In the Short and Sweet section of our magazine, we love to speak with both emerging and established voices in the holistic world. In our Summer 2020 issue, we had the opportunity to learn more about the stellar work being done by Dundrum-based acupuncturist and herbalist Amanda Nordell. Read on to find out, in Amanda’s words, how acupuncture can make a world of difference to your skin!
Shane McMunn is the founder of Sligo Acupuncture and Tuina (a massage therapy which assists people in releasing physical blockages). He is also chairperson of the Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association (AFPA), the longest established independent professional register of acupuncturists and practitioners of TCM in Ireland. We interviewed him in our Spring 2020 issue to learn more!
All Things Acupuncture
We talk to acupuncturist Shane McMunn
by Aisling Cronin
Shane McMunn is the founder of Sligo Acupuncture and Tuina. He specialises in the ancient Chinese healing practices of acupuncture – a therapy that aims to brings about balance and healing by stimulating certain points on the body with the use of needles – and Tuina – a massage therapy which assists people in releasing physical blockages. His clinic is located in the heart of Sligo town. He also teaches Tai Chi Chuan and Hung Kuen Kung Fu: both traditional Chinese martial arts.
He is also the chairperson of the Acupuncture Foundation Professional Association (AFPA). The AFPA is the longest established independent professional register of acupuncturists and practitioners of TCM in Ireland. Since it was established in 1987, it has been responsible for the regulation and maintenance of a register of acupuncturists who work within the 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.
I had the opportunity to learn more about Shane’s work and what Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) means to him during a recent conversation we had.
‘I became interested in acupuncture quite young, and quite unexpectedly,’ he explains. ‘I was 23 years old, I was doing Tai Chi – which I was very interested in – and I opened up the phone book one day and saw a listing for an acupuncture school in Dublin. It was strange, because I had never known anything about that practice before, but I just had a strong feeling that I needed to do it. I lived in Sligo, so I started commuting to Dublin to learn all about acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine!’
From there, his experience and comfort level with acupuncture and other TCM practices grew ever stronger. He traveled to China, where he spent a month working in a hospital to learn more about the Chinese approach to medicine. He then went to the effort of learning Chinese, and spent some time in London learning about Tuina and Chinese herbal medicine.
Shane has now been a qualified acupuncturist for eleven years. During that time, he has noticed a great increase in public awareness and understanding about the benefits of complementary therapies. ‘When I first qualified, there was very little decent medical literature on the benefits of acupuncture,’ he explains, ‘whereas nowadays, I have seen, in my own practice, that more and more doctors will send people on to me to receive an acupuncture treatment. Many clients come to me because they want to offset the side effects of necessary medication that they may be taking. Acupuncture can also be helpful with pain relief, stress, insomnia or fertility issues.’
Shane is very keen to stress that when people seek out an acupuncture treatment, they do so via a reputable organisation. ‘Acupuncture is not regulated in this country,’ he explains, ‘but it is self-regulated by the organisation. I would recommend that people go to a registered acupuncturist. In our association, the AFPA, we insist on at least three years’ training and we insist that the practitioner is insured.’
Our friends at the College of Naturopathic Medicine (CNM) Ireland have a series of exciting new events to announce during the month of September! Three open evenings will be offered in Dublin, Cork, and Galway, where you can learn all about CNM’s range of courses. Dr. Udo Erasmus will also be appearing at CNM in Dublin for a talk entitled ‘Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill’. Read on to learn more!
CNM’s Open Evenings
CNM offers an incredibly wide range of courses in the field of naturopathic medicine. These include: diploma courses in Naturopathic Nutrition, Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture and Homeopathy; short courses in Nutrition for Everyday Living and Herbs for Everyday Living; and a post-graduate course in Iridology. If you are curious and want to learn more, what better way to do this than by attending one of CNM’s upcoming open evenings?
- CNM will host their Dublin open evening on Wednesday the 12th of September from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. at 25 Wolfe Tone Street, North City, Dublin 1.
- The Cork open evening will also take place on Wednesday the 12th of September from 6.30 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. at Rochestown Park Hotel, Rochestown Road, Douglas, Co. Cork.
- The Galway open evening is scheduled for Tuesday the 18th of September from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m. in the Galway Business School, Salthill, Co. Galway.
Trained Course Consultants will be present at each open evening to answer any questions you may have about the courses and about CNM in general. Each open evening is free to attend – you are simply advised to register your interest using the links above – so why not give one of them a try?
Visit of Dr. Udo Erasmus
Health-promoting fats have been shown to help prevent and reverse so-called incurable degenerative diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and type II diabetes. These fats also enhance athletic performance, skin beauty, longevity, and energy levels.
Dr. Udo Erasmus is an internationally recognised nutritionist, lecturer, and writer who specialises in the study of fats, oils, cholesterol, and essential fatty acids.
In collaboration with Savant Health, Dr. Erasmus will visit CNM Dublin on the 6th of September, exposing the manufacturing processes that can turn healthy fats into ‘killing’ fats. He will explain the impact of both good and bad fats on human health and disease.
During his talk, you will learn:
- The role of fats in the diet – the good, bad and the ugly.
- How to improve your diet with digestive enzymes and probiotics.
- Current research on common and less well-known oils with therapeutic potential.
Dr. Erasmus’ talk will take place from 6.30 to 8.30 p.m. on Thursday 6th September in CNM Dublin, Griffith College, South Circular Road, Merchants’ Quay, Dublin 8. Tickets cost €15. To book your place, just click here.
Dheai Ilsaaid is a general Oriental practitioner and author who has trained extensively in acupuncture, Reiki, massage, iridology, cranial sacral manipulation and many more healing methodologies. He treats children under the age of fifteen for free. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The best way to contact him is to call him on 086 077 7700. I met with Dheai to discuss the differences between Eastern and Western forms of medical treatment, how he approaches his healing sessions, and his new book, ‘Oriental Medicine & Eastern Philosophy’.
by Aisling Cronin
If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to the fundamental concepts that inform Oriental healing practices, Dheai Ilsaaid’s book Oriental Medicine & Eastern Philosophy is one to read. Two of the most important concepts – Qi and Yin/Yang – are explained succinctly in the book. Dheai says, “Qi (Chi) is the life force of every living thing in the universe. Just as different cells have different functions in the body, so also are there different types of Qi, relating to the different organs and their functions. There is Yin Qi and Yang Qi.”
Of Yin and Yang, Dheai says, “Yin is the fluid aspect of everything. Its function in the human body is to cool and moisturise and nourish the cells and organs. Yang represents the warming and the pushing upwards activities, such as circulation. Hence, Yin needs Yang. Yin is fluid in nature, Yang is movement or energy.”
Dheai treats a wide range of both mental and physical ailments such as insomnia, depression, respiratory problems, epilepsy, arthritis, infertility, high blood pressure and diabetes. Dheai uses many techniques to assess his clients’ ailments, based on the philosophies of yin and yang and the five elements. These techniques include facial diagnosis, tongue diagnosis and pulse diagnosis. He may also recommend treatments for the subconscious mind, including neurolinguistic programming techniques, positive affirmations, mindfulness, meditation, dream interpretation and hypnosis.
Dheai believes in treating each client as an individual, rather than assuming that every person who comes to his clinic with a similar complaint must have an identical cause behind that complaint. During our conversation, he offered a simple example of three people coming to him with a headache. One client may have developed a headache because of suppressed anger, another could be dealing with suppressed jealousy, while the third client’s headache might be caused by a poor sleeping pattern.
Bearing this in mind, when Dheai diagnoses a client, he uses a range of indicators to determine their health issues, then selects the best treatment for that specific individual. These treatments can include nutritional advice, a course of acupuncture treatments, exercises to improve postural alignment, or specific types of physical movements that retrain the subconscious mind.
Dheai is enthusiastic and passionate about spreading his knowledge about health to as many people as possible. He treats children under the age of fifteen for free. Children must be accompanied by an adult guardian when they visit his clinic.
Dheai practices in Waterford, Templemore and Dublin. He also runs his own Private College of Acupuncture and Oriental Complementary Medicine. The best way to contact Dheai is to call him on 086 077 7700. His website is generalorientalpractitioner.
FIVE REASONS TO TRY ACUPUNCTURE
By Candice Behan
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is a complete medical system that is capable of diagnosing and successfully treating a wide range of conditions. But like many alternative medicine options, it is often seen as a ‘last
resort’ therapy choice. Patients are often pleasantly surprised to find relief when other more traditional methods have failed them.
So often a happy client will tell me they wish they had tried acupuncture sooner. My only thought as to why more people don’t seek the help of an acupuncturist earlier is that they simply do not know what it has to offer. And while I want to be clear that acupuncture is a great choice for most medical troubles, here are a select few that it treats especially well.
Acupuncture enhances fertility by reducing stress, balancing the endocrine system, and increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, including the ovaries and uterus. This increases the chances that an egg will be properly nourished and carried to full term. And since most fertility issues begin with irregularities of the menstrual cycle, I always advise women to seek treatment to correct their cycle before they want to conceive. It is important to note that infertility affects both women and men equally, and acupuncture successfully treats both.
The Olive Tree Studio
By Estelle Birdy
A growing, living, breathing space.
Time has flown since I took over the lovely Olive Tree Studio in February 2013. The work to get the studio to where it should be continues, but what fun the past nine months have been!
The teachers and therapists who worked there before me couldn’t have been kinder or more generous with their welcome. The space itself felt just perfect to me but what has happened since, was a wonderful surprise.
The studio has attracted new people; dance teachers of all kinds, karate senseis, acupuncturists, sound therapists, new yoga teachers, tarot readers, new massage therapists. There seems to be an endless sea of energy. Our afternoons see it filled with laughter at our kids yoga, dance and karate classes. Our mornings and evenings filled with the bliss of yoga, dance, meditation and pilates classes for all ages and abilities.
Our treatment room is constantly busy with massage, acupuncture, Feldenkrais, tarot and sound therapy clients. Our website, a work in progress, has been totally revamped. Mirrors and a ballet barre added to our studio equipment and yet there’s still lots to do.
It’s a labour of love to continue growing it into a calm oasis where people of all ages can come for a time out. It’s a small studio with a big heart and that is down to the beautiful people who work at the studio and the endless good humour and energy of those who attend our classes.
Fertility isn’t all age related. Many 40yr olds can conceive successfully. Research is being conducted in Toronto to show that the eggs of older women can perhaps be rejuvenated with COQ10. Superfoods such as wheatgrass, Spirulina, and COQ10 are vital to the production of high quality eggs. A customized prescription of Chinese herbs from an herbal pharmacy may also help.
If you do find yourself having fertility problems, check there is nothing going on structurally, e.g. blockages or infection. Then look at the cycle length, ovulation and bleed quality. Eggs go through a 90-120 days maturation phase (4 months). During that period, your lifestyle is key to the results of those eggs, whether seeking natural pregnancy or IVF.
Treatments like Acupuncture and Femoral Massage increase blood flow to pelvic organs and provide nourishment to the uterus and ovaries. This will bring about a higher success rate.
The fertility clinic at Melt Natural Healing Centre is a Chinese Medicine clinic. We assist couples diagnosed with unexplained fertility problems by designing a comprehensive therapeutic program through traditional Chinese Medicine that supports their reproductive journey. We also use reflexology, lymph drainage and herbalism in our treatments to assist with your acupuncture program.
Kinesiologist, Acupuncturist, Touch for Health Instructor By Anja Ottenheim
A touching tale of healing
For me, the human body is so well designed that it also has a warning system, just like a flashing light in a car. For instance, how sadness can be seen reflected in one’s posture, and how fear can translate into lower back pain. Or when I have a headache after eating cheese, this could tell me that I have sensitivity to dairy. Energy pathways in my body can link a pain in the back of my knee to my gallbladder.
Coming from a healthcare background where it was only possible to treat the physical ailments without looking at the complete picture, I felt that there was something missing. There should be a tool that is able to help the body’s balancing ability. I found this tool to be Touch for Health.
With the use of muscle testing, I can evaluate many aspects of a person’s health and lifestyle, and discover the hidden causes of many problems. Also, they don’t have to wait for results; most of the time, they feel them immediately.
The most beautiful thing about Touch for Health is that everybody can learn it. I use it as a first aid in my family home.
After practicing and teaching Touch for Health for many years, I am still amazed and excited to see the wonderful results in changing people’s lives.