Acupuncture related articles blogs and faqs from Maired Fahy of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic, Gorey, Co. Wexford

Infertility and Traditional Chinese Medicine

By Mairead Fahy R.G.N., Dip Ac and TCM, C Ac Nanjing (China)


Infertility in all its guises has long been an emotive and complicated issue for many couples, and with many couples now deciding to postpone starting a family because of lifestyle and / or financial reasons; infertility has become an increasingly prevalent problem of contemporary society.

There are many physiological reasons for infertility, many of which include
Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and Uterine Fibroids, but Hormonal imbalances, which can include elevated FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) or Prolactin levels can account for a huge proportion of a woman’s inability to conceive, as can Anovulation (failure to ovulate) and irregular menstruation. However, there are many unexplained reasons for infertility also, which may have stress, diet and lifestyle influences as a portion of the causative factor.pregnancy-fertility-acupuncture-gorey-wexford (4)

The male role in this cannot be underestimated either. Good quality and quantity of sperm with adequate motility is essential also for conception to occur.

How can Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine enhance fertility?

Chinese Medicine has been treating infertility for over two and a half thousand years, and its effectiveness cannot be underestimated. Its main function is to bring the body back into balance in every way, harmonising Yin, Yang, Qi and Blood and because of this it can therefore:

    • Normalise hormonal imbalances
    • Regulate menstruation
    • Increase blood flow to the uterus and increase uterine thickness
    • Diminish chances of miscarriage
    • Improve sperm count, motility and morphology
    • Reduce stress and anxiety

Many couples are now also choosing to use acupuncture as an adjunct to IVF fertility treatment. Recent research has been published to demonstrate the role of acupuncture in helping to increase success rates of IVF around the time of embryo transfer. The research, which was published in the British Medical Journal of 7/2/08, states…”acupuncture increased the odds of clinical pregnancy by 65% compared to the control groups”.

How can Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine help with IVF and ICSI?chinese-herbal-medicine-2

    • Improves the function of the ovaries to produce better quality eggs
    • Helps to regulate hormone levels to help produce a larger number of follicles
    • Increases blood flow to the uterus which in turn creates a thicker uterine lining which enhances the likelihood of implantation of the embryo
    • Relaxes the uterus during implantation to minimise painful cramping
    • Decreases the side effects of the drugs used in IVF, e.g., emotional instability, insomnia, palpitations, headaches etc.,

It is always advisable though not essential, for preparation with acupuncture and sometimes Chinese Herbs, to begin 3 months prior to commencement of IVF. In this way, the optimum environment for implantation can be naturally achieved. The treatment method will vary according to the patient’s individual diagnosis and degree of infertility, but it is not unheard of, for the lady to become pregnant naturally in this time!

Mairead Fahy R.G.N., Dip Ac and TCM, C Ac Nanjing (China).
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic,
The Palms Centre,
The Avenue,
Gorey, Co. Wexford.
Ph: 0539483155 / 0876452409

Japanese Cosmetic Acupuncture

Clinical Research

For research on how Acupuncture may help skin conditions click on the links below:

Men’s Health

Clinical Research


Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is hugely effective in helping the body cope with stress, and alleviating symptoms, and research is abundant in demonstrating this.



Research has shown that Acupuncture can be highly effective in treating Impotence.


Sperm Quality and Quantity


Pain Management

Clinical Research

Efficacy of Acupuncture on Osteoarthritic Pain — A Controlled, Double-Blind Study
Albert C. Gaw, M.D., Lennig W. Chang, M.D., and Lein-Chun Shaw, M.D.
N Engl J Med 1975; 293:375-378August 21, 1975DOI: 10.1056/NEJM197508212930803

German Acupuncture Trials (Gerac) For Chronic Low Back Pain
Randomized, Multicenter, Blinded, Parallel-Group Trial With 3 Groups FREE
Michael Haake, Phd, Md; Hans-Helge MüLler, Phd; Carmen Schade-Brittinger; Heinz D. Basler, Phd; Helmut SchäFer, Phd; Christoph Maier, Phd, Md; Heinz G. Endres, Md; Hans J. Trampisch, Phd; Albrecht Molsberger, Phd, Md

Mayo Clin Proc. 2006 Jun;81(6):749-57.
Improvement in fibromyalgia symptoms with acupuncture: results of a randomized controlled trial.
Martin DP1, Sletten CD, Williams BA, Berger IH.

Traditional Acupuncture in Migraine: A Controlled, Randomized Study
Enrico Facco, MD; Aldo Liguori, MD; Filomena Petti, MD; Gastone Zanette, MD; Flaminia Coluzzi, MD; Marco De Nardin, MD; Consalvo Mattia,

Acupuncture Unlocks Frozen Shoulder Pain – New Research

Women’s Health

Clinical Research

An Exploratory Pilot Study of Acupuncture on the Quality of Life and Reproductive Hormone Secretion in Menopausal Women

To cite this article:

Hongguang Dong, Frank Lüdicke, Isabelle Comte, Aldo Campana, Patrick Graff, and Paul Bischof. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. December 2001, 7(6): 651-658. doi:10.1089/10755530152755207.

Published in Volume: 7 Issue 6: July 5, 2004 search

Acupuncture helps relieve PMS symptoms including stress and anxiety.

Acupuncture For Fertility

Clinical Research

Recent research shows that Acupuncture can:

  • Increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries
  • Regulate hormones to produce a large number of follicles
  • Improve the quality and thickness of the uterine lining
  • Improve hormone levels including FSH, Prolactin, Oestrogen and Progesterone
  • Reduce stress
  • Regulate the Menstrual cycle

There are also studies to show that Acupuncture can be highly effective in improving conception for women undergoing IVF (Click here for research). The most commonly quoted research is from the Department of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany. Commonly known as The German Report, it studied 160 patients undergoing IVF randomized into 2 groups of 80, one group which received acupuncture pre and post embryo transfer, and the control group which received no acupuncture. The results showed that 34 out of the 80 patients (42.5%) who received acupuncture achieved a positive pregnancy test, compared to 21 of the 80 in the control group (26.3%).

The thought here is that Acupuncture received as close to transfer both pre and post, can reduce uterine contractions which might result in expulsion of the embryo, or may prevent a successful implantation.

In general, if a couple is deciding to have Acupuncture to either enhance natural conception, or to assist in IVF or other ART procedures, it is advisable to undergo at least 3 months of treatment. This is based on the knowledge that it takes 3 months for healthy eggs and/or sperm to form, so that in this way the body is at its optimum health for conception to occur. Of course if trying naturally, conception may happen within this time frame, and in this case Acupuncture can be utilised to prevent miscarriage in the first Trimester. Special attention is placed on Diet and Lifestyle advice in this time also, again so that the body is in its healthiest state for pregnancy to occur.

Fertility Research

Acupuncture can increase blood flow to the uterus (Stener-Victorin E, et al Human Reproduction Oxford Journal 1996; Vol. 11, No. 6, pp.1314-1317 )

Acupuncture on the day of embryo transfer significantly improves the reproductive outcome of IVF, compared with no acupuncture (Westergaard L et al, Fertility and Sterility April 2006 Vol 85, pp. 1341-1346 ).

Dept of Reproductive Medicine, Christian-Lauritzen-Institut, Ulm, Germany. Fertil Steril 2002:77;721-4. 2002. American Society of Reproductive Medicine.

Luteal-phase acupuncture has a positive effect on the outcome of IVF/ICSI (Dieterle S et al, Fertility and Sterility May 2006 Vol 85, pp. 1347-1351 ).

‘Acupuncture Normalizes Dysfunction of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Ovarian Axis’
Bo-Ying Chen M.D. Prof. Of Neurobiology, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai 200032, P.R.China.
(Received June 3, 1997; ccvepted with revisions June 30, 1997)
Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Res., Int. J., Vol 22, pp. 97-108, 1997. Copyright © 1997 Cognizant Communication Corp.

Acupuncture seems to be a useful tool for improving pregnancy rate after ART. (Paulus W et al, Fertility and Sterility April 2002 Vol 77, pp. 721-724 ).

Shonishin. Japanese Acupuncture for children


For most of us the idea of putting needles in children for any reason would be something we would rather not do.
So as Acupuncture is a treatment method which uses needles to treat illness or disharmony in the body, I am often asked if it can be used on children. The answer is yes it can, but for obvious reasons children automatically associate the needles with pain, which upsets them, and in turn upsets us the parents/adults.

But there is a way of treating children as young as a few weeks old, using Oriental Medical techniques. The technique is called “Shonishin”, and it is a Japanese treatment method especially for children. Shonishin uses methods of stroking, tapping and scraping with special non invasive tools along the acupuncture meridians,both back and front, from head to toe instead of using acupuncture needles. It literally means “no needles”.

The theory is that childrens energy or “Qi” is so vibrant and new, that the balancing required when treating adults and thus necessitating acupuncture needles is not required. Because of their “newness”, children respond to treatment much quicker than adults, and quite often only a few sessions is required. Add onto this a childs love of being touched and stroked, and overall it leads to a very enjoyable experience for the child. Absolutely no tears! (It is always advisable that a parent or guardian is present).

So what can Shonishin treat?

It is especially good for:

Asthma, Allergies (including Hayfever), Anxiety, Constipation, Crying, Colic, Cough, Behavioural problems, Sleep disturbance, Sinusitis, Skin problems such as Exzema or Psoriasis, and other signs of stress.

For more information, please give me a call. Mairead Fahy, 0539483155 or 0876452409.

Feel better and lose weight with Acupuncture and TCM

So.. now the Christmas festivities are over! You’ve eaten and drank enough for the whole year ahead, and no matter how good you had been before the silly season.. the effects of the Christmas splurge are now beginning to make themselves evident. Youre tired, irritable, sluggish, the pounds have piled on, and you just don’t seem to have the motivation to do anything about it! So … what can you do? You would join the gym, but you just don’t have the energy… you could go on a diet but whats the point? Don’t despair… there is help… probably in a way you’ve never even considered before… Acupuncture! It can – believe it or not , kick start your new attitude and your new year!

Never thought about acupuncture in these terms? Not surprisingly! Most people associate acupuncture with the relief of pain… and it is indeed unrivalled in this respect! In fact, acupuncture can work where all else fails – but it can do so much more than this!

It is only one branch of an ancient system of medicine called Traditional Chinese Medicine, – and because it is so ancient and a medicine in its own right, it has a method of diagnosis which is unique also. Because of this, when you attend an acupuncturist for treatment.. you will hear terms such as “Damp”, “Cold”, Heat”, “Deficiency”, “Excess”, “Qi”, (pronounced Chee), and how a combination of any of these diagnostic terms, can affect the smooth flow of energy within the body organs, and thus affect the energy of the body itself!

In the case of the festive indulgences, quite often any of the above may have been either introduced, or have aggravated an already existing condition, by improper eating and drinking, and the energies of the Spleen and Stomach organs may have been affected. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, as in conventional medicine, the Spleen and Stomach play a vital role in digestive functions.

Just a note about the Spleen!

The Spleen in particular is of vital importance in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the organ of adaptation, and its special function is to “Transport and “Transform”. What this means essentially is that the Spleen adapts to our particular nutritional needs, transforming the food we eat into Blood and energy and transporting it around the body to nourish the fascia, muscles and brain. So when we “overload” it with inappropriate food and drink , its function of “Transporting and Transforming” is greatly impaired, and we are left feeling bloated, sluggish, constipated, tired, unmotivated and cant think clearly.

So how does Acupuncture work to re invigorate your Spleen and Stomach? Put very simply… the insertion of very fine, sterile disposable needles along certain points of the body including the ear, which travel along pathways of Qi or energy, which also flow through the organs of the body, – can boost what needs boosting, clear whatever is detrimental to the smooth flow of Qi, (energy) and, in general, bring the body back to a state of balance and harmony. The result is that you feel better, your metabolism increases, and with a healthier diet and a little exercise (you will feel so good you will want to do it!) – you will even start to lose weight!

So make Acupuncture part of your New Year resolution, and take the first important steps to improving your health and your life.
Call Mairead Fahy, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic, The Avenue, Gorey, Co. Wexford. 0539483155 or 0876452409.

Dr Tan Balance Method

Dr Tans Balance Method. London August 2013.

On August the 8th 9th 10th and 11th of this year in London…..I was fortunate enough to be in the presence of greatness!

And I don’t use that phrase lightly, for that is what this man is….Dynamic, Innovative, Inspirational, wise, actually really entertaining, and Oh so clever! The great Dr. Tan, who is the creator of The Balance Method of Acupuncture, and whose influence has certainly revolutionized my own practice since I started using it only a few weeks ago!
Over the course of 4 days, Dr. Tan gave his class of 20 to 30 students, the benefits of his years of practice, experience and discovery in Acupuncture, and he didn’t hold back! The intensity of the information was astounding. For 7 hrs each day, we were on a voyage of discovery that was as exciting as it was mind – boggling, and as revolutionary as it was logical! Because what Dr Tan has actually done is applied an engineering style of logic to an ancient medicine system, and blown away the bogey men!

Ever wondered why P6 opens the chest and calms the mind? We know empirically from the Classical texts that this is what it does, but learning the functions of the points in Acupuncture up to now has been a little like religion… an element of faith is required without full understanding. Well in Dr Tans Balance Method, it all makes sense, because it can be logically thought out! The Balance Method!!

Dr Tans Balance Method is based on the principle of “Li Gan Jian Ying”, which means “When you stand a pole under the sun you immediately see its shadow”. Translate this into Acupuncture terminology and it means that Acupuncture should work IMMEDIATELY to relieve pain! As he says in his book “Acupuncture 1, 2, 3, “I have been watching how Acupuncture is practiced in the Western world for more than two decades. During this time I have realized that many practitioners do not see optimal results from their treatments when I know they should……..the Acupuncturist should have no doubt about the effectiveness of the treatment because the results are instantaneous.”

We observed this principle in action for ourselves every day, because each day around 4pm, Dr Tan would treat up to 5 people at one time, some of whom were members of the class, and others who were invited by members of the class. If it was a painful condition we were able to observe for ourselves “Li Gan Jiang Yang” in action, as within a maximum timeframe of 5 minutes, the pain was gone!

Of course Acupuncture is about more than treating physical pain. It is also as we all know about helping the body to heal a disharmony of any kind, which includes systemic disorders like Menopause, Stress, Hormonal issues, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and even Infertility from any cause. In Dr Tans way of thinking the same methods are applied but he has formulated a system of treatment which includes terms like “Global Balance”, “Matrix Analysis”, “Meridian Conversion Therapy”, “Smart point combos!”, and has devised a whole new way of thinking about Acupuncture. I have since used his “4 Magical Meridians”, his 8 Magical points plus 1”, his 12 Magical Points”, which are all new terms applied to providing Balance to the body.. One lady I had been treating for really chronic Irritable Bowel Syndrome / Stress in the conventional way (or the Zang Fu way), came in to me 4 days after Id tried Dr Tans 4 Magical Meridians on her, and said she d had the best 4 days of her life since seeing me! Now THAT’S “Li Gan Jiang Yang”! She still has a way to go, and as life gets in her way Im sure it wont all be so positive, but a reaction like that has certainly reinforced for me, how Powerful Dr Tans methods are!

As I continue to use his methods and “think” differently about my Acupuncture practice, I can see the benefits before my eyes…and my mind does cartwheels!! Imagine what the client feels!

Dr Tan travels the world educating Acupuncturists in his methods, and I think next year there are plans to try and bring his teaching methods to Ireland. We need him too! Watch this space!

Women with PCOS benefit from Acupuncture and Excercise

Natural alternative medicine therapies such as acupuncture and regular exercise may improve hormone levels and regulate menstrual bleeding patterns in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), according to  research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

What is PCOS?

In the recent study, published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology and Metabolism, a group of women with PCOS were treated with acupuncture where the acu-needles were stimulated both physiically and with a weak electrical current at a low frequency.

A second group of women were asked to exercise at a minimun of three times a week, while a third group acted as control subjects. All of the groups were given information on the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet.

“The study shows that both acupuncture and exercise reduce high levels of testosterone and lead to more regular menstruation,” says  associate professor Elisabet Stener-Victorin, who is responsible for the study. “Of the two treatments, the acupuncture proved more effective.”


Although PCOS is a common disorder, researchers have not dertimined the root cause.“However, we’ve recently demonstrated that women with PCOS have a highly active sympathetic nervous system, the part that isn’t controlled by our will, and that both acupuncture and regular exercise reduced levels of activity in this system compared with the control group, which could be an explanation for the results.”

This study is encouraging for PCOS sufferers as it allows for more natural treatment methods such as acupuncture, nutrition and excercise to help manage many of the symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome and possibly increase fertility rates and the chance of conception for women trying to get pregnant.


edel, F. Labrie, A. Oden, G. Holm, L. Nilsson, P. O. Janson, A.-K. Lind, C. Ohlsson, E. Stener-Victorin. Impact of electro-acupuncture and physical exercise on hyperandrogenism and oligo/amenorrhea in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. AJP: Endocrinology and Metabolism, 2010; 300 (1): E37 DOI: 10.1152/ajpendo.00495.2010