Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the most well-known of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatment therapies. Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine, sterile disposable needles into pre-selected points on the body. These points stimulate the body's natural defense to fight disease, correct imbalance and bring about an over-all positive therapeutic change.

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How does Acupuncture Work?

There is no doubt that acupuncture works in the treatment of many injuries, ailments and maladies. In an answer to the question, `how it works`, the answer you get depends on how an acupuncturist was trained.

Acupuncture is a treatment form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). As the name suggests, TCM is from China and is estimated to be about 4000 years old. The TCM explanation of anatomy and physiology is that as well as organs and blood vessels etc., channels of energy run in regular cycles throughout the body and over its surface. These energy channels, known as meridians (Jing Luo in Chinese) are abundant in 'life force energy', called 'Qi' (Pronounced Chi). The Qi flows via the meridians throughout the body to irrigate and nourish the tissues. Health implies an even and balanced flow of energy through the meridians. Contrary, any obstruction, slowing down, quickening etc. of this energy flow leads to illness and disease.

The meridians of the body can be influenced by needling the acupuncture points which lie along them. The acupuncture needles unblock any obstructions to the Qi flow and re-establish its regular movement through the meridians. Acupuncture, therefore, helps the body's internal organs to correct imbalances in their digestion, absorption and energy production activities and bring about a return to health.

Thus far, the scientific explanation for why Acupuncture works is that it stimulates the central and sympathetic nervous system. Stimulation of the nervous system via acupuncture releases chemicals in the brain, spinal cord and body tissue. These chemicals in turn can have an analgesic effect or will trigger the release of other chemicals such as proteins and hormones which influence the body's own internal healing/regulating system promoting both physical and emotional well being.

Research suggests that acupuncture has several mechanisms of action. Science has discovered that acupuncture works in part by stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemicals. This helps regulate pain perception and treat conditions such as anxiety and depression. Acupuncture also stimulates blood flow and tissue repair and helps in reducing high blood pressure. Acupuncture also sends signals to the brain which reboots the autonomic nervous system which governs unconscious functions such as heart beat, respiration and digestion.

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What ailments are treatable with Acupuncture?

Although not exhaustive here is a list of the most common complaints treated by Acupuncture & TCM in our clinic.

You can also browse our Articles & Resources for further information.

Acne Emotional Upset Knee Pain
Anemia Facial Paralysis Lower Back Pain
Angina Fatigue Menopause
Anorexia Fibromyalgia Menstrual Problems
Anxiety Frozen Shoulder Morning Sickness
Arthritis Gastric Problems Nausea
Asthma Golfer's Elbow Pain
Back Pain Headaches Palpitations
Bladder Problems Heel Problems Panic Attacks
Bulimia Hernia Pain PMS / PMT
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Hot Flushes Post Operative Pain
Catarrh Build Up Hypertension Psoriasis
Colitis Hypotension Rheumatism
Constipation IBS Sciatica
Cystitis Incontinence Sinusitis
Depression Indigestion Sports Injury
Dizziness Infertility Stress
Earache Insomnia Stroke Rehab
Eczema Irritability Ulcer Pain
Edema Joint Pain Vomiting

Click here to view the World Health Organization (WHO) list of ailments treatable with Acupuncture (PDF File)

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Does Acupuncture hurt?

Acupuncture is not like getting an injection or having blood drawn. As a first time experience, I understand that Acupuncture can be slightly un-nerving, but any concerns about what it feels like quickly pass once you've experienced it. It's safe to say that it doesn't hurt beyond an occasional 'pinch' and it's both safe and suitable to use on people of all ages from the elderly to the very young.

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Where do the needles go?

Starting with your first visit, you will begin your Acupuncture treatment. Treatment is sometimes done while you sit comfortably in a chair, but most times treatment is done while you are lying down and relaxed. With a majority of cases Acupuncture points on the forearm and lower leg are appropriate. Depending on your complaint, points on the head, back and torso are also used. The number of needles used is between 3 and 6 usually, again depending on the condition. Needles are kept in place for anything from a few moments to 20 minutes.

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What is a visit to the Acupuncturist like?

Similar to a visit to your GP, visits to your Acupuncturist are on an individual basis and by appointment. Your first visit can last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. After giving your medical history, I'll ask you detailed questions about your complaint and encourage you to talk openly about anything you think is relevant to your case. Anything you discuss with me is treated in strictest confidence. Along with a detailed discussion there are two diagnostic checks that make up part of your visit: these are taking your pulse and taking an observation of your tongue.

Once a diagnosis is made, we will begin with your first acupuncture session. Wearing loose, comfortable clothing is best but if you didn't have time to change, don't worry. Just come as you are. What you wear won't make the slightest difference in giving the very best Acupuncture treatment.

Needles are left in for various durations, but usually no more than 20 to 30 minutes. All you have to do is lie back, relax and allow the treatment to do its work. In many instances, Acupuncture is so relaxing that people doze off.

Sometimes after Acupuncture you may be so relaxed you may even feel a little groggy. If you're driving home it's best to sit a while until you're a little more alert and ready for the trip home.

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What should I wear for my appointment?

Loose comfortable clothing is ideal for Acupuncture treatment but if you haven't had time to change from work clothes etc, just come as you are. Wearing what's most comfortable for you is important but no matter what you wear it won't make a difference in providing you we the very best care.

Depending on where treatment is required removal of shoes, socks, trousers or shirts can sometimes be required.

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How often will I need to go for Acupuncture?

Although improvement can be remarkably fast, Acupuncture is not a magic bullet. It is an effective treatment for many kinds of illnesses and can provide gradual and sustained improvement relative to the severity of the illness, how long you've had it, and your age. I will discuss all the options available to you. In some cases, this may involve a short course of sessions over a number of days or in more difficult, chronic cases a series of treatments over several weeks or sometimes months may be more appropriate. It is always my intention to get you back to health, in as much as your body will allow, in the shortest time possible.

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How much does Acupuncture cost?

The cost of treatment can vary depending on the specifics of your ailment/condition. To view a current price list simply click here.

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Are Acupuncture treatment costs covered by my Health Insurer?

All our Acupuncture & Massage treatments are recognized by the following Health Insurers.

  • VHI Healthcare
  • Laya Healthcare
  • Aviva Healthcare

Depending on your policy you can claim a percentage of your treatments with us against your out-patient medical expenses. Please ring or contact your Health Insurer to find out the particular details of your policy.

Acupuncture or massage is not covered for medical card holders. That said however, I work very closely with Dr. Stan Natin & Dr Lucy Lynam in Swords. If either one of these GPs refers a medical card holder to me, we can provide a discounted rate for all of our Acupuncture & Massage treatments. Medical card holders are treated on Wednesday mornings at our clinic.

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Is there parking available?

There is free on-street parking directly outside the clinic for 3 cars. Please feel free to park here if a space is available. Failing this, there is paid parking around the corner beside the harp bar / Carnegie Court Hotel / North Street at 1.50 Euro per hour. Please do not park in front of other people's houses or premises.

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How do I make an appointment?

If you have never attended our clinic before, simply complete the 'Make an Appointment' form available on this site. Additional treatments if required are ordinarily scheduled at the end of your first treatment.

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What should I do if I am running late or need to change/cancel my appointment?

This is your appointment time, so please arrive at least 5 minutes prior to your appointment as lateness effects clients who are receiving treatments and has a knock-on effect on clients who follow later. If en route to your appointment it looks likely you will be delayed do please get in contact and we can work out the best solution for you around our other appointments in that days timetable.

In rare cases where you will be very late, your appointment may unavoidably have to be rescheduled to another day. Regrettably, this will also incur you paying for your missed appointment in full. We hope you appreciate the necessity for this. Forgetting or being unreasonably late for appointments causes an inconvenience to others, effects the smooth running of the clinic and hampers our efforts to provide you, and all our clients, the highest quality of treatment and care.

Should you become aware that you are unable to make your appointment, we require a minimum of 24 hours notice for cancellation. Regrettably, same day cancellation will incur paying for your missed appointment in full. This can be avoided however if there is another available space in that day's timetable, either earlier or later than your cancelled appointment, that you are able to attend. Special offers or care package discounts will not apply in cases of late cancellation. We understand that life happens and we will do all we can to work with you in a way that accommodates both yours and our valuable time & money.

If you miss an appointment that was reserved in advance as part of a care package, you will forfeit that session from the total.

If you must leave mid-treatment, you will be charged for the full session.

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