The practice of acupuncture in Ireland is self-regulated – like in many other EU countries. For example, in the UK, the largest regulatory body is the British Acupuncture Council. The BAcC is a member of the Accredited Register scheme run by the government backed Professional Standards Authority.
Here in Ireland, the Department of Health & Children has established a Consultative Forum with a number of Associations representing Acupuncture/TCM and other practitioners of Complementary Medicine with a view to establishing a framework for regulation and a report is now gone to Government.
The Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association (AFPA) is the longest established independent professional register of acupuncturists and practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ireland. The AFPA was established in 1987 and is responsible for the regulation and maintenance of a Register of Acupuncturists who work within the guidelines set out in 2006 by the Department of Health and Children. Members are graduates from many Colleges in Ireland and abroad and are all bound by a Code of Ethics and Practice which is strictly enforced by the AFPA.
One of our clinicians – Sandro Graca – currently sits in the Executive Committee of the AFPA.
Members of the AFPA are also recognised by the European Traditional Chinese Medicine Association – an umbrella organisation for professional associations that represent different fields within Traditional Chinese Medicine. The ETCMA’s main purpose is to promote the wider recognition and acceptance of TCM therapies by European governments and the public.
“TCM Ireland” was created by Siobhán Seville and Sandro Graca with the aim to provide practical and easy to understand information about acupuncture, tuina massage, medical qigong and all the other different aspects of the fascinating medical system that is Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Commonly referred to as “Chinese Medicine” or simply “TCM”, this is one of the oldest forms of medical treatment and one of the most commonly used in the world.
Its origins date back over thousands of years and it has stood the test of time, remaining the main form of medicine used in China (and other Eastern countries) to this date. Nowadays, it has reached all corners of the world and has been widely used with more and more people availing of its benefits.
The effectiveness of TCM (and especially acupuncture) is well documented and it has established a solid reputation as a system of medical health care that actually works – achieving the recognition of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a viable means of treatment for a wide range of symptoms. Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the recognised Complementary and Alternative Medicines by the WHO.
TCM is a complete medical system and therefore made up of many different types of therapies – the most commonly known of which is acupuncture. Less known, but also very important in the context of TCM as a whole medical system are: moxibustion (heat treatment with a slow burning herb), tui na massage, cupping, herbal medicine, medical exercise (qi gong, tai chi), medical qi gong, dietary therapy, lifestyle advice.
In the hands of a fully qualified professional practitioner, the use of TCM is effective, entirely safe and free of any harmful side-effects.
TCM has undergone some of the most rigorous testing and research of all the treatment options offered by complementary and alternative therapies. Furthermore, the two treatments most often utilized in TCM clinical practice – acupuncture and herbal medicine – are supported as effective by many research studies.
Although there is much work to be done before we can truly understand the mechanisms of acupuncture and Qi, there is a growing body of solid evidence that suggests acupuncture and TCM are safe and effective for the treatment of many conditions.
Just like any other medical treatment, the extent and speed of recovery from your condition will depend on:
– the nature of the complaint itself. Some complaints are, by their very nature, more secure than others. This will determine the extent and type of treatment prescribed for individual patients.
– the length of time that the complaint has been there for. Generally speaking, more recent disorders are more easily and more rapidly eliminated than those which have been present for a number of months or years.
– the frequency and time of the treatments administrated. This is also valid for all other medical treatments, like for example physiotherapy.
– the skill and expertise of the clinician. This cannot be discarded when considering the effectiveness and the speed of recovery.
– what happens between treatments and how well the patient keeps to the advice of the TCM practitioner. Patients that follow the instructions from their practitioners will experience quicker and more sustainable results.
No, it is not exclusive to medical complaints. Even though TCM is used in the clinics mainly to treat medical conditions, it can also be used as a preventative medicine in order to straighten the body and the immune system – therefore improving your well-being.
At your first appointment, your practitioner will advise you on and explain to you the treatment options that best apply to your complaint. The treatment procedure depends on the individual patient and on which of the therapies best apply to the patient and the condition he or she presents with in the clinic.
All medical fees should be discussed and agreed with your practitioner prior to the treatment. If you are prescribed herbal medicine or any external lotions (like massage cream or oils), then there is a separate cost for those.
Only if needed and as appropriate – even the tui na massage is done over a cotton sheet with the patient clothed.
No – no one is too young nor too old to get treatment.
It is always advisable that you inform any other health practitioners that you are receiving any other health care treatments and / or medication. When coming to the TCM clinics, please inform your practitioner about any medication that you are taking (including prescribed medication, vitamins, supplements, etc).
Siobhán Seville is from Rathfarnham, Dublin. Being a mother of four, she was always looking for a more natural way of treating her children’s as they were growing up – which was how Siobhán came across Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Siobhán is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of TCM Ireland alongside Sandro Graca – their work and expertise has made TCM Ireland a recognised and reputable entity in the field of acupuncture for fertility, IVF enhancement and pregnancy care in Ireland.
Sandro Graca is a graduate of the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Originally from Portugal, Sandro moved to Ireland in 2004 and established successful Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine clinics in Trim, Donaghmede and Maynooth.