Clare became interested in acupuncture when her first experience with the technique resulted in a next-day recovery from an infection, which had been unsuccessfully treated with antibiotics for seven months. Her first thought was to ask how does this work? Hearing the answer ‘nobody knows’, she decided she would try to find the answer herself. That question would lead to her own recovery and the recovery of many others as she learned about health, disease and the acupuncture effect.
She trained as an acupuncturist and naturopath with the College for Naturopathic Medicine in Dublin for four years. After spending a month in Beijing doing intensive training in acupuncture with the Beijing University for Traditional Chinese Medicine, she was so impressed with the medical system, which fully integrated TCM with conventional medical care, that she decided to return for a longer period. She spent a further six months in China training at the Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. She learned to speak Mandarin Chinese at an elementary level to communicate with doctors and patients and received one-on-one training from expert doctors using acupuncture in a wide range of hospital departments.
While running a practice in Ireland, she was plagued with idea that the exact mechanisms of acupuncture were unknown although the effects were clear in her patients. Realising that biological research was somewhat unequipped to address the true mechanisms of acupuncture, she went on to study biophysics. She received her undergraduate science degree in Experimental Physics and Biology from Maynooth University, Ireland in 2015. She followed that with a two year Masters in Biophysics at the KU Leuven in Belgium, 2018. Doing fundamental research on single neurons in live animals gave her insight into global brain dynamics, the cutting-edge of neuroscience research today. She has developed an understanding of the mechanisms of acupuncture to a depth that is rare in the field. She continues to develop her theories to date.
Clare treats patients with a wide range of problems in her private practice and specialises particularly in gut disorders. After going through the journey of healing herself from non-coeliac wheat allergy, she understands the symptom picture of gut disorders such as coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, H. pylori infection, IBS and other inflammatory stomach/bowel disorders. Treating the gut often resolves secondary issues such as depression, anxiety, joint pain and poor immunity/respiratory weakness. As a scientist and member of the board of The Acupuncture Council of Ireland, she is open to communicating with medics and policy-makers to make acupuncture a frontline treatment for medically intractable disorders.