2023 Acupuncture training applications closing soon

The next TCM Acupuncture training programme begins on the weekend of 7 and 8 October 2023.

The course is now nearly full so we will be closing applications soon. If you are considering making a late application you are advised to phone the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ICTCM) on: 01 8559000 to check if any places are still available.

This three year, part time training programme in TCM Acupuncture provides a rigorous grounding in TCM theory. Clinical trainees undergo intensive, competency-based, training and assessment during the third year. Details of the course are available on the website.

Why do people want to get treated with Acupuncture?

Professional Acupuncture TCM Practitioners

People want to get treated with Acupuncture for a host of reasons. It is a popular and sought-after treatment option. Here at the ICTCM in Dublin, we train new Acupuncture practitioners every year. Details of the programme can be found on our website.

When used as a treatment method of Traditional Chinese Medicine, by a fully qualified and insured TCM practitioner, such as those graduating from the ICTCM in Dublin, Acupuncture is:

  • Safe
  • Effective
  • Relatively cheap
  • It has a more than 2000 year history.
  • It is not experimental.
  • It does not depend on hi-tec equipment.
  • It is not very time consuming – each treatment usually takes about 30 minutes.
  • It can be used alongside Western medicine.

Treatment with TCM Acupuncture can be used to alleviate present disorders; off-set the side-effects of other forms of treatment; build up the client’s own resources to enable them to be better able to resist illness and fight off infections.

In the hands of a well-qualified practitioner it can help the client to reach better functioning on a Mental, Emotional and Physical level. It is preventative, restorative, potentially curative and health-enhancing.

To find a qualified TCM Acupuncture practitioner go to the PRTCM.org website.


Acupuncture Training at the ICTCM College in Dublin 3 and via Zoom.

Some of the 2019 students and staff outside the College in Dublin 3

Some of the 2019 students and staff outside the College in Dublin 3


Acupuncture Training at the ICTCM College in Dublin 3 and via Zoom. We are looking forward to seeing our new first year students on the weekend of 7th and 8th October 2023 for the start of the new Lic.TCM Acupuncture Training group. Some places are still available and we are still accepting applications and arranging Zoom interview for suitable candidates. The closing date for TCM Acupuncture Applications for this Academic year is 15th September 2023. If all the places are filled before this date suitable late applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

Teaching in the First and Second years. In the First and Second years there are 12 teaching weekends a year, starting in October and finishing in the following July. Dates are set in advance and students are required to attend all the sessions and be present in person. About a third of the First year sessions are held in College in Dublin. These are devoted mainly to developing practical point location skills which are essential for future Clinical Training in the third year.

About the same amount of time is spend in College in the Second year. This is mainly skills-based training and also includes training in other Clinical skills such as Pulse Diagnosis and Tongue Diagnosis. We have small student groups which enables us to provide individual point location and clinical skills feedback face-to-face.

Most of the TCM Theory curriculum is currently delivered via Zoom. These are taught sessions and students need to attend in person on the specified training weekends, via Zoom.

Information about how the Clinical Training year is delivered will follow on our next News post.

Acupuncture Course in Ireland 2023

The Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Acupuncture Course, run in Ireland – the Licentiate in TCM – trains students in TCM Acupuncture. Students learn to diagnose and treat clients using the underpinning theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). This is far more comprehensive and all-encompassing than learning Acupuncture alone.

As is said on the College Website:

“The Acupuncture practitioner uses the ancient and well-established principles and theories of Chinese Medicine to diagnose and treat the client. These are exclusive to Chinese Medicine. They do not rely upon other medical systems or diagnostic methods, such as those used by Western Medical Practitioners.

A person who is working as a Practitioner of TCM Acupuncture can be referred to as an “Acupuncture TCM practitioner”, a “TCM practitioner specialising in Acupuncture” or a “Chinese Medical Acupuncturist”.

Other TCM treatment options are available to the Chinese Medical Acupuncturist including Moxibustion, Cupping, Dietary therapy and Life style advice. These treatment methods are all taught as part of our professional TCM Acupuncture Training Programme, the Lic.TCM.”

The next group of students on this part time 3 year Acupuncture Course start in October this year, 2023, some places are still available and an Application form is available on the website.

Who studies TCM Acupuncture?

Are you thinking of studying TCM Acupuncture at our College? It is now Spring and a good time, from a Chinese Medical point of view, to look ahead and plan for the future. The next group of new students will be starting with us in early October and there is still time to apply for this programme.

We are often asked: “What kinds of people study TCM Acupuncture at the ICTCM?”

People who study Chinese Medicine come from all walks of life ranging from Farmers to Pharmacists, Electricians to Musicians, Nurses to Housewives, Teachers to Therapists, those already in an established profession to those with no structured career.

Many of our students will have some prior acquaintance with TCM in one of its forms but applicants need have no prior formal education within a medical or TCM field. Knowledge of Western Medicine is not required.

Over the years the ICTCM has, however, also trained quite a number of western medically qualified doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists and other healthcare personnel in TCM Acupuncture such that these individuals are now trained in both Western Medicine and Acupuncture TCM.

Acupuncture Students

Our undergraduate-level students include those who are:

  • Very interested in Chinese Medicine and delighted to find a part time programme that will enable them to enter the profession.
  • In a job that is no longer fulfilling or interesting.
  • Enjoying their current job but wishing to combine this part-time with work in a caring profession.
  • Working as a therapist in another field and wishing to add Chinese Medicine to their clinical practice.
  • Western Medicine doctors, nurses, midwives, physiotherapists or other healthcare personnel.
  • Retired, or semi-retired, and wishing to start a new and exciting second career.
  • Tired of working for other people and wanting to work for themselves.
  • Looking for a satisfying and fulfilling career after raising a family or spending some years in higher education or having flitted from job to job.

If you think that our 3 year part time intensive programme might suit you, go to our Application page for more information.

Acupuncture Course 2023

Students on the TCM Acupuncture Course at the ICTCM in 2022

Here at the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ICTCM) in Dublin 4, just off East Wall Road, we have been successfully running Professional Training Courses in Traditional Chinese Medicine since 1983.

The TCM Acupuncture Course 2023 begins this year in early October and we are now accepting applications for the next intake (our fortieth). The Acupuncture Prospectus is available online and provides an Application Form, fee information and a Summary of this three year part time programme.

The Licentiate in TCM is a professional qualification which enables graduates to set up in practice as a TCM practitioner specialising in Acupuncture.

Further detailed information is available on our website, including the course structure and syllabus.

Happy Christmas 2022

Happy Christmas to all our students, staff and friends in Ireland and across the world.

Wishing you all a prosperous and healthy New Year.

The College will be closed until 5th January.

Recruitment for the next intake on the Licentiate in TCM Acupuncture Training programme (which begins in early October) will start in February 2023.

What does an Acupuncturist do? Part 2

In our previous post we described the different types of so-called “Acupuncture” and explained that only a TCM Acupuncturist is able to use Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques to make a diagnosis, determine a treatment plan and provide the correct TCM Acupuncture treatment.

Are Acupuncturists in Alternative Medicine or Complementary Medicine clinics all trained in TCM?

No, not all of them. Those who have graduated from the ICTCM are fully trained in TCM Acupuncture and will be members of a Professional Body such as the Professional Register of TCM. However, some therapists have learned how to insert needles but have not learned how to make a TCM diagnosis, or indeed may not make any medical diagnosis at all.

What about Cosmetic Acupuncture?

Most people offering cosmetic acupuncture are not fully trained and insured in TCM, and do not treat medical conditions.

Acupuncture Treatment in the Teaching Clinic of the Irish College of TCM

Acupuncture Treatment in the Teaching Clinic of the Irish College of TCM

Where can I train to become a TCM Acupuncturist able to use Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques to make a diagnosis, determine a treatment plan and provide the correct Acupuncture treatment?

The Acupuncture Department, at the Irish College of TCM which was set up in 1983, has been training people to become wholly safe, competent, confident, professional practitioners of Acupuncture TCM since then.

Our Professional Acupuncture Training programme begins in October each year and anyone wishing to apply for this year’s intake should send in their application form as soon as possible.

We normally close applications in Early September to allow time for applications to be processed in time for the start of the new academic year. This year our first teaching weekend is on 1st and 2nd October.

What does an Acupuncturist Do?

What does an Acupuncturist do?

An Acupuncturist using Pulse diagnosis in the TCM clinic

Pulse Diagnosis in the ICTCM Clinic

By definition, Acupuncture involves the piercing of the skin by a needle. So, the simplest answer to the question “What does an Acupuncturist do?” is, “they insert needles into a person (or animal)”.

Why is this done?

As the word “Acupuncturist” comes from the field of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the objective is to treat a medical condition. Thus, a Chinese Medical Doctor, whose main treatment specialism involves the use of fine needles to treat a patient, is called a TCM Acupuncturist and the title would only be used to refer to a fully qualified Chinese Medical practitioner of Acupuncture. The doctor would make a diagnosis of the patient using all the specialist methods of TCM and would then select the appropriate Acupuncture points to needle in order to treat the patient.

In China, if the patient is a human being they will be treated in a Chinese Medical Hospital or Clinic. Animals would be treated by Veterinary Acupuncturists.

So are all Acupuncturists in Ireland, the UK, and other parts of Europe, fully trained practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine?

No. Those who have trained at an established and reputable college, such as the Irish College of TCM (ICTCM), will have studied intensively for 3 academic years to learn all the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical skills of Chinese Medicine that are required to safely and effectively treat patients with real medical conditions. They are fully trained practitioners of TCM and may refer to themselves as TCM Acupuncturists or Practitioners of TCM Acupuncture.

Is this the same as a Western Medical Acupuncturist?

No. Most Western Medical Doctors, nurses and Physiotherapists who say they use Acupuncture have only completed a short introductory course in Chinese Medicine and use the insertion of needles as an adjunct to their Western Medicine treatment. They make a diagnosis according the principles and theories of Western Medicine.

Some Western Medicine (WM) professionals, such as those who have trained at the Irish College of TCM, are Chinese Medical Acupuncturists as well as being WM Doctors or nurses.

We will answer more questions about TCM, Acupuncture and Training to become a TCM Acupuncturist in our next post.

Please note: the next academic year at the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Dublin begins on 1 & 2 October 2022 and we are currently accepting applications for our TCM Acupuncture Training programme.