Featured post

Tuina Confidence

There is a lot that can be said about the many modalities of massage, but my personal favourite is Tuina Chinese medical acupressure.

Tuina (pronounced twee nah) falls under the category of Qi Gong acupressure which is based in Traditional Chinese Medicine (including acupuncture, herbal therapy, dietary therapy and medical Qi Gong). Tuina literally means “Push Grasp”. This method of massage was developed by Chinese healers over the course of several centuries. Often referred to as “sports massage” but it is so much more than that. In China, Tuina is practiced in the largest hospitals integrated with Western medicine to treat both external conditions from broken bones, frozen shoulders, tennis elbows to Internal conditions like Headaches, PMS, Dizziness, Insomnia.

I have used Tuina to help ease the pain of Migraine, Sciatica, as well as other chronic pain conditions. My patients report they have never had such powerful, moving massage before and prefer Tuina to Swedish or Deep Tissue massage. I personally prefer it because it allows me to affect a more penetrating release for my patients without the pain usually attributed to therapeutic massage.

Tuina can be used to treat ailments in children as well. The meridians in a child’s body are not fully developed, so a much milder treatment than for an adult and Tuina is a very suitable substitute for acupuncture because of this. In my own clinic I have treated children as well as adults. While practicing in Guo Yi Tang Hospital, in Beijing, I had an 8 month old child patient who had a haemorrhage in the brain. Her doctors told the parents that they should let the child go as she may not survive the trauma and the prognosis was not good. As a last resort, the parents brought their child to the hospital and I was assigned to treat her. When I met the parents and child, I was disheartened by her condition. She had no spirit in her eyes, she was totally still and silent except for the activity of the respirator and other apparatuses attached to her. At that moment my confidence in Tuina was severely tested and I have to admit I said a few prayers as well. I remembered an acupressure protocol from my very first teacher in Taiwan “Hung Shui Chen” and I used it every day. By the end of one week the spirit had returned to the little girl’s eyes.

Want to BOOK a Session and find out the cost?

Other Resources:

Benefits of Tuina.
Tuina Massage for Babies.
Autism and Tuina.
Tuina benefits Depression.
Study a Professional Diploma in Tuina.

Influenza Soup

Here’s a really great soup to treat the colds and flues that seem to be so prevalent this year. Boil 10g yellow soybeans in water for 15 minutes; add 30g parsley and boil again for 15 minutes. Drink the soup and stay in bed to perspire.

Smilingbody.com article.

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.

Drink Powerful Herbal Drink

Drinking the wrong liquid calories, whether from juice, sugary and soft drinks should not be part of a healthy diet, not to mind a weight loss plan. Traditional Chinese Medicine advises a different positive habit, suggesting you replace those drinks with herbal drinks. Tea has been used for millennia in China to support fat metabolism and prevent stagnation of bowels, toxins, fat, and Qi. The various types of tea, (Green, White, Black, Red and Herbals) is the go-to drink in China after consuming a high-fat meal. We advise the most powerful herbal formula to make a simple to use herbal drink in teabag form, called Teatox. Chinese herbs such as lotus leaf, cassia seeds, Chinese hawthorn, and Solomon’s-seal (Polygonatum odoratum) are traditionally used for weight loss. Smiling Body Teatox is a herbal formula in a simple teabag form, made up of these powerful herbs that can be taken daily to help reduce weight. Chinese Nutritional Therapy has shown that there are foods that help move Qi and these include green tea, celery, Job’s Tears, and melon, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds.

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.

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.

Tuina-Healthy-Weight-EarThere 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.


Learn more about the cost of the Smiling Body™ program.

Make an appointment today to start your journey towards your Smiling Body.

More about James: Tel: (087) 785 1158

Benefits of a Detox Cleanse

 Liver Cleanse

Smiling Body with Tofu

Tofu is a delicious healthy food made from soybean curds. It’s naturally low in calories and it’s gluten-free. It’s a superb source of protein, manganese, calcium, copper, selenium iron, and contains NO cholesterol. Soy is the primary constituent of tofu and is a complete source of dietary protein, providing all of the essential amino acids needed in the diet. For optimum health, consume tofu occasionally with a variety of other foods.

Western Benefits:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Cancer prevention
  • Obesity prevention and treatment
  • Diabetes (Type 2) – treatment
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Periodontal disease
  • Neurodegenerative disease

Oriental benefits

  • Strengthen body energy by balancing the digestive system
  • Clears heat and toxins from the body:
  • Helping to promote breast milk
  • Soothes the body joints
  • Moisturizes the skin
  • Relieves bowel blockages
  • Moistens cough

According to the theory of Chinese Nutritional Therapy, tofu benefits the (TCM) Spleen / Stomach, which are related to blood, metabolism and digestion. When the Spleen/Stomach are in harmony there is health and energy. It is sweet in taste meaning it helps digestion of food, including difficult to digest foods. It is neutral / cooling and this helps to cool stomach fire and it moistens the skin. Tofu would be beneficial for constipation.

Tofu Today

Tofu is available in most supermarkets today, and is offered either refrigerated in individual packages or non-refrigerated in aseptically sealed containers. All tofu packets should have an expiry date printed on packaging. Once the package is opened, all types of tofu should be rinsed well, kept in a container covered with water, and placed in the refrigerator. Changing the water daily will help keep the tofu fresh for up to one week.

Types of Tofu

There are many nutritious healthy Chinese food recipes that call for the use of tofu and there are a number of different types of tofu out there and it’s important to know which kind of tofu is best to use for your different recipes.

Tofu differs in texture from soft to firm to extra-firm. Soft or Silken tofu has a smoother texture and is particularly suitable for salad dressings, sauces, and desserts. Firm and extra-firm tofu are best for baking, stir-frying, and grilling. This firm tofu will keep its shape as it cooks and will not fall apart in your wok or pan during the cooking process.

Expelling Water

I recommend that you drain your tofu before you use it. This will help the tofu to absorb all of the flavours of your dish and make it much tastier. You can easily drain your tofu on a wire tray over a plate. Be careful with silken tofu, use a muslin cloth to hold it together. Place a weight on top to assist the squeeze, for example another plate on top of the tofu to help expel the water. You can also place your tofu cake between two plates and squeeze the plates with rubber bands and hold vertically to drain water.

How to make Tofu

I do not advise making tofu at home as like other fermented foods, one of the process ingredients (magnesium chloride) can be damaging to your health, if not used in the correct way.

Soybean is the main ingredient of Tofu. Soybean milk is to be heated until it boils, then a tiny amount of magnesium chloride is added to solidify the soybean milk. We wait until the mixture cools down and you then have Tofu that is ready to be cooked.


Xiao Cong Ban Tofu

This is a typical Beijing dish and can be seen most frequently in North China. Green onion and Tofu are the only ingredients of this dish. With a small amount of sesame oil and salt, this dish is known for retaining the flavours of both of the ingredients.


  • 1 block (325 grams / 12 ounces) silken tofu
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion, green part
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese sesame oil


  • Carefully transfer the tofu from the package to a medium-size plate.
  • Sprinkle sea salt over tofu and top with green onion and a drizzle of sesame oil. Use a knife to slice tofu into strips, then gently mix it with a pair of chopsticks.
  • Serve immediately.

Serves: 2-4

This is a lovely simple recipe that makes a great appetizer. Enjoy!

Damp and Traditional Chinese Medical Nutrition

Nutritional Sheet for Damp & Phlegm

According to the nutritional theory of  Traditional  Chinese  Medicine,  Dampness  and  Phlegm  are created  when  there is disharmony or dysfunction in digestion  and  fluid metabolism.

Because of the intimate relationship between these Damp and Phlegm and the digestion, food is viewed as an important contributing factor in both cause and treatment. In addition to internal causes, certain foods contribute towards the disharmony and other foods are recommended to harmonise the states of Damp and Phlegm.

To improve digestion,  it  is  recommended to  consume  fresh  foods  that  are  slightly  cooked. Food  that  is  prepared  simply, helps  to  preserve essential  nutrients  and  are more  readily  digested  and  absorbed.  In general, it is suggested to eat  smaller  meals  more  frequently,  sitting down while eating, to relax while eating, to increase enjoyment of  meals  while eating  and  chewing  thoroughly  to  savour  flavours.

30  –  40%  of  meals  should  consist  of   complex  carbohydrates,  especially  rice,  rye,  barley  and millet.  40  –  50%  of  the  diet  should  be  comprised  of  cooked  vegetables  and  proteins  should  comprise  only  about  10%  of  the  diet.

Pungent  flavours  including  onion,  garlic,  turnip,  ginger,  mint  and  basil  are  beneficial  in  dispersing  congested  fluids such as Damp and mucus,  while  overly  rich,  oily  or  heavy  foods  should  be  avoided  because  they  can  overwhelm  the  digestive  system.  Cold  foods  such  as  raw  fruits  and  vegetables,  tofu,  and  ice  cream  should  also  be  avoided  since  they  will  slow  down  the  digestion  process  and  make  the  body  work  harder.

Below is a list of recommended foods.  You should not limit your diet to only these foods.  Instead follow the guidelines above of the optimum ratios of carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins, and add the recommended foods from the list below within your meals.  Wherever possible choose organically grown foods.

Specific beneficial foods for Dampness and Phlegm: cooked whole grains – esp. rice, toasted  oats,  barley, rye, millet, buckwheat, sourdough breads, asparagus, cucumber, celery, pumpkin, squash, carrots, corn, parsnips, peas, onions, shallots, leeks, garlic, turnip, radish,  mustard greens, chrysanthemum leaves, day lily bulbs, water chestnuts, mushrooms including oyster & shitake adzuki  beans,  chick  peas, black  beans, kidney  beans, fava  beans,  cowpeas chicken, Chinese black chicken, quail, lean meats, goose, rabbit, frog, clam,  seaweeds, mackerel, tuna, anchovy, perch, eel, catfish, crab, oyster black pepper, fresh  ginger, mustard, nutmeg, cloves, cardamon,  nutmeg,  thyme,  basil,  fennel,  horseradish,  chilli peppers, jasmine, rose, rice syrup, barley malt, dates, figs, sugar cane,  stewed  fruit-  esp. pears, persimmons, kumquats, grapefruit, cherries

Foods to restrict or avoid: salads, raw fruits, citrus, wheat, sprouts, wheat grass, raw vegetables, avocados tofu, dairy (except for goat milk products), nut butters, pork, duck  and other fatty foods, eggs, soy milk, overly sweet foods, refined sugars, high doses of vitamin C, seaweeds, chocolate, cold foods like ice cream or smoothies iced drinks including ice  water


This factsheet 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.

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. #jamushur


Two types of Pain


Physical Pain

Its easy to acknowledge the pain we feel when someone steps on our toe, be it in a line or queue or standing on the train or bus. Ouch, it hurts right! You might blow off a little steam, let them know what they did or you might just scream! Maybe even let it pass with a stern look. Eventually the pain goes away and so does your bad mood. Thats the normal affect of physical pain.

Emotional Pain

What about when someone hurts our “feelings”, hurts us emotionally with an insult, a discourtesy, a strange look? The emotional hurt, when they don’t live up to our expectations. Why do we seem to hold on to this pain, this emotional pain. Why doers it seem so enduring. It seems its easier to let go the physical pain from the accident than it is to let go of the emotional pain.

Remember pain, physical or emotional is temporary and usually it goes away if we let it go within a reasonable time. Not being able to let this pain go can spoil more than your mood, it can spill over into your relationships too.

Next time someone says or does something that’s emotionally hurtful, try to forgive their carelessness, their ignorance, their selfishness. This doesn’t minimise or excuse what happened, but it does free YOU up when you respond constructively and then get on with life.