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by Bernadette Ward - Wednesday, 18 December 2013, 01:04 PM
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Good practical information for our graduate practitioners and our senior students in preparing for practice.

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by Bernadette Ward - Wednesday, 18 December 2013, 12:50 PM
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Interesting article about vitamin supplements in today's Guardian, what do you think? Do you use supplements or find them helpful?
[ Modified: Wednesday, 18 December 2013, 12:50 PM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Tuesday, 3 September 2013, 11:18 AM
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Acupuncture has been found, following a clinical trial with 193 patients suffering hypertension, to be an effective treatment. This report has been published by the American Heart Association

This is particularly good news for our current Acupuncture students who plan to make a professional career as professional Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Practitioners.

Our 21013 course intake is currently enrolling, and its good to see that Acupuncture is still a career choice within the broad spectrum of healthcare options.

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by Bernadette Ward - Tuesday, 2 April 2013, 07:30 AM
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The world of CAM research (Complementary and alternative medicine) trundles along, all of it outside of Ireland. This is an interesting link, showing some of the work, new world scientists are working on.

In the UK Master of Science courses are available for Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, twinning with some of the notable London hospitals, such as the Whittington, North London, where a pre labour and pain clinic function and provide an excellent public service under the NHS. Crunching the numbers, participants report that labour time is shortened and the number of natural births has increased, reducing surgery and hospital time, and of course, that ever reducing resource, taxpayers money. Forward thinking or what ? A win win all round.


[ Modified: Tuesday, 2 April 2013, 07:32 AM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Monday, 25 February 2013, 12:08 PM
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The week beginning 25th February is Acupuncture Awareness Week.  The professional association and register of practitioners AFPA is promoting acupuncture as a healthcare option.  There are several practitioner events to highlight treatment.

There are noe several clinical trials proving the effect of acupuncture as a treatment for several disorders.


[ Modified: Monday, 25 February 2013, 12:09 PM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Friday, 21 December 2012, 12:07 PM
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A recent study in Dukes University has shown that acupuncture is more effective than medication for the treatment of chronic headaches, according to Duke Medicine News and Communications (US).

"While everyone experiences an occasional headache, more than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, 20 million of whom are women. Medication remains the mainstay of treatment with varying levels of success.

The Duke team looked at studies that compared traditional acupuncture to either medication or a control group who received sham acupuncture. Similar to traditional acupuncture, the sham therapy entails inserting needles into the skin but the acupuncturist avoids meridians or areas of the body that Chinese medicine teaches contains vital energy associated with achieving balance needed for good health.

Researchers analyzed more than 30 studies to arrive at the findings published in the December issue of Anesthesia and Analgesia. The studies included nearly 4,000 patients who reported migraines (17 studies), tension headaches (10 studies) and other forms of chronic headaches with multiple symptoms (four studies).

In 17 studies comparing acupuncture to medication, the researchers found that 62 percent of the acupuncture patients reported headache relief compared to only 45 percent of people taking medication. These acupuncture patients also reported better physical well-being compared to the medication group. In 14 studies that compared real acupuncture to sham therapy, 53 percent of acupuncture patients responded to treatment compared to 45 percent receiving sham therapy.

"Acupuncture has been practiced for thousands of years but only recently has started to become more accepted as an alternative or supplement to conventional therapies," Gan explains.

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by Mark Rooney - Monday, 27 August 2012, 10:21 AM
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Debra Betts, NZRN, Dip Ac, BHSc (Acupuncture) author of The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and international speaker on acupuncture and women's health is joining our lecture team.

Debra from New Zealand began developing and teaching acupuncture courses to midwives in 1997. She has written many articles on the subject of the use of acupuncture in obstetric practice. In 2006 she saw the publication of her book The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy & Childbirth in 2006. This was welcomed around the world and has subsequently been published in German and French.

Debra supervises a hospital based acupuncture antenatal clinic through the New School of Acupuncture and lectures internationally on the use of obstetric acupuncture. She resides with her family in Wellington, New Zealand.

We have welcomed Debra to Dublin on two occasions previously but are delighted to have her join our lecture team this coming May (2013) to lecture to our students on acupuncture and women's health issues.

Debra developed and published a DVD on acupuncture and obstetrics She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Western Sydney Australia where she is undertaking research into the use of acupuncture and threatened miscarriage.

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by Bernadette Ward - Friday, 3 August 2012, 07:18 AM
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TCM and Weight loss.

The Neijing Su Wen (The book of plain questions) says in chapter 28 “If obesity occurs in the noblemen and the rich people, there must be an over consumption of heavy and greasy foods”. Weight gain is not a new phenomenon, and western society seems to be battling obesity and weight gain in all age groups. The principles have remained the same over the ages, with body weight accumulating when too many calories are taken in and too few calories go out.

From the TCM point of view, weight gain, and a slow metabolism is considered to be an accumulation of damp and phlegm. The spleen is responsible for the production of damp and phlegm as one of its main functions is transformation and transportation, or T and T as we learned in college.

If the spleen function becomes impaired because of an over consumption of “heavy and greasy” foods and a lack of sufficient exercise then it will not be able to properly transform and transport, therefore the spleen function becomes damaged. Metabolic wastes will accumulate and transform into damp, the body will gain weight and eventually if untreated this damp will transform into phlegm and fat tissue.

The patient seeking treatment for weight loss very often wants an instant solution and may have tried many diets, so a discussion before treatment is essential. The practitioner must ensure the patient knows that the treatment, which will help to improve the function of the body metabolism should be accompanied by a reduction of heavy , greasy, sweet foods, and the introduction of some exercise. Acupuncture alone will not be sufficient for a reduction of weight if the patient is not cooperative.

Points to use. (Body)

Sp 6, Sanyinjiao,(to improve the function of the spleen and tonify all of the yin organs. St 36, Susanli, to tonify sluggish qi)

Sp 9, Yinlingquan, (To resolve damp)

St, 40 Fenglong (To resolve phlegm)

PC 6 Neiguan (To treat anxiety as over consumption of foods and weight gain has an emotional factor)

Use other body points according to your TCM diagnosis and tongue and pulse readings.

Local points on the abdomen, used in Chinese hospitals help to tighten the abdomen and stimulate the qi and blood locally.

Ear Points.

Shenmen (Anxiety) Ask the patient to press and hold for 10 beats before eating.

Hunger point (To deal with cravings) Press for 10 before eating and on waking.

Needle ear points on a sterile ear on one side, and seed the other ear on the same points.

The patient goes home with the seeds in the ear. Advice is keep dry and press for 10 beats before eating.

Eat small portions 5 times a day (3 healthy meals, 2 healthy snacks)

Lifestyle advice. Keep a food and exercise diary.

Drink 8 glasses of fluid (water, tea, unsweetened juice) throughout the day.

Allow 6 – 9 treatments, once a week as a treatment programme

Produce an information leaflet for your clinic to inform your patients on how Chinese medicine treats weight gain and slow metabolic function.

Bernadette Ward, MSc (Traditional Chinese Medicine)

[ Modified: Friday, 3 August 2012, 07:19 AM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Thursday, 7 June 2012, 06:50 AM
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Holistic therapists, such as we acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners, are always banging on about mind, body spirit. All of it inter connected, the trinity of holistic medicine, in Chinese medicine we call it Qi, Shen and Jing.  Qi, our energy and vitality, Shen, our mind, emotions, , and Jing, gifts from our ancestors, what we were born with. 

We use these principles in thinking and planning treatment strategies for our patients all the time, so its a breath of fresh air to see this viewpoint being aired by non traditional professionals.

At a recent IFM conference in Arizona, Institute for Functional Medicine (Functional medicine is the new buzzword among medical professionals who ackowledge that diet and lifestyle might just have some influence on health), the conept that the heart is much more than the pump that pumps blood around was advocated by cardiologist Dr. Mimi Guarnimi. She said

 "The heart is so much more than just a pump for our blood supply.  Along with the arteries and blood vessels, our cardiovascular system represents the largest organ in our body.  Its vital functions are maintained by a massive array of interconnected neurological (nervous), endocrine (hormonal) and immune system functions and feedbacks.  It is intimately involved with general metabolic function, so what you eat, how you eat, how you move and exercise, how you feel emotionally and, generally, how you live your life, impacts and affects your heart profoundly. What has been known for eons in traditional systems of healing is that healing the heart means treating the whole person. You cannot separate the emotional, spiritual and psychological aspects of someone from the physical aspects, which is why you can never heal cardiovascular disease with a purely drug-based approach. Human beings are social animals. We are designed to live in partnership within supportive communities. With the increasing disintegration of the fabric of modern society and the ensuing isolation experienced by many, is it any wonder that heart disease has become the No. 1 killer in the Western world? 

Paradoxically, heart disease is a complete unknown for indigenous hunter-gatherer populations still living in communities, eating their traditional diet and maintaining the activity levels of their's all about connection, coherence and harmony and to never forget the important contribution that social connection makes to our health. Getting centred, focused and relaxed, and making space to create relationships, are all important pieces in healing the 'broken heart' of today’s society"  

So, not just a pump then. We will get there in the end.


Ref;  Viewed online June 2012

[ Modified: Thursday, 7 June 2012, 06:53 AM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 04:01 PM
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We are delighted to offer a programme of affordable acupuncture to women who are either waiting for IVF, or already receiving IVF treatments. This will start from June in our Richmond Road clinic and continue indefinitely.

Acupuncture has shown to be effective in the treatment of fertility conditions, both female and male and there is good evidence of effect.

We not only offer acupuncture treatments to the woman, but male partners, also on the fertility journey can benefit from a holistic acupuncture treatment. We will treat couples at the same time.

Anyone interested in participating should email us on

More on that as we progress... BW
[ Modified: Wednesday, 23 May 2012, 04:03 PM ]
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