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by Bernadette Ward - Tuesday, 1 June 2010, 06:25 AM
Anyone in the world
Its good when we can get an explanation for changes we make each day in our acupuncture treatments. A study from the University of Rochester medical centre in New York state.
[ Modified: Tuesday, 29 June 2010, 04:03 PM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Friday, 28 May 2010, 06:23 AM
Anyone in the world
I am putting a link to the Middlesex University study conducted in London and Dublin for my MSc research project. The study is relevant to everyone who seeks acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments and to the practitioners who deliver the treatments. Its results were interesting and may inform policy makers in both countries if and when either government decides to implement their own recommendations. The lack of government regulation, does impact on the clinical relationship. This article in Positive Health magazine in the UK gives a brief snapshot of the study and some of the results. BW

[ Modified: Friday, 28 May 2010, 06:25 AM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Saturday, 1 May 2010, 07:55 AM
Anyone in the world

We have always found it necessary to become part of the wider TCM world and to look outwards from our small island.  This is why, in the late eighties, we applied to become founding members of WFAS, went through the application process and have remained members ever since.  This was initiated by the Chinese Government (State Administration of TCM) and became a group of Chinese medicine organisations.  WFAS over the years developed training standards and members contributed to the WHO Training standards of Chinese Medicine now used around the world as a training guide.  International standards organisations have remained a constant guide in this changing world, and we value our continuing membership, representing our organisation, alumni and students.

[ Modified: Saturday, 1 May 2010, 08:08 AM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Friday, 9 April 2010, 12:18 PM
Anyone in the world
Following years of international meetings of TCM global experts and contributons from TCM educators across the world. an updated global standard of education for Chinese Medicine has been published by the WFCMS - EIC (World Federation of TCM Societies) Education Instruction Committee.

This standard takes into consideration cultural differences in the delivery of TCM education and clinical programmes but stipulates the core requirements for a TCM graduate. The standard The Essential Requirements for Graduates of Chinese Medicine Undergraduate (Pre-CMD) stipulates necessary subjects to be studied in an undergraduate TCM programme as a global standard.

"Although their education plans may differ, the core of TCM education that is addressed through these requirements should be met"

As a member of the EIC (Educational Instruction Committee), I actively contributed to this project over a period of time and am privileged to be listed in the standard as co author.

Bernadette Ward. MSc. (Traditional Chinese Medicine.)
Member of WFCMS - Education Instruction Committee

Ref. EIC,WFCMS. World Education of Chinese Medicine "Essential Requirements for Professional Knowledge and Skills of Chinese Medi cine Undergraduate (Pre0CMD) Education" Page 106. Vol 3 No 4. 2009.

. 1* WFCMS EIC Education standard authors

[ Modified: Friday, 9 April 2010, 12:30 PM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Wednesday, 24 March 2010, 01:01 PM
Anyone in the world
The application of the principles of evidence based medicine (EBM) is widely debated across healthcare sectors, especially within the complementary healthcare sector who struggle to prove clinical theories in an attempt to please the "scientific" commuity.

One of the principal criticisms of some of the complementary medicine therapies is that we don't have sufficient science to back up our clinical decisions. The historical or anecdotal evidence which forms the basis of our clinical practice as acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners, is in many cases dismissed by scientists as being of no scientific value.

I disagree with this theory and think that it's very much a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Life is not all absolutes and the older I get the more I realise historical clinical experiences transcribed faithfully by past clinicians benefit and inform our current practice, and can become the basis of a wider model of EBM even if they don't meet the current scientific criteria of the clinical trial.

A strict EBM formula i.e. the same formula applied to each case goes against the individualisation and flexibility of aspects of TCM treatments. Acupuncturists and Chinese Medicine practitioners constantly reference previously documented clinical decisions witin the practice. We test the theories and that is the value of anecdotal evidence.

We do of course need good research to further test theories, but that cannot be heralded as the only measure of clinical effect, so much so that we begin to discount historical, anecdotal evidence.

Let's keep the baby in the bath when we throw out the bathwater.


Reference: Friedland et al "Evidence Based Medicine, A Framework For Clinical Practice". McGraw Hill, US (1998)

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by Bernadette Ward - Monday, 8 March 2010, 08:11 AM
Anyone in the world
Its International Womans day today March 8th. This marks 100 years of groundbreaking achievements by our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers. International Womens Day is acknowledgement and a celebation of all those strong women who fought for what we now see as basic acknowledgement of status and rights and those who stood beside them over the past 100 years.

Now celebrated across the world in different forms, women are acknowledged and their contributions valued.

Women today may seem to have it all, but its still a tough road, balancing work, ambition, home life and relationships, and holding on to a little bit of "self". Many women choose the part of holistic healthcare as a career choice, helping the balance of of work and family.

[ Modified: Monday, 8 March 2010, 08:16 AM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Thursday, 11 February 2010, 01:11 PM
Anyone in the world
The EU Herbal Directive rules are apparently to be put into operation in Ireland without delays according to The Irish Medicine Boards. The discussion among European colleagues late last year was that some EU countries would delay implementation of the directive to allow the herbal sector in these countries further time to discuss and prepare. This does not appear to be the case in Ireland and the IMB (Irish Medicines Board) have issued the following statement in their recent newsletter. The spirit of the directive when first drafted was to make herbal medicine safer for the public and to ensure that those who prescribed herbs were adequately trained, not to remove many herbal products from the market, and to drive out the small companies. The over regulation of this directive will remove many herbal products from the market, reducing consumer choice and effecting the small herbal companies, who will not be able to afford the draconian charges to license their products. A system of product registration not licensing would have been a been a safe, more inclusive and common sense approach. We all of should once again contact our EU representatives which we elected to represent us to challenge the implementation of this directive.

The IMB would like to inform applicants
that the deadline for the
submission of applications for herbal
medicinal products has been extended
from 1 January 2010 to 1 April 2010 at
the request of stakeholders. All herbal
medicinal products must be approved
by the IMB if they are intended to
remain in the Irish marketplace after 30
April 2011, as per Directive 2001/83/EC
as amended.
Herbal medicinal products may be
licensed via two routes in Ireland:
• A Marketing authorisation (MA) (as
per Article 8(3) for a full authorisation
or article 10a for well-established
use authorisation, of
Directive 2001/83/EC as amended).
Applications in this case must
demonstrate appropriate standards
of quality, safety and efficacy and be
accompanied by the necessary
information for safe use. For more
detail on products in this category
please see the Human Medicines
Licensing section of the IMB
• A certificate of traditional-use registration
(as per Article 16a of Directive
2001/83/EC as amended).
Products in this category are registered
under the Traditional Herbal
Medicinal Products Registration
Scheme and are known as traditional
herbal medicines.
For more information please see the
IMB website at
[ Modified: Thursday, 11 February 2010, 03:23 PM ]
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by Bernadette Ward - Tuesday, 9 February 2010, 04:58 PM
Anyone in the world
Its good to see that acupuncture in Ireland is alive and well. The general chatter among the sector is that although Christmas was quiet things are picking up now. It would be useful to get some statistics from the many clinics around the country, on useage and demographics. It would help us plan a better clinical service for patients. I know AFPA plan to have a membership survey to gather information on current spending trends and to try to see if the recession has effected patient numbers around the country. I think this will be useful. I prefer to talk up than to talk down. More later......
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