Chinese Medicine, What is it.

Some types of needlesChinese Medicine – What is it?
If you are thinking of Chinese Medicine as a career, why not go to a free talk, to be given by Professor Tom Shanahan, at the RDS as part of Which Course Expo.

Tom’s talk will introduce all the various components of Chinese Medicine Treatment with an explanation of what each entails and he will show examples of what is in a typical Acupuncture and TCM practitioner’s Clinical Treatment Case.

The talk will take place at 12.00 noon on Sunday 6th September.

You can pick up a Prospectus from the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine stand, which is STAND 6, at any time during the Which Course Expo, for the following courses:

Acupuncture TCM – Professional Training Programme
Chinese Herbal Medicine Diploma Course
Qigong and Medical Qigong programmes
Post-graduate Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine
Post-graduate Doctoral Degree in Chinese Medicine

The Which Course Expo is taking place at the RDS on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September 2015.
Location: Serpentine Hall, RDS, Dublin 4

Opening Times: Saturday and Sunday: 11am until 4pm

Entrance Fee: FREE

Changing Career? We offer Professional Training in Acupuncture TCM

The Licentiate in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) course run by the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, provides full professional training in Acupuncture TCM, including Clinical training, in Dublin, Ireland. It is designed for adults wishing to gain a qualification and take up a career in an interesting, worth-while profession in which you can be self-employed.
No prior knowledge of either Western Medicine or Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is required.

To apply please download the application form, fees and course information from

The Lic.TCM beings in mid-October each year and attracts students not only from Ireland but from many other countries in Europe and beyond, as the college is centrally located in Dublin within easy reach of the airport and the ferry terminal.

This 3 year, part-time, weekends-only course has been successfully running since 1983.
It provides a recognised qualification in Acupuncture TCM after which you can:

  • Join a professional body of Acupuncture TCM (the PRTCM) which is recognised by VHI and the other main Health Insurance providers in Ireland
  • Gain professional insurance to practise Acupuncture TCM
  • Set up in practice in any part of Ireland or the UK
  • Undertake additional professional TCM training in Chinese Herbal Medicine or Medical Qigong, if you wish.
  • Join a part-time 2 year Masters degree programme in Chinese Medicine
  • .

    Qigong and Medical Qigong Weekend 25 and 26 July

    qigong practice
    There are only a few places left on the Qigong and Medical Qigong (MQG) Introductory weekend running at our college in Dublin on 25 and 26 July.

    This weekend offers an introduction to the system of Qigong that we were taught by our Qigong Masters in China and is open to any adults whether they have previous experience of Qigong practice or not.

    For those with no previous experience of Qigong the weekend introduces you to a set of simple but effective Qigong exercises that you can practice on your own on a daily basis to enhance your own health.

    The Certificate courses in Qigong and Medical Qigong provide a rare opportunity to learn not only Qigong exercises for your own health and well-being but also provide a detailed theoretical understanding of Qigong as set out and presented by the late Professor Xia Shuangquan of Guangzhou University of TCM.
    Acupuncture TCM or Chinese Herbal Medicine specialists can train to become Medical Qigong Practitioners – i.e. use Medical Qigong as a treatment modality.

    Attendance on this weekend is necessary for anyone wishing to take part in the next Certificate course – either the Cert.Qigong or Cert.MQG.
    Visit our website to obtain more information and a booking form.

    Chinese Ambassador visits the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

    His Excellency Xu Jianguo and Prof Tom Shanahan

    His Excellency Xu Jianguo and Prof Tom Shanahan

    The Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine was delighted to welcome the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland His Excellency Xu Jianguo to the College for the recent Graduation Ceremony for the Licentiate in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

    Ambassador Xu kindly took time out of his busy schedule to present the Graduation Certificates to our newly qualified colleagues. He was accompanied by First Secretary Yang Zhijun who is an old friend of the college.

    Further news of the graduation will follow.

    See also this post by the Chinese Embassy in Ireland.

    First Secretary Yang with one of the graduates.

    First Secretary Yang with one of the graduates.

    Becoming an Acupuncturist

    Our next professional training course in Acupuncture TCM – the Licentiate in TCM – begins again in October 2015.

    This is a part-time, weekends only course designed for adults with busy lives.
    Students attend our college in Dublin for the 12 main teaching weekends during the first year of this 3 year course.
    The rest of the first year coursework is done from your own home.
    No prior knowledge of either Western or Chinese Medicine is required.

    During the course students receive professional training in the Clinical application of Acupuncture TCM as part of the full medical system of Chinese Medicine.
    Acupuncture TCM is taught and applied as part of this medical system so the under-pinning theory of Chinese Medicine is extensively covered enabling those who wish to, to progress to a Masters Degree in Chinese Medicine or to Post-graduate Diploma training in Chinese Herbal Medicine or Medical Qigong.

    To apply please download the application form, fees and course information from our website

    Xin Pathology and sleep


    Here is a short extract from an article entitled “Xin Pathology”, originally published in December 1995, written by the Director of the Irish College of TCM, Professor Tom Shanahan, (based on his now 40 plus years as a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine).

    “A common, but strangely undiscussed pathology, relating to Xin is the type of distress, disorientation and anxiety consequent upon or concomitant with prolonged sleeplessness.
    The lack of sound sleep, or what the Chinese call ‘fullness’ of sleep, occasions the disorientation, confusion, and stress that here concerns me.
    Many of the less commonly discussed Xin pathologies focus upon disorientation, confusion or lack of contact with reality. These are what I might conveniently label the more ‘spiritual’ aspects of Xin pathology (a Western Medic might label them as psychological or psychiatric) to distinguish them from the more crudely physiological clinical manifestations usually, and virtually exclusively, presented in the literature.
    The most commonly encountered Xin-related complaints in my TCM clinic are not physiological. They concern Shen disturbance, in its multifarious forms. These are barely touched upon in standard texts. A palpable deficiency of information in this regard could stunt the practitioner’s efficacy as a physician.
    … If sleep is unsettled, if it is restless rather than restful, if it is interrupted, for instance by distressing dreams or horrid nightmares – and if this goes on for, say, more than two or three nights in a row – then I have found that patients can become disturbed, in various ways, in the daytime.
    … (There are) very distinctive physical accompaniments to disruption or distress of Xin Shen. They are compounded by increased inability to get off to sleep. This can create a vicious cycle that promotes even further deterioration. Night time becomes dreaded. The prospect of having to try to go to sleep assumes threatening proportions. Victims, consequently, feel, appear and sound increasingly wretched. Bed time, instead of being a haven of peace becomes a harbinger or torment.
    … Soon they think that they are “quietly going mad”, that they are daily receding from the realms and safeguards of reality. The familiarity of the ‘everyday’ is lost. The prospect of reclaiming control, and the consequent safety that comes from control, seems less and less likely. Desperation melds with confusion. Anxiety accelerates. Unreality looms. ‘Madness’ threatens. Terror approaches.
    This is often when they present in my TCM surgery”.
    Read the full article here.

    Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine Articles

    ICTCMThe Director of the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ICTCM), Professor Tom Shanahan, has been writing interesting and informative articles on many different aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for more than 40 years.
    Many of these have been written with the student or practitioner in mind, providing his experiential advice and guidance on

  • Pathology
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Disease Differentiation
  • Other articles look at the underpinning theoretical foundations of Chinese Medicine and explore, in particular, those insights and revelations gleaned personally from his own teachers in the 1970s and 1980s.

    In the past Tom’s articles have been mainly printed in TCM journals. A recent review of the archive of the in-house journal Shenmen has uncovered dozens of articles which have not previously been available to a wider audience.

    Tom has now agreed to us offering some of the articles on the College website and we will shortly be providing a link to the first of these on

    A news item will be posted each time a new article is made available.

    Tom’s hope is that these articles will help, in their own small way, to keep alive some of the treasures of TRADITIONAL Chinese Medicine.

    Medical and Health promoting Qigong

    imageThe next Medical Qigong workshop will be held on the weekend of Saturday 28 February and Sunday 1st March at the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, ICTCM House, Merchants Road, Dublin 3.

    Taught by staff who have trained in Medical Qigong in Guangzhou with two Chinese Masters since 1999, this Introductory Weekend is suitable for:

    • Members of the public, with no prior experience, who wish to learn a number of simple but effective ancient Chinese techniques to rid stress, promote relaxation and improve their own health and well-being through the practice of these gentle Qigong exercises.
    • People who are already practising a form of Qigong and wish to learn more of the under-pinning theory of Medical Qigong as taught by a professor in a Traditional Chinese Medicine University.
    • Students or practitioners of Acupuncture and TCM hoping in the future to embark on Certificate or Diploma level Medical Qigong training.

    Early-bird bookings paid for in full before 31 January 2015 will receive a 10% discount.

    Visit fees.htm to obtain more information and a booking form.