Category Archives: Tuina

So You Want to Quit Smoking

No one really reads these kind of page unless they want to quit or are interested in helping someone else to quit.

Acupuncture is a proven solution and very effective in helping smokers to quit the habit and to remain smoke free for good. It is one of the leading smoking cessation methods because of its ability to reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, frustration and difficulty concentrating. It also aids in relaxation and detoxification.

Every smokers knows that smoking is a top risk factor for major illnesses like cancer and heart disease, smoking also wreaks havoc on sleep. Smokers who want help in kicking the habit, turn to acupuncture. Rooted in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture is one of the most successful treatments for smoking cessation.

Benefits of stopping smoking

  • Your general health will improve
  • Your sense of smell and taste will improve
  • You will save a lot of money
  • 1 year after quitting, male ex-smokers reduce the risk of dying from heart attack by 50%
  • 5 years after quitting, you will have a risk of lung cancer 60% lower than smokers
  • 15 years after quitting, you are no more likely to get lung cancer than a non-smoker
  • 10 years after quitting, male ex-smokers have the same mortality rate from heart disease as non smokers
  • Only 3 years after quitting, Female ex-smokers have the same mortality rate from heart disease as non smokers

Smiling Body™ Treatment

The treatment uses micro fine sterile disposable needles that are hair thin. They are painlessly inserted into various points in the body to assist with smoking cessation. We leave the needles in for about 20 to 25 minutes while you drift off into true relaxation. After we take out the needles we place (taped) small herbal pellets in specific acupuncture points in the ear. When you are out and about and a cigarette craving hits, gently pressing on the herbal pellets, stimulates the acupuncture points to calm the mind and eliminate the craving. More on Auricular (Ear) Acupuncture here. What is Acupuncture.

Treatments last between 30 and 40 minutes. Some symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments may require further treatments. More about Acupuncture.

Ready to Quit Now!

Before you contact me, save yourself some money and help yourself by reading the information. Click Here.

Tuina – a needle free alternative to acupuncture

Are you one of the many people interested in the health benefits of acupuncture, but are deeply afraid of needles, Tuina Chinese medical acupressure may be for you. This ancient Chinese therapy is guided by the same principles of acupuncture, but without the insertion of fine needles into your skin.

Located in Galway, the Smiling Body Clinic specialises in eastern medicine with solid background in western healthcare knowledge, to diagnose and treat health problems, including injuries and chronic conditions.

We understand that for people with a real needle phobia, acupuncture isn’t a viable remedy for musculoskeletal and chronic pain. As practitioners of Tuina Chinese medical acupressure, however, we’re able to offer these patients the same benefits as acupuncture in the form of a relaxing, deep-tissue massage.

There are more than 200 pressure points on the body that help heal pain. These points are located on meridians along the body that make way for Qi, or Chi, a kind of essential energy to flow freely. In Chinese medicine, Qi is a vital energy force uniting the body, mind and spirit. When pain is present, it’s indicative of an imbalance in the body, and Qi not being able to run its course.

Much like acupuncture, Tuina Chinese medical acupressure stimulates the blockage, opening up channels for Qi to travel and restoring balance. By applying deep tissue massage on various acupressure points, Tuina helps the body’s blood circulation harmonise with the flow of  Qi. By doing so, the body produces natural painkillers, such as endorphins, to relieve pain.

Tuina Chinese medical acupressure is an effective and natural treatment, with no adverse side effects. As well as being an option for those who fear needles, it’s also ideal for children and seniors. While Tuina Chinese medical acupressure works well independently, our practitioners combine it with other therapeutic treatments, such as nutrition advise, to meet a patient’s unique health-care needs.

The treatment is delivered in a comfortable, clean and compassionate environment, with the goal of providing patients with the best rehabilitative treatment in the Galway Area, so they can return to the activities of their daily lives as soon as possible.

To book an appointment, call (087) 785 1158. Fee list here.

Mouth Ulcers

Mouth Ulcers  – A traditional Chinese medicine approach.

Mouth Ulcers can be very tiny, yet they are powerful enough to disturb your whole day and every day, that you suffer them. Every time you eat, especially acidic, hot, sour, and spicy food, when you brush your teeth or even talk to someone, the pain reminds you that these little ulcers can prevent happiness and a sense of wellbeing. It cannot be over emphasised how destructive these can be.

According to Western Medicine, the causes of Mouth Ulcers include impaired immune function, infections, nutritional deficiency, and Vitamin B Group insufficiency. In general, they can be healed in seven to 10 days.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), views the body and illness differently. It’s just a difference of culture, communication, understanding and Yin Yang logic. TCM considers that all our internal organs including our facial organs are connected.  Take tongue and mouth for example, while the Heart opens into the tongue, the Spleen leads to the mouth, signifying that tongue and mouth diseases are mostly related to Heart and Spleen.  In fact, the mouth as a whole is the sensory organ linked to the spleen and actually a branch of the spleen meridian extended to the bottom of the tongue.  As for the tongue, in particular the tip, is connected to the Heart.

The TCM Practitioner collects a lot of information from the patient to form a holistic picture. In fact because of this, sometimes it seems they are looking in the wrong place for the presenting complaint. However the clinical picture or pattern of disharmony is the way out ancient teachers and healers provided treatments and “cures” for the various health issues that have beset humans and animals alike. With this holistic picture the practitioner determines by the Eight Principals  Yin, Yang, External, Internal, Cold, Hot, Deficiency, and Excess, if the condition is excess or deficiency.

Mouth Ulcers can be either Excess or Deficiency, the symptoms that patients experience vary from patient to patient.  Excess-type Mouth Ulcers is red in colour and painful, it has swelling around the rim with yellow discharge.  In addition, patients usually are accompanied by bitter mouth, bad breath, constipation, swollen gums, etc. This type of Mouth Ulcers likely is induced by heart/spleen accumulated heat due to improper diet such as excessive spicy and deep-fried food, or staying up late.”

As for deficiency-type Mouth Ulcers, it mostly is caused by a weak Stomach and Kidney function.  Despite the ulcer area has little pain and colour, it persists for a long time and recurs constantly.  Sufferers generally are accompanied by loss of appetite, lack of energy, and insomnia.

TCM theory states that Mouth Ulcers is an indicator that the energy in our body is unbalanced. TCM is usually used as a complementary medicine to existing prescribed medications. The patient’s lifestyle, diet and exercise regimes will be looked at and some advice is offered.

Home Advice

In addition to treatment, there are two home remedies that are suggested that have been shown to heal these troublesome Mouth Ulcers.  The patient can choose between the salt or tea treatment and both are simple and convenient.

Both these suggestions help reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, which are able to ease the pain of the ulcers and speed up healing.

Salt Wash

Add five (5) teaspoons of salt to a cup of boiling water. Add the juice of one lime. Use a metal spoon to mix the concoction. When the concoction is warm, you should rinse your mouth.  Twice per day, one in the morning and one at night.

Black Tea Wash

Add one (1) teaspoons of Black tea to a cup of boiling water. Add one (1) spoon of honey. Use a metal spoon to mix as above. When the mixture is warm, you should rinse your mouth.  Twice per day, one in the morning and one at night.

If the condition is more serious, rinse can be done a few more times a day.  However, if the ulcers show no sign of improvement over a week, one should go to seek medical treatment immediately as it might be a warning of a more serious condition.

Tea to drink:

Chrysanthemum Tea is one of the best teas to drink to cool the body and especially the mouth. Drink it warm or cool but not with ice.

Foods to Eat.

Root vegetables: Due to the healing “Yang” nature of these foods in traditional Chinese medicine, and their tendency to be more rich in minerals than many other vegetables, it may be safe to say that you can’t get enough of them. Look for radishes especially (black, red or white), as well as beets, carrots, turnips, horseradish and rutabaga.

Cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts are great to alkalise the body in case of mouth ulcers.

Leafy greens: kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens and spinach, which may be the best of the pick. Rich in vitamin K and folate content, spinach is also packed with vitamins, minerals, phyto-nutrients, antioxidants and fibre.

Garlic: A true miracle food, garlic appears at the top of innumerable lists of foods that encourage overall health, and it is also suggested for mouth ulcers. Among its other benefits are its ability to promote immune health by lowering blood pressure, cleansing the liver and fighting off disease.

Lemons: are a natural disinfectant, it can heal wounds while also providing potent and immediate relief for hyperacidity and virus-related conditions. Lemon also works to energize the liver and promote detoxification.

Foods to Avoid

Chocolate: Bad news for chocolate lovers: Chocolate seems to cause more acidity than any other food.

Fizzy Drinks: and other carbonated beverages also cause acidity. Fizzy drinks with caffeine are even worse.

Fried food: is a major cause of acidity and upsets our digestive metabolism. In addition to the usual dangers of fried foods.

Alcohol: Beer, liquor, and wine are believed to contribute to acid build up in the stomach. Many alcoholic beverages are not very acidic, however alcohol is very hot in nature and should be avoided by suffers of canker ulcers.

High-fat dairy products: All high-fat foods e.g. butter or cheese, should be reduced and a diet of moderate fat taken instead. It is important to state here that hydrogenated fats, spreads and margarine are no better in treating or avoiding canker ulcers.

High-fat meats: beef, pork, lamb, stay in the stomach longer that other foods resulting ion a build up of acidity.

Caffeine: One cup of coffee or espresso a day is fine, but people who drink coffee all day long are sponsoring reoccurrences of canker sores.

Some other foods that should be reduced or avoided if possible are ginger, banana, and concentrated juice including orange, cranberry, apple, etc.

We also have a number of Acu points that you can stimulate yourself on a daily basis. See image above for locations. Please only stimulate these moderately and for no more than 5 minutes each. LI-04 is contraindicated during pregnancy.

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.



Preventing Flu

Flu season arrives during the coldest months of the year and is never easy to cure. However, a few simple tips may help you keep the flu at bay.

Eat a Diet that boosts Immunity

Most people know that washing their hands regularly is an important part of staying healthy. During the cold and flu season

Wash Your Hands

Most people know that washing their hands regularly is an important part of staying healthy. During the cold and flu season, this is even more important because flu viruses can live long enough on surfaces for you to pick them up on your hands. Wash your hands using warm water and soap and make sure to scrub gently. When water and soap are not available, you can always use sanitizers containing 60-90% ethyl alcohol.

Get Enough Sleep and Manage Your Stress

Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can reduce immune functions, thus lowering the body’s ability to fend off colds and flu.

Maintain a Moderate Exercise Program 3-4 Days a Week

Exercising for 15 minutes per day helps strengthen the immune system and increases the body’s natural ability to fight infection. That’s a 7 minute walk in either direction.

Keep a Healthy Diet

Remember to eat fruits and vegetables daily to ensure enough essential nutrient, vitamin, minerals intake.

Avoid Contact with Sick People

Colds and the flu spread between people in different ways. Try to stay far enough away from people who are already sick so they don’t cough or sneeze on you.

Tuina Acupressure

You can stimulate these four immunity super booster points while you are healthy to improve and enhance your immune system. If you have a flu stop stimulating the Zu San Li (St-36) until after your Cold or Flu goes away.

More on these points.

He Gu (LI-4)

Lie Que (Lu-07)

Tai Xi (Kid-03)

Zu San Li (St-36)




When it comes to Smoking, quitters are Winners

Before you contact me for an appointment please read the following.

The Quit Day: Pick a day at the start of the week. When you make an appointment with me I will ask you to pick a day when you want to quit. Choose a day that has some special meaning for you e.g. birthday, anniversary, work quit smoking day, children’s special occasion.

Booking the Day: Now call me to book your day. I’ll ask you to have your last smoke at 12 midnight the night before your treatment. I’ll book you in between 9am and 12pm the next day.

You have just taken the most important step towards optimal good health.

Support Person – The decision to quit smoking can elicit uncomfortable emotions. Ask someone who is available to you in the next few weeks to act as a sounding board and provide encouragement when needed.

Affirmation – an affirmation is a positive statement repeated often to create desired changes in your life. Repeating the affirmation helps not only to remind you why you are no longer smoking but imprints a new image of health so that the body can then produce health. Examples: “I am a non-smoker, I make healthy choices in my life”.

Setting Boundaries – set up contracts with other smokers to refrain from smoking in your presence. This includes spouses. When possible stay away from smokers until you feel more confident with your nonsmoking health status.

Drink Water – research shows that dryness causes cravings. Sip water frequently throughout the day. Get a water sipping bottle and carry it with you.

Coffee – Refrain from drinking Coffee – research shows that coffee causes cravings and dehydrates the body.

Food Choices – eat a lot of carrots, celery and other vegetables throughout the next few days. Sweet things upset the blood sugar level, which can aggravate smoking withdrawal symptoms. Artificial sweeteners are sweeter than sugar and cause further cravings.

Managing Cravings – cravings feel like it will last forever but actually fade in two minutes. Plan what you will do during a craving. Examples: take your vegetables, repeat your affirmation, breath deeply, walk to another place, sing a song, dance, call your support person.

Breathing – your breathing is an essential part of relaxing your body totally. Breathe into the lower abdomen, pulling down the diaphragm, pushing out the tummy. You will find that as your lungs Detox, you will experience light-headedness as more oxygen reaches blood and brain. This is perfectly natural and balance out over a few days.

Meditation – I’m a firm believer and promoter of meditation for overall health and this simple sitting and breathing exercise will certainly help with quitting and save you financially in the long run. Try these free guided meditations at this link. Click here.

Smiling Body Clinic Acupuncture – Go here for more information on what a session involves. Click Here.

Success Statistic’s – make it through the 1st. 24 hours smoke free, and you have a 90% chance of success.

Extra’s – Take extra showers or baths and treat yourself to a massage

Now you Relax naturally and enjoy your good health!

Call me now! Tel: (087) 785 1158