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5 Simple Tips to a Healthy Weight

Chinese Medicine Helps Achieve a Healthy Weight

Traditional Chinese Medicine, dates back over 5000 years. Today, it is just as valid and useful in helping us achieve our health goals, and can help your journey towards a healthy weight.

There are many medical research studies into the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine for a healthy weight, and especially in weight loss suggests that its approach can inhibit the production of body fat, improve intestinal peristalsis to increase bowel movement, boost blood circulation, and speed up the metabolism. Herbal medicine, Acupuncture and Tuina Acupressure each play a key role in this endeavour, but here are five things you can do on your own to support your weight loss efforts.

Eat more Bitter foods.

I recommend replacing sweet and starch foods with eating bitter foods. Bitter is one of the five flavours in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Five are bitter, spicy/pungent, sweet, salty, and sour/astringent. It is one of the main flavours that help with weight loss because bitter tastes are difficult to overeat and help to purge the bowels, including flushing toxins from the body. Bitter flavours also increase digestive enzyme secretion, which improves our sense of satiety or feelings that we are full. Examples of bitter foods include cucumber, bitter melon, asparagus, and some lettuces.

Promote the Smooth Flow of your Qi daily

Qi is the life-force or energy that nourishes all life in Chinese theory. Our Qi can become stagnant or blocked in the body leading to ‘dampness’ or build ups or mucus or water retention. It is important to move Qi to clear stagnation and improve normal metabolic processes. Qi can be encouraged to flow freely with exercise. It’s not really important which exercise you do, as a 30-minute brisk walk moving the hands as well as the feet, will achieve the smooth flow of Qi in the body. Taichi, TaiQi, Qi Gong, Yoga and certain breath work can also help. Herbs can greatly improve the flow of Qi, as well as nourish certain body functions of metabolising food. Acupuncture can help also.

A Powerful Herbal Homeopathic Remedy

Chinese herbalists believe that extra weight is due to undigested food, retained fluids, and a stagnant metabolism. Smiling Body Homeopathic remedy is formulated from these precious herbs “Jian Mei Ling Qiao” to strengthen and nourish the digestive and eliminative systems, while increasing metabolic efficiency. Metabolism and a Healthy Weight. See more about our Smiling Body Remedy here.

Balance your Water Consumption

Traditional Chinese Medicine advises to drink 1 litre of warm water early in the morning as it helps to prime the system, flush the bowels, and reawaken the metabolic processes. It further suggests to drink a further 3 litres of warm water over the rest of the day.

Traditional Chinese Medicine cautions against eating cold foods or drinking cold water, as it causes the digestive process to slow down, while your body uses vital energy to warm the food and water for metabolism, which can lead to stagnation.


Acupuncture is one of the go-to treatment that modern Chinese people have in order to obtain a Healthy Weight by balancing metabolism and eliminating excess residue in the body. Learn more about acupuncture here.

A Cleansing Detox.

Toxins are all around us – but did you know you can naturally cleanse your body through food? Practiced for centuries by cultures around the world — including Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine systems — cleansing and detoxification is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out. By removing and eliminating toxins, then feeding your body with healthy nutrients, detoxifying can help protect you from disease and renew your ability to maintain optimum health through a range of methods including yoga, meditation and more. Learn more about the Smiling Body Cleanse Detox here.

Use acupressure points to suppress hunger

There are so many acupoints located on the body, and your therapist will advise you to stimulate certain points daily to improve digestion and promote the smooth flow of energy.

There is an area located on the tiny triangle (or diamond) of cartilage that’s in front of the entrance to the ear canal are two powerful points for reducing appetite. Pinch that bit of cartilage intermittently for 30-90 seconds starting about 10-20 minutes before meals, or whenever you feel uncharacteristically hungry to prevent overeating. You can pinch either or both ears.


Incorporate these principles into your healthy lifestyle and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goal weight.

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Strengthen your Back and Knees Soup

This is a soup to strengthen the knees, spine and back.

The lower back and knees are the areas of the body related to the Kidneys according to traditional Chinese medicine and as such when suffering from chronic pain and weakness of these areas can indicate a disharmony in the Kidneys. This traditional soup recipe contains ingredients used to strengthen the Kidneys, and reinforce the knees and back. It also helps to resolve Damp which slows healing in the back and knees. It also helps to circulate Qi and Blood, and is high in silicon which is essential for the strength of the bones and connective tissues.

This soup can be used to aid healing after an injury or surgery, or to maintain health of the lower back and knees.


  • 1 litre chicken stock, made from broken chicken bones
  • 2 small handfuls Pearl Barley or Coix Seeds (yì yĭ rén)
  • 2 small handfuls black beans (cooked)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • Black pepper
  • Dash of rice wine

Note: Coix Seeds or Chinese barley are used in Chinese herbalism for clearing dampness, especially when this relates to joint pain, and can be cooked in the same way as pearl barley. Shaoshing rice wine is a popular Chinese cooking wine. Both are available from Chinese supermarkets.


Prepare your stock. Add barley (or coix seeds) and celery and simmer for 45 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook for another 10 minutes. Add carrot and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until all ingredients are cooked. Add the cooked beans, a dash of rice wine and a good amount of black pepper. Cook for another couple of minutes, then serve.

This soup can be frozen for later use.

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Monkey Mind

Monkeys and Racing Minds

This week I went to the wildlife park on my own without children, grandchildren or significant other. I usually go to visit the monkeys first as I’m a “Monkey”, a Fire Monkey in the Chinese astrology chart, according to my birth date. I sat in front of them and watch their antics. I don’t like to eat food or drink water in front of animals as it encourages them to beg, the monkeys especially! I watched the busyness of these seemingly fun loving creatures. They are just one bundle of activity. I watch the monkeys screech and seemingly fly around, swinging from branches, poles and the cage mesh. Sometimes my mind feels like that, a mess of undisciplined thoughts with no stop sign. If I sit there long enough I notice that eventually they sit down in a corner or on a branch. They may even find themselves a grooming partner. I could fall asleep at times like this.

I wander over to the giraffes and watch these graceful animals glide as they walk. One of them sat down and grazed on some hay. I had never seen a giraffe sit down before, they become so awkward getting into the seated position and her baby sat next to its mother. I sat down to observe this awkward beauty. My mind felt relaxed and I stayed ages just enjoying their relaxed mood.

Just hanging out!

As I left the tranquillity of the zoo, I looked at my watch and as if a switch was turned on, I began “my real life” again. “I better move as the traffic is about to start building up and if I make it to the ring road in 10 minutes I could save myself an hour in traffic. If all goes to plan I could be home for 6ish, prepare and eat something and finish off that lecture for next Friday by 8pm, I think there’s a good movie on at 9pm! Ah I’ll get a Chinese take away instead and that way I’ll be able to sit down and relax early, now where did I park my car”?

Sound familiar? Every living creature on this planet of ours is connected in some way. We are all connected to the different moods in our immediate environment. If we connect with happy, calm and tranquil people, places and things, we will find it easier to attain their qualities ourselves. This goes in some way towards our better health, movement, freedom and wellbeing.

Today I find regular mindful meditation helps to build resilience to “stress” and calm the “Monkey Mind”. Its a natural cost effective habit, a good habit, a zen habit. See more about my mindful suggestion here.

James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.

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Hung Tsui Ying

Hung Tsui Ying (Eunice) L. Ac. (China) is qualified in Acupuncture, Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure, Chinese Patent Remedies, Ear Acupuncture, Facial Rejuvenation.

You may have seen Eunice on TV3 or read about her practice in national papers.

Fertility: When it comes to making babies, it pays to prepare and Eunice is particularly known for her fertility treatments.

Cosmetic Acupuncture: Eunice is the leading lecturer in Cosmetic Acupuncture in Ireland and the UK. She is said to “bring Spring back to the face” with her treatments.

Children: Eunice has many recommendations for her patient approach to Pediatric conditions.

Eunice also lectures for College of Integrative Acupuncture, the College of Naturopathic Medicine and Active Health Foundation.

Clinical Internship

Eunice has completed nine (9) medical internships at various affiliated hospitals of Beijing University of Chinese medicine, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and Nanjing University of TCM, China. The internships included working with the best doctors and professors of medicine within the various departments of these university affiliated hospitals covering acupuncture, internal medicine, oncology, gynecology  infertility, dermatology, pediatrics  traumatology and cardiology as well as Tuina Physical Therapy, including sports acupuncture and Tuina.

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James O’Sullivan

The Practitioner

Personal Philosophy:

“Everybody has the right to better health, movement, freedom, and well-being and each one of us has the ability to learn and practice the techniques necessary to sustain this aspiration”

James O’Sullivan is a high energy, people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving the patient and client with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He holds a BA in Psychology. He was privileged to study Chinese herbs, Acupuncture, Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure, Medical Qi Gong, and Mindful Meditation, Tai Qi, under the excellent tutorship of Hung Shui Chen, “a living treasure” in Taiwan. He furthered his study in Ireland and gained considerable clinical experience in a number of hospitals under the teaching universities – Beijing University of Chinese Medicine – The Nanjing College of Traditional Chinese Medicine – Zhejiang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

James is a past director of Acupuncture Council of Ireland, the independent association of acupuncturists dedicated to enriching practice standards in Ireland. He is a past treasurer and council member of the Acupuncture Foundation Professional Society.

The Teacher

He believes that, “it’s the client’s relief from pain and suffering that gives reason to our study”. His lectures are logical, inspiring, intellectually challenging, comprehensive, and fun to participate in. James is an experienced lecturer in Complementary Medicine and Holistic Therapies and is the kind of teacher that cut’s straight to the core of the subject, offering a broad bank of knowledge on empirically proven natural solutions to health disorders. James also holds a FETAC level 6 Train the Trainer qualification.

The Teaching Council of Ireland

James is a member of Teaching Council of Ireland, the Statutory body in Ireland for maintaining the highest standards of teaching in colleges. The Teaching Council is the regulator of the teaching profession and promotes professional standards in teaching.

Visiting Lecturer

James is a visiting lecturer to Beijing University of Chinese medicine and Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine where he has undergone formal advanced clinical training yearly.

He also lectures to the final year doctorate programme.

James is a founding member of Active Health Foundation, the institution that brings the ancient art of Tuina traditional Chinese Medical acupressure to Ireland, making it’s powerful techniques accessible to interested body workers. He is actively involved in other areas of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

“Every practitioner has a moral obligation to each patient to offer them the best possible care and treatment within their capabilities”

Clinical Internship

James has completed nine (9) medical internships at various affiliated hospitals of Beijing University of Chinese medicine, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou and Nanjing University of TCM, China. The internships included working with the best doctors and professors of medicine within the various departments of these university affiliated hospitals covering acupuncture, internal medicine, oncology, gynecology  infertility, dermatology, pediatrics  traumatology and cardiology as well as Tuina Physical Therapy, including sports acupuncture and Tuina.

Well-being in the Workplace

James has developed and delivered various workshops and seminars for a number of Irish organisations on topics like Wellbeing in the Workplace, Mindfulness Stress Management, Psychological Health Hazards, Dealing with Difficult Situations, Dealing with Aggression, Conflict Management, plus other talks that help organisations meet their safety, health and welfare responsibilities.
Some of the Organisations: Nifast, Office of Public Works, Mary Immaculate College, Knock Airport, ESB, Bord Gas, Central Statistics Office, Dept of Defense, Dept of Transport, HSE, ………………..

Tuina Course Founder

James O’Sullivan founded the first Diploma in Tuina course in Ireland in 1997 for practitioners who had no previous qualifications in either complementary medicine or traditional Chinese medicine. Today the Diploma in Tuina Chinese medical acupressure is offered by a number of Further Education colleges. The Diploma is recognised by Beijing University of Chinese medicine who invite graduates to China every year to advanced clinical training.

The Diploma in Tuina Chinese medical acupressure is offered in Pearse College – Crumlin, as a day course during the academic year.

International Recognition

At the International Conference in Zhejiang University of Chinese Medicine, James was honoured to present his paper on the treatment of Diabetes to 200 eminent doctors from around the globe. James was issued with an invitation to collaborate with eminent professors from Stanford University USA. Dr. Ron Zaidman President of Five Branches Institute USA, James O’Sullivan Active Health Foundation,Ireland, Prof. David Anzaldua and Prof. Samuel Le Baron of Stanford University USA outside the library of Zhejiang University of TCM. Prof. Xiao Luwei President of Zhejiang University of TCM, James O’Sullivan Active Health Foundation, and Prof. Fan Yongsheng Vice President of Zhejiang University of TCM


James O’Sullivan is the author of “Practical Chinese Medicine”, the core text book for students of Tuina and traditional Chinese medicine. More about the Book here.


  • Charley Adley says, “Unsatisfied and unwell (with doctors), I went to see the very excellent James O’Sullivan. Alongside his colleague Eunice, James is a gem of a man. A calming wise soul and an incredibly skilled practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, a session with James is a happy blend of mental and physical therapy, after which you leave feeling optimistic and on the mend”. Click here to read original article:
  • Galway news article
  • Rugby Player Ireland.

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