Senior Registered Acupuncturist
Irina Szmelskyj Dip Ac, MSc, MBAcC
- Award winning acupuncturist
- Co-author of No1 Best Selling Book 'Acupuncture for IVF and Assisted Reproduction: An Integrated Approach to Treatment and Management"
- Guest Lecturer on Acupuncture Treatment of Infertility and IVF, The Northern College of Acupuncture, York, UK, The University of Lincoln, Lincoln, UK
- Invited Guest Lecturer The New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine
- MSc Research Supervisor and Examiner, Northern College of Acupuncture, York, UK
- Zita West Affiliated Fertility Acupuncturist
- Member of The Acupuncture Fertility Network
- Member of The American Society for Reproductive Medicine
- Member of The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
- Member of The British Fertility Society
Education and Training
Irina Szmelskyj studied at the Northern College of Acupuncture in York, one of the foremost educational and research institutions for acupuncture and Chinese medicine in the UK. She qualified as an acupressure therapist in 2001. In 2003 Irina qualified as an acupuncturist and after post graduate study in 2004 attained her Masters Degree (MSc) in Acupuncture at Distinction level.
In 2004 Irina also qualified in Pre-prepared Chinese Herbal Medicine, and uses Chinese herbs alongside acupuncture, treatments.
In addition to her existing training in the treatment of infertility, in 2006 and 2007 Irina attended the First International Integrated Acupuncture Seminars for Fertility and Obstetrics held at The Royal College of Physicians. In 2008, after further postgraduate training in the treatment of infertility Irina gained status as a Zita West Affiliated Fertility Acupuncturist.
Irina also has specialist training in Cosmetic Acupuncture.
Awards and Achievements
Irina's biggest achievement to date is her highly praised scientific trial using acupuncture to treat insomnia. Irina undertook this as part of her MSc dissertation. Irina's study was commended by both internal and external examiners. Irina is now working on publishing the results of the trial in professional journals. Due to a very high standard of her research, Irina was awarded her MSc in Acupuncture at Distinction level by the University of Wales. Irina is also the prize winner for achieving the highest mark in the MSc dissertation in the 2003/2004 academic year. In 2006 The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) recognised the excellent quality of Irina's research into acupuncture treatment of insomnia, bestowing upon her their 2006 Research Excellence Award.
During 2005 Irina gave a presentation at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge on the use of acupuncture for treating low back pain to an audience consisting mainly of orthopaedic consultants and surgeons, but also including physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors who belong to the East Anglian Spinal Club.
In 2006 Irina was invited to join the teaching team at The Northern College of Acupuncture as a supervisor and examiner of Master degrees. She has subsequently supervised and examined post-graduate MSc acupuncture students.
Irina lectures to university students on acupuncture treatment of sub-fertility (infertility) and in IVF.
Irina's views on acupuncture have been featured in the local newspapers and BBC radio. In 2006 Alex Mott, a newspaper journalist wrote a review in the Cambridge Evening News on Irina's approach to acupuncture practice. Recently an article was featured about Irina's fertility and miscarriages patients in Hunts Post. Irina has also featured on BBC radio Cambridgeshire talking about acupuncture.
The British Acupuncture Council (BAcC) is the governing body for Acupuncture practice and training in the UK. Irina is a registered member of the BAcC and practices according to a strict code of practice as set out by the Council. She has full public liability insurance. Irina is also registered with Huntingdonshire local authority and is licensed to practice acupuncture. Irina has an exemplary professional conduct and competence record.
Irina is a member of the Acupuncture Fertility Network (AFN). The members of this professional association must have specialist training in the use of acupuncture for the treatment of infertility. Irina also belongs to National Network of Zita West Affiliated Fertility Acupuncturists. Members of this organisation have specialist training with Zita West in her approach to fertility, pregnancy and post-natal care.
Irina's special interests include treatment of pain, insomnia, infertility and IVF, pregnancy related complaints, gynaecological complaints.
Conferences and Speaking Engagements
28-29 Oct 2017 Invited speaker at the 6th National Congress, Associazione Medici Agopuntori Bolognesi, Bologna, Italy
13, 20, 21 Jan 2017 Invited guest lecture at The Northern College of Acupuncture, York. Topic "Acupuncture and fertility: an integrated approach"
14, 18 Jan 2016 Invited guest lecture at The Northern College of Acupuncture, York. Topic "Acupuncture and fertility: an integrated approach"
29 Nov 2015 Invited guest lecture at The New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Topic "Limitations of Acupuncture and IVF Researc"
19 Apr 2015 Invited speaker and expert panel member at The British Medical Acupuncture Society's Spring Meeting, Newcastle. Topic "Acupuncture and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) research design: are we asking the right questions?"
22 Mar 2015 Invited speaker at The Acupuncture Fertility Network Conference, Gloucestershire. Topic "Conventional medical infertility investigations: Interpretation And Implications For Acupuncturists"
21 Mar 2015 Speaker at The 17th International Acupuncture Research Symposium, King's College London. Topic "Acupuncture and in vitro fertilisation (IVF) research design: are we asking the right questions?" (http://www.arrcsymposium.org.uk/speakers.html)
9, 14, 18 Jan 2015 Invited guest lecture at The Northern College of Acupuncture, York. Topic "Acupuncture and fertility: an integrated approach"
29 Nov 2014 Invited guest lecture at The New Zealand School of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Topic "Outcome measures"
24 Nov 2014 Speaker at The Annual Zita West Fertility Acupuncturists Network Seminar, The Royal Society of Medicine, London. Topic "Mechanisms of acupuncture in reproductive medicine: summary of research"
30 Apr 2014 Invited guest lecture at The Lincoln University, Lincoln. Topic "Acupuncture and fertility: an integrated approach"
18 Jan 2014 Invited guest lecture at The Northern College of Acupuncture, York. Topic "Acupuncture and fertility: an integrated approach"
Irina was born in Ukraine. She moved to England in 1995 after marrying Alan Szmelskyj. They have been married for over 20 years and have two children. When not working, Irina enjoys playing the piano, reading, travelling, narrow boating and playing with her sons and two Burmese cats. Irina is multilingual and completely fluent in three languages- English, Ukrainian and Russian.