Sandro Graca is a graduate of the Irish College of Traditional Chinese Medicine and of the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine.

Originally from Portugal, Sandro moved to Ireland in 2004 and established successful acupuncture and Chinese Medicine clinics in Trim, Swords and Maynooth.

He is a member of the Acupuncture Council of Ireland and of the Acupuncture Fertility Network, co-Founder of “TCM Ireland” and former lecturer at the Irish College of TCM.

Having studied acupuncture in Portugal, Ireland, UK and China, Sandro is now co-Directing TCM Ireland alongside Siobhán Seville and they have studied with world leading experts such as Jani White, Debra Betts, Sarah Budd and Jane Lyttleton, making TCM Ireland a reputable and recognized entity in the field of acupuncture for fertility, IVF enhancement and pregnancy here in Ireland.

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Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine is commonly referred to as “Chinese Medicine” or simply “TCM”.
There are historical records of its use dating over thousands of years and it has stood the test of time remaining the main form of medicine used in China today.

TCM is a complete system of medicine with a solid theoretical background to support it and is made up of many different therapies like acupuncture, tui na massage, medical qi gong, herbal medicine, cupping, moxibustion, dietary therapy, exercise, and lifestyle advice.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized TCM as a Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and in many countries TCM is now starting to be used alongside other western medicine therapies.

In Ireland, acupuncture is probably the best-known medical therapy of TCM.


Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles (less than 0.30mm, stainless steel, sterile and single use) into certain locations in the body (acupuncture points).

In simple terms, we can say that acupuncture is based on the concept that living beings have “vital energy” that the Chinese call “Qì” (pronounced “chee” and sometimes spelt as “chi”).

Qì circulates throughout the whole body in “invisible channels” known in TCM as “Jing Luò” (acupuncture channels, also called “meridians”). An imbalance in the flow of Qì throughout a Jing Luò is how disease begins.

The acupuncture needles are inserted in specific points along the Jing Luò in order to restore the natural flow of Qì and Blood, thus restoring the internal balance, helping the person to return to full health.

What to expect from your acupuncture treatment

The first consultation takes approximately one hour and will consist of an in-dept evaluation of the presenting condition and a full medical history.

Treatments are specific to each individual and therefore similar problems in different people may well require very different treatments.

An examination of the tongue and the pulse will be carried out and a brief physical examination, where necessary.

The entire proceedings are safeguarded by total confidentiality.

The practitioner will then decide on the appropriate treatment method: acupuncture and/or other therapies (if necessary).

Although some people will experience the changes in their condition straight after the initial treatment, it is recommended that you should follow up the initial treatment with at least a few more sessions to achieve longer lasting benefits.

Subsequent treatment sessions will last around 30 minutes.

The condition will be re-evaluated at each treatment and the recovery time will depend on the severity of the presenting condition (acute or chronic), the individual’s response to treatment and the length of time that the complaint has been there for.

Depending on the above, a practitioner would usually see the patient once a week or once a fortnight.

Does acupuncture hurt?

The acupuncture needles themselves are very fine (0.30mm or less), unlike the needles used for injections and blood tests (0.50mm or more).

There is little sensitivity to the insertion of acupuncture needles.

The more relaxed (not tense) the patient is, the less will he or she feel from the insertion of the needle(s).

While some people feel nothing at all, others experience a brief moment of discomfort as the needle penetrates the skin.

That can be followed by a mild sensation of tingling, numbness, dull ache, or heaviness.

The needles are left in place for about twenty minutes. Most people find the experience extremely relaxing and some people even fall asleep for the duration of the treatment.

Some sensations might last for a while even after the treatment is over but again, different people will experience this in different ways.

Sterile clinical procedure

All acupuncture needles are for single use (disposable) and pre-sterilised by approved methods.

The use of acupuncture in the hands of a fully qualified professional practitioner is entirely safe and free of any harmful side effects.

Only fully qualified practitioners of TCM can become active members of a professional association in Ireland.

The association ensures that all members are bound by a code of ethics and a code of practice, offering a guarantee of confidence and safety to a patient seeking treatment.

The Acupuncture Council of Ireland is the only large Independent Professional Register of Acupuncturists in Ireland set up under the auspices of the Department of Health and Children.

All members are interviewed and their qualifications and insurance verified before becoming members of the ACI.

Members are bound by a Code of Ethics and Code of Practice, which is strictly enforced by the Executive Committee of the ACI, thus offering a guarantee of confidence to any patient seeking treatment.

TCM Ireland

“TCM Ireland” was created by Siobhan Seville and Sandro Graca with the aim to provide practical and easy understanding information about acupuncture, tuina massage, medical qigong and all the other different aspects of the fascinating medical system that is Chinese Medicine.

Our aim is to provide a professional and affordable medical service to the people visiting our clinics and also generate awareness of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Ireland.

We are very proud to have been the first TCM practitioners to introduce Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in the Irish health care system back in 2007.

This has been a huge success and nowadays we work side-by-side with other health professionals, with constant referrals and complete integration in the medical system, including the fertility clinics.

We are fully qualified, registered and insured practitioners of Acupuncture and Chinese medicine, members of the Acupuncture Council of Ireland and recognized by: Vhi Healthcare, Laya Healthcare, Aviva and Glo Health.

Acupuncture and Fertility

We have also completed all the required qualifications in gyneacology, fertility, pregnancy and postnatal care in order to become full members of the Acupuncture Fertility Network (UK).

We decided to further our education in the treatment of fertility problems (male and/or female), IVF support, pregnancy and obstetrics with Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine and we have studied with world renowned experts such as: Jani White (UK), Jane Lyttleton (OZ), Debra Betts (NZ) and Sarah Budd (UK).

In our clinics we provide essential acupuncture care for IVF enhancement, pregnancy care and post-natal care.

For more information, please visit our website