit about yourself and your approach to medicine.  

My method integrates all that I’ve learnt during my long educational, professional and personal journey. I’m originally from St Petersburg, Russia, but I’ve lived in Italy for many years now. After graduating in medicine, I obtained several postgraduate degrees specialising in preventive and anti-ageing medicine, trichology, nutritional medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What sparked your interest in complementary medicine?  

Conventional medicine (i.e. allopathic medicine) is extremely effective when it comes to dealing with acute signs and symptoms, infections or situations requiring immediate treatment. However, with increased life expectancy comes an increase in chronic and degenerative conditions. These require less invasive and more customised therapies to mitigate the negative effects arising from sustained use of medications and from interactions between drugs. This is where complementary medicine can help: rather than replacing conventional treatments, it integrates allopathic medicine with synergistic effects.  

Your main focus is on Traditional Chinese Medicine. Can you explain in a few simple words what TCM is about?   

At the core of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the concept of Qi, which is the life energy that flows through the body via specific energy channels called meridians. For the body to be in good health, the Qi needs to be evenly distributed among cells, with each getting the right amount of it to function properly. TCM provides a number of natural therapy techniques designed to rebalance or improve energy flow. These include acupuncture, phytotherapy, Tuina massage, cupping and physical exercises coupled with breathing and meditation techniques such as Tai-chi and Qi-gong. My therapeutic approach focuses in particular on acupuncture (which, here in Italy, can only be practised by medical doctors), as well as herb-based medications and Chinese dietetics. 

Who can benefit from TCM?  

TCM is more than just a medical system: it’s a philosophy, a way of life. This means that anyone seeking to make healthier lifestyle choices that are better attuned to their psychophysical needs can benefit from it. That said, TCM can also treat a wide range of ailments, such as muscle, bone and joint pain, digestive complaints, fibromyalgia and stress-related disorders such as anxiety, insomnia and chronic fatigue. TCM has also proved extraordinarily effective in reducing the side effects from long-term, invasive pharmacological treatments such as chemotherapy.   

Winter is upon us… Can you give us some tips and tricks from TCM to get us through the cold season? What is your personal strategy to stay healthy in winter? 

According to TCM, winter is associated with the kidneys. So, when practising Qi-gong I especially focus on exercises that feed Qi into the kidneys, to make the body more resilient against the threats that come with the cold. As for nutrition, I tend to reduce salads and raw food and increase my intake of “warming” foods and beverages, such as stews, soups, cooked vegetables, roasted seeds and ginger tea. To prevent head colds, I regularly take Jade Screen powder, a herbal drug made from astragalus root that stimulates immune function. As you can see, it’s just small adjustments that can easily fit into anyone’s daily life. 

Any fun facts about TCM? 

In ancient China, doctors weren’t supposed to cure diseases – their job was to prevent them. In fact, Chinese doctors were only paid as long as their patient was healthy. If a patient fell ill, it was the doctor who footed the bill for treatment. This is where Master Ch'in Yueh Jen’s famous quote comes from: “The skilful doctor treats those who are well, but the inferior doctor treats those who are ill.”  

Thank you for this interview, Dr Bilchugova. We wish you a great start here at ADLER!