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

New Qigong Prospectus

Qigong Prospectus cover
We are happy to announce that we will, once again, be running two Qigong courses this year, starting in early September 2015:

    The Certificate in Qigong
    The Certificate in Medical Qigong

These part time, weekend-only, courses are ideal for those wishing to slowly build up skills and knowledge of Qigong or Medical Qigong.
You do not have to be an Acupuncturist or TCM Practitioner to join the Certificate in Qigong Course.

Full details of each course is provided in the new Prospectus which is available here.

Attendance at one of the Introductory Workshop weekends run at our College in Dublin 3 is a pre-requisite for joining either of the Certificate courses.

We intend to offer another Workshop Weekend in late July.

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.

    Welcome to our new students of Acupuncture TCM

    Educationfair-banner-no.1We are very happy to welcome all the new Acupuncture TCM students who started their training with us last month on the part-time Professional Acupuncture Training programme – the Licentiate in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

    Applications for this year are now closed.

    Interviews for the October 2015 intake (our 32nd intake, if memory serves me right) will commence shortly.

    Acupuncture, Qigong & TCM Degree programmes

    The Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine – Academic Year 2014-2015.

    The new academic year has begun.  The Clinical students on the Lic.TCM course have already commenced their clinical training year with us and will shortly be treating clients in the Teaching Clinic. We wish them all a successful, enjoyable, busy and productive year, which will pass in a flash.

    Our new intake of Acupuncture TCM students will be taking their first step onto the path of the intriguing journey that is Traditional  Chinese Medicine on Saturday 18th October, when we will also be welcoming back our second year students.

    Additionally, on the weekend of 11th and 12 October, the Qigong Workshop will introduce members of the public who have signed up for the course, to Qian Tai Qigong – brought directly by us from China.

    Students who have applied for the next Master Degree or Doctoral Degree will be starting their programmes in 2015.



    Acupuncture Training 2014, last chance to apply

    Qi, 氣

    Qi, 氣

    We look forward to welcoming our new students to the start of this year’s Acupuncture training course, the Licentiate in TCM.

    This year’s course begins, as always, in mid-October, so if you are thinking of making a last minute application you are advised to phone us on 01 8559000 or 087 9552139. For international students the prefix for Ireland is +353.

    We look forward to receiving applications from suitable candidates. No prior knowledge of Western Medicine or Chinese Medicine is required.

    The application form and fee information is available online by pressing the DOWNLOAD PROSPECTUS button on our website.

    Details of the course can be found under Course information.The part time 3 year course is run from our purpose-designed college and teaching clinic in Dublin 3 – only 10 minutes walk from the O2 Centre (The Point Depot).

    Graduates who wish to do so can progress to a 2 year part time Masters degree – validated by Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine and mainly run in Dublin.

    Applications for the October 2015 course may also be submitted now using the 2014 Prospectus download.