In a new weekly column, leading acupuncturist Elaine McMenamin will explain the finer points of acupuncture. 

If you, like many others, have always wanted to try acupuncture but were too apprehensive or

didn't fully understand the treatment, I'm here to help!

My journey with acupuncture began from an early age through my dad, who is one of Donegal's

leading acupuncturists.

Unlike a lot of children, I rarely visited the doctors as my dad was happy to treat anything that

was wrong with me through his knowledge of Eastern medicine.

As i grew up I found that I wanted to have a job that I was not only passionate about but also

have one were I could help people.

So, I asked my dad about studying acupuncture and now here I am - via a brief stint studying

the wonders of acupuncture in China!

Why not acupuncture?!

If you have never tried acupuncture before, WHY NOT?! It is such a beautiful form of medicine

that has been used for thousands of years, as opposed to the relatively new western medicine.

The treatment is based on thousands of years of case studies and patterns that are all still

relevant today, perhaps even more so.

What is acupuncture?

According to wikipedia, Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine in which thin needles are

inserted into the body. But it is oh so much more than this!

Also, I’m not so keen on that word “alternative”. Acupuncture is not alternative, its

complimentary. It works hand in hand beautifully with western medicine.

Acupuncture is different to western medicine however, as it is a holistic form of treatment.

(Dictionary definition of holistic: characterised by the treatment of the whole person, taking into

account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.)

So for example, if you were suffering with headaches/migraines, your doctor would provide you

with pain medication to deal with the symptom. Chinese medicine however, seeks to fix the

cause of the symptoms, whether it be stress, diet, menstrual or whatever the problems may be.

Identifying symptons

The Chinese call it the ben biao or root and branch, meaning that the whole body is looked at, not just where the symptoms are showing.

I often use this analogy when explaining to new patients about acupuncture: There is a hole in

the road that needs fixed, so once roadworks begin, traffic is slow, backed up and sometimes

stops. This is the same within our body. It is like a domino effect.

Acupuncture steps in to fix the original problem, but it also deals with the symptoms


I see a wide range of issues in my clinic from fertility to pain so please feel free to send me an

email if you have any further questions.

To see what acupuncture treats are available, visit my website (see below).

Elaine McMenamin Lic. Ac Dip. Ac. C. Ac. (Nanjing)

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 085 734 9390.

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