We loved chatting to Caroline McHugh, a skilled acupuncture practitioner and founder of BodyLogic Acupuncture & Sports Injury Clinic, in our Summer 2021 issue. She told us all about what acupuncture is, how clients typically experience this modality, and why it can be beneficial. Read our feature below to learn more.
The Finer Points
by Aisling Cronin
Acupuncture is a popular healing modality that can help alleviate a wide range of mental and physical conditions. According to Caroline McHugh – an experienced acupuncturist – it can be used alongside conventional medical treatment to address a host of issues. Caroline is the founder of BodyLogic Acupuncture & Sports Injury Clinic, and in recent years, she has noticed a growing number of GPs referring patients to her clinic.
Acupuncture is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves stimulating specific acupuncture points on the body – which lie along energy channels or meridians – with very thin needles. These needles are then manipulated very gently by the acupuncturist, with the aim of stimulating the flow of Qi or energy to help restore and balance harmony throughout the body.
Qi is believed to flow through meridians, or pathways, in the human body, and the Chinese believe that when this flow is disrupted in some way, disease can occur as a result.
The experience of this treatment can vary greatly from person to person. Caroline says, ‘the experience or sensation of Qi can feel very different to different people. For some people, it can feel like a gentle tingling sensation after the needle has been inserted. The experience is different for everybody.’
Caroline specialises in treating musculo-skeletal conditions and assisting women and couples with fertility issues; it is very important to help reduce the couple’s stress and anxiety levels during these anxious times.
‘Given the high levels of stress and anxiety many people have lived through this year, acupuncture is extremely beneficial in helping people with these issues,’ she explains. ‘It can be used alongside counselling and therapy. People feel that acupuncture benefits them because it involves doing something proactive about what they are going through. Clients of mine have reported that during the treatment sessions, they feel relaxed, which helps them to cope better over time with things that would have previously stressed them out.’
Caroline is also passionate about helping women with issues that prevent them from successfully conceiving. ‘I deal a lot with women’ issues, with menstrual cycle irregularities, and with helping couples to boost their fertility. I greatly enjoy being able to make a difference and help people by doing what I love.’
For people who wish to learn more about acupuncture, or find a skilled acupuncturist in their area, Caroline recommends consulting the Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association (AFPA).
The AFPA is the longest established independent professional register of acupuncturists and TCM practitioners in Ireland. Since its establishment in 1987, the body has been responsible for the regulation and maintenance of a register of acupuncturists who work within guidelines set out in 2006 by the Department of Health and Children. Their members are all bound by a Code of Ethics and Practice which is strictly enforced by the AFPA.
As a committee member of the AFPA, Caroline is passionate about spreading awareness about acupuncture. ‘I came from a sports therapy background,’ she shares, ‘so when I first came across the concept of acupuncture, it certainly took me some time to wrap my head around it … but I have witnessed, time and time again, how this treatment can help people.’