Acupuncture Training 2020 at the ICTCM – Coronavirus update


In spite of the current pandemic of Coronavirus, the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine are happy to report that we are continuing to provide teaching to the students on our Acupuncture and TCM programmes.

We are also still accepting applications for the next Acupuncture Training course and expect to start  in early October, as usual.

Of course, Covid-19 has meant that we have to do some things differently.

For more than 35 years  we have run our successful  3 year part time Professional Acupuncture  TCM Training face-to-face. So, it has been an interesting challenge to enable our current students to continue uninterrupted with their studies during these difficult times of social distancing. We have introduced much more online and video conferencing learning. And our staff and students have risen to the challenge.

When the 2020 intake begins in early October, whether the first meeting is conducted in the college, or as a series of online meetings, remains to be decided.  Much will obviously depend on whether the spread of the Coronavirus is under control and whether it is allowed to meet in groups.

Looking forwards, once the pandemic is over, we will introduce more Distanced Learning sessions into our normal teaching schedule. This will mean that students, who normally come into the college for 2 full days every 4 weeks (approximately), will not have to come to Dublin in person quite so often.

Information about this will be made available on the website in the coming months.

In the meantime, if you are thinking of becoming an Acupuncturist, we are happy to inform you that we are still accepting applications, as noted above.

There are, however, some changes to this process too.

Applicants are asked to submit their Application Form by email (not by post).

Suitable applicants will still be interviewed, but this will take place as a video-conferencing meeting between the applicant and one of our senior staff.

Accepted students, and those whose application is still in process,  will be informed about any new arrangements.

For an Online Prospectus pack please click here.

Happy New Year of the Rat


 

Happy New Year of the Rat

New Year’s greetings from the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Chinese year starts today, on 25 January 2020, and ends on 11 February 2021, when the Year of the Ox begins.

Each Chinese New Year is characterised by one of 12 animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac – this year, is the Year of the Rat. It is the first animal in the zodiac cycle and is, thus seen to be a great time for new beginnings. New ventures should flourish.

So, if you are thinking about changing career and moving into Chinese Medicine as a trainee practitioner why not consider making the change this year and joining the 3 year part time Professional Acupuncture TCM training programme which begins in October each year?

If you would like us to send you a paper-based prospectus pack please send us your postal address, via our Contact page. Alternatively you can find the recently updated pack online. If you are already a practitioner perhaps this is a good year to set up a new clinic in another town. Or, you might want to consider extending your range of therapeutic options with a post-graduate course.

Whatever your plans for the year ahead we wish all our students, staff, colleagues, practitioners and friends every success and hope you will be blessed with good health and happiness.

Tom Shanahan and Mary Plunkett

On behalf of the ICTCM

New Acupuncture students in Dublin, Ireland


Some of the 2018-2019 students outside the College in Dublin 3

The Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine is very happy to welcome our new Acupuncture TCM students to study with us in our College and Acupuncture Clinic in Dublin 3.

We wish all our students a successful and stimulating year.

The 2019 Academic Year commenced in October and the next intake of students will be in October 2020.

Acupuncture – What does an Acupuncturist do?


It shows a fine acupuncture needle in an acupuncture point

A fine needle in an Acupuncture Point

If you are thinking of changing career and are considering training to become an Acupuncturist, it is import to realise that many different people call themselves Acupuncturists. So, first you need to decide what type of Acupuncturist you want to be, and then you need to find a suitable College that will provide the training you need.

What does an Acupuncturist do?

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 an 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?

An Acupuncturist using Pulse diagnosis in the TCM clinic

Pulse Diagnosis in the ICTCM Clinic

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 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 Chinese Medical Acupuncturists or Practitioners of Acupuncture TCM.

Is this the same as a Western Medical Acupuncturist?

No. Some Western Medicine (WM) professionals, have trained at the Irish College of TCM and are Chinese Medical Acupuncturists as well as being WM Doctors or nurses, but most Western Medical Doctors, nurses and Physiotherapists who say they do 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.

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

Not all of them. Some have studied at the ICTCM and are fully trained and will be members of a Professional Body such as the Professional Register of TCM. However, some therapists in such clinics have learned how to insert needles but have not learned how to make a TCM, or indeed any, medical diagnosis.

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 Chinese Medical Acupuncturist able to use Traditional Chinese Medicine 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 that early date.

Our Professional Acupuncture Training programme begins in October each year and anyone wishing to apply for this year’s intake should contact us straight away as we have almost finished recruitment for this coming academic year.

Health and the Seasons – Late Summer


Harvest in Late Summer

Harvest in Late Summer

When does Autumn begin? Is it still summer at the moment, or is there a touch of autumn in the air? Are we at the cusp of a change of season?

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the change of seasons is a period when aspects of our health can change and can either get better or worse. TCM theory would say that we are now entering the “Late Summer” season.  It is sometimes called “Indian Summer” in English.

In nature it is a time of Harvest, when we gather in the fruits of our labour. It is said that that “we reap what we sow”. This means that if we have sown bad seeds these will not produce a healthy and bountiful crop. Or, if we have not tended to the needs of our seedlings when they are growing, or the weather has been inclement, the yield will be poor.

Harvest

So too in our everyday lives. If we have not “sown good seeds” or paid due care and attention to our new projects, this can affect our health and wellbeing. If we have had a stressful Spring, setting up new ventures, striving to get ahead and be successful without taking necessary care of ourselves and others around us, our plans may not come to fruition. We may then feel worse in the Late Summer.

In terms of our own health, this season is traditionally associated, with the physiological system, referred to in Chinese, as Pi (and Wei). The notion of Pi in TCM covers a wide variety of human functions, ranging over a wide expanse of human activities. Among other things Pi is responsible for the body’s ability to adequately transform food and drink into Qi – the vital energy necessary for life. It is also responsible for separating out and getting rid of the waste products in daily living. Its widest function is that of transporting the Qi throughout the entire person.  Typically, a variety of “digestive” disorders may have their roots in Pi dysfunction and can get worse (or better) in Late Summer.

On a more mental level, Pi is responsible for transforming and transporting ideas. Failure in respect of this function can manifest as overthinking and repetitive or even obsessive thinking. Ideas can stick in the mind and clarity of mind will suffer. The person will not be able to separate good ideas or thoughts from bad ones.

Humidity or Dampness also “Distresses” Pi, so if the weather in Late Summer is Damp, clarity of Mind and efficiency of “Digestion” on all levels can be impaired. Other Damp-related symptoms like certain types of pain in the joints can also become worse during this season.

An Acupuncturist who is fully trained in the field of TCM, would be able to offer specifically tailored treatment and Chinese Medical advice to a patient who was susceptible to illnesses arising from, or getting worse, during the Late Summer.

Are you the sort of person who would be interested in learning, according to millennia of ancient venerable traditions, how different seasons influence and deeply affect yourself, other people and the entire environment around you? In more immediately practical terms, relating here to a self-employed profession, are you the sort of individual who would be interested in becoming a TCM practitioner, a fully trained, competent and confident  health-care professional  who would be able to offer such advice and treatment and thereby improve the health and wellbeing of clients?

If so, it is still not too late to apply for a place on our long-established, tried and tested, Professional Acupuncture Training programme, the Licentiate in TCM. The three year part-time course, run by the Irish College of TCM, begins in October each year and is held in our College in Dublin 3.

Graduation of new Acupuncturists


To announce that four new Acupuncturists have graduated as TCM practitioners and have set up clinics in various parts of Ireland and the UK.

Congratulations to the four new Acupuncturists who are starting a career as practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture. They have clinics in Donegal, Dublin, Wexford, Tipperary, and York (UK).

They successfully graduated from the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Professional Acupuncture Training Course – the Licentiate in TCM.

A Ceremony was held on 30th June where graduation certificates were presented. Officials, staff, family and friends gathered to celebrate this achievement and to wish the graduates success in their change of career.

Graduates and staff celebrating at the graduation
Graduates and staff celebrating at the graduation

Traditional Chinese Medicine and Longevity – Famous TCM Doctor dies at the age of 104


Professor Dr Deng Tietao of Guangzhou University of TCM in 2011

Professor Dr Deng Tietao of Guangzhou University of TCM in 2011

Dr Deng Tietao was a great friend and supporter of the Irish College of TCM. He died, earlier this month, at the age of 104, although as explained in his Wikipedia entry, this would be calculated a little differently in China. In the West, he would have been said to be nearly 103 at the time of his death.

We first met him in 2000 when he was already 85 years old. He came to teach us during one of the specialist Medical Qigong Courses that was being run exclusively for staff and graduates of the ICTCM.

Professor Deng was a kind, refined and enlightened man who understood the importance of being healthy on all levels – body, mind and spirit. He was a much published author of books on many aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine and his seminal book on Chinese Medical Diagnostics has been published in English. When only in his 50s, his students published a book (in Chinese) as a sign of respect for his excellence as a medical practitioner and teacher, which outlined his regimen for a healthy life and longevity.  This included his daily practice of one of the most famous traditional Qigong forms, called Baduanjin.

A very early illustration of the traditional Qigong form called Baduanjin

A very early illustration of the traditional Qigong form called Baduanjin

During the subsequent years we met him a number of times when he gave guest lectures to groups from our college and met the Director of the College Tom Shanahan to discuss the most important attributes of a Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioner. Both agreed that it was kindness to one’s patients.

The last time we met was in 2011 after he had been awarded the very highest award by the Chinese Government in 2009. He was named a “Master of National Medicine” of China, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the China Society for Chinese Medicine and Pharmacology, and won the Guangdong Science and Technology Award (First Class).

Dr Deng, in his home in Guangzhou, with the President of the ICTCM, Tom Shanahan and the Registrar, Mary Plunkett

Dr Deng, in his home in Guangzhou, with the President of the ICTCM, Tom Shanahan and the Registrar, Mary Plunkett

During our last meeting in 2011 he brushed a unique calligraphy for the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine showing that he gave his great support to our efforts to spread high-quality, authentic Acupuncture and TCM across Europe and the world.  Further information can be found in our 2011 ICTCM news item.

News of his death was announced by the Guangzhou Daily on 10th January 2019. Their article gives an interesting extract from an interview with Dr Deng, who will be much missed by his friends, family and students.