Saturday, January 18, 2014

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cosmetic Acupuncture Workshop

Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture / Cosmetic Acupuncture face-lift is a fast growing market for acupuncturists. It is very popular, non-surgical method for those who want not only to maintain beauty, radiance and vitality in the face, but also improve their overall health and well being. Acupuncture face-lifts have even been featured in the mainstream media. Studies show that among 300 cases treated with facial acupuncture, 90 % had marked beneficial results with only one course of treatment (International Journal of Clinical Acupuncture, 1996).
Active Health is receiving applications presently for their popular Cosmetic Acupuncture Workshop, with Hung Tsui Ying. This workshop is usually booked out, so early booking is advisable. More information here.

Award: Certificate in Cosmetic Acupuncture

Location: Galway

Date: Saturday 23rd November 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

One man's food is another man's poison

In order to attain your smiling body, it's important to realise that variety is not only eating different foods on different days of the week, it may also be about eating different foods from others, including family or friends, when you suffer particular conditions. One man’s food is another man’s poison, so goes the quote from Laucretius who lived circa 99 B.C. - 55 B.C.
I can agree with Laucretius, not only because of the traditional Chinese medical holistic approach to nutrition but because I see it frequently in my clinic. There is no single natural food that commonly harms or heals, this is demonstrated when we compare the diets of two patients of mine.

Our first patient case is Patrick an endurance event athlete. His diet is vegan, he thrives on a plant based diet that includes sprouted grains nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables and fruit. his body needs no meat, eggs or diary to be able to run, canoe, bike and swim hundreds of miles, sometimes through some of the most difficult terrain.

Our second patient case is Tomas who is an multi disciplined body work practitioner, who is qualified in osteopathy, acupuncture and nutrition. Tomas has a diet that consists mostly of fish, eggs, meat and low-starch vegetables. He has a condition called Ankylosing Spondylitis, which causes severe inflammation of the spine and joints, in particular the sacroiliac joint. Tomas reduced all starch foods because it has been shown that Ankylosing Spondylitis is triggered by pathogenic bacteria in the gut called Klebsiella spp that requires starchy foods like beans and whole grains to grow and multiple. A vegetarian diet would have been impossible for Tomas and he is now able to enjoy an active life without the debilitating pain of his condition. Tomas would have severe pain when he eats the incredibly healthy and healing foods for Patrick. This contrast between these two diets is perfectly captured by Lucretius’s belief that one man’s food is another man’s poison. Only you can figure out which foods heal your body.

I offer my patients a balanced variety of foods that they can check and record in their dietary diary over three months. It's an important way for everyone to see the clinical picture of which foods increase their healing potential and which foods cause internal disharmony. I only advise on supplementing the diet with natural herbs and whole food vitamin & mineral supplements. If we look at the diets of the Sardinians of Italy and the Okinawan islanders of Japan, the longest living humans on earth, we will see that they all enjoy proteins, carbohydrates and fats in a healthy balance and eat a lot of plants.

James O’Sullivan 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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tuina treats Low Back Pain

This study is interesting in that it clearly shows that Tuina, the hands on physical therapy of traditional Chinese medicine, has a positive affect on treating Low Back Pain contained in 20 clinical trials. It also points out that we need to improve the quality of our research methodologies.  


Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of Tuina-focused integrative Chinese medical therapies (TICMT) on inpatients with low back pain (LBP). Methods. 6 English and Chinese databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of TICMT for in-patients with LBP. The methodological quality of the included RCTs was assessed based on PEDro scale. And the meta-analyses of TICMT for LBP on pain and functional status were conducted. Results. 20 RCTs were included. The methodological quality of the included RCTs was poor. The meta-analyses' results showed that TICMT had statistically significant effects on pain and functional status, especially Tuina plus Chinese herbal medicine (standardised mean difference, SMD: 1.17; 95% CI 0.75 to 1.60 on pain; SMD: 1.31; 95% CI 0.49 to 2.14 on functional status) and Tuina plus acupuncture (SMD: 0.94; 95% CI 0.38 to 1.50 on pain; SMD: 0.53; 95% CI 0.21 to 0.85 on functional status). But Tuina plus moxibustion or hot pack did not show significant improvements on pain. And the long-term evidence of TICMT was far from sufficient. Conclusions. The preliminary evidence from current studies suggests that TICMT might be effective complementary and alternative treatments for in-patients with LBP. However, the poor methodological quality of the included RCTs means that high-quality RCTs with long follow-up are warranted.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Moxibustion research

Objective To determine whether any difference exists in responses to indirect moxibustion relative to thermal stimulation sites.

Methods Twenty one healthy men of mean±SD age 22.5±6.1 years were randomly divided into two groups, one receiving a single moxibustion stimulation in three locations (the three-point stimulation group, n=10 participants) and the other receiving three stimulations in one location (the one-point stimulation group, n=11 participants). The thermal stimulation sites were GV14, GV9 and GV4 acupuncture points. A thermograph was used to obtain the skin temperature on the posterior trunks of the participants. To analyse skin temperature, four arbitrary frames (the scapular, interscapular, lumbar and vertebral regions) were made on the posterior trunk.

Result An increase in skin temperature on the posterior trunk was observed following both one- and three-point moxibustion administrations. The skin temperature of the lumbar region showed a significant increase after three-point stimulation compared with single-point stimulation (p=0.011). There was also a significant increase in skin temperature of the spinal region after three-point stimulation compared with one-point stimulation (p=0.046).

Conclusion Administration of single moxibustion doses on the GV14, GV9 and GV4 points produces greater changes in skin temperature than three applications of moxibustion to the GV14 point only.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Depression and Tuina Pinching Spine

Pinching spine: A potential treatment for depression

In my clinic I use Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure or Massage because it is an essential skill that I have found to be a vital part of effective treatments. Studying Tuina in Taiwan under the excellent tutorship of Hung Shui Chen I was so impressed by the range of conditions that improved with the use of Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure or Massage and it is interesting recently to learn that the scientists have studied its effectiveness to treat depression in clinical trials. Tuina is the hands on application of medical massage techniques on Qi points (the same Qi points that acupuncturists use, to improve the body’s ability to combat or prevent disease. It is practiced in nearly every hospital throughout the Orient and its effectiveness is recognised all over the world.

The study illustrates the broad effectiveness of this ancient hands-on therapy. The study was conducted by researchers from Nanjing University and can be found published in the US National Library of Medicine. The researchers used a special Tuina technique called Spinal Pinching on rats to alleviation of depression symptoms. I do not agree that research on any animals is necessary to establish the benefits of Tuina as there is no contraindications or adverse effects to its use in the case of the treatment of depression. Chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) techniques were used to cause rats to experience depression and then Tuina pinching spine technique was applied daily for one week.  During the study the rats had various measurements cataloged such as their body weight and their sucrose intake and at the end of the study, a microarray genome wide expression analysis of their hippocampus was calculated.

The researchers found that the Tuina spine pinching techniques improved behavioural activity and sucrose spending. These were increased due to the stress responses.  They also found decreases of several genes related to energy metabolism, olfactory receptor and anti-oxidation.  Several genes related to homeostasis, immunity-inflammation, and restriction of activities and ingestion was increased.  They concluded that the pinching spine techniques showed a "potential antidepressant like effect" most likely related to chemical changes in the hippocampus.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Autism and Chinese Medical Tuina

The study focused on the treatment of the sensory and self-regulatory deficits of many children, with autism.  Doctors, researchers and academics have theorized that these two issues play a key role in social and language delays.  The study titled A Model and Treatment for Autism at the Convergence of Chinese Medicine and Western Science: First 130 Cases focused on the effectiveness of Tuina Chinese medical acupressure to attend to the self-regulatory and sensory deficits and other autism symptoms.

The study carried out over 5 months, on 175 autistic children (130 in the study group and 45 in the control group).  Parents were instructed how to perform the Tuina technique by trained professionals.  The study outcomes focused on the affect the treatment had on the main symptoms of autism, language and social delay, parental stress levels, and sensory and self-regulatory deficits.

Autistic children showed significant improvements in sensory and self-regulation deficits after the 5 month period.  Both evaluations performed by parents and pre-school teachers of the children showed significant improvements in the measures of autism after the study period compared to prior to initiating treatment.  Parental stress levels also decreased significantly over the 5 month study.

The authors in the study concluded that Tuina might prove to be a beneficial autism treatment.  They claim that their study demonstrated Tuina resulted in positive outcomes in self-regulatory and sensory deficits in autistic children, as well as a reduction in the severity of autism symptoms.

The article was published on June 10, 2011 by the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine.
Additional Resources:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Options for Mesothelioma Cancer Patients

Complementary Medicine Options for Cancer Patients

Cancer patients are becoming more and more comfortable with the idea of alternative medicine. Once branded as “hippie” or “quack” medicine, the therapies are gaining popularity in the treatment of illnesses such as mesothelioma.

In a 2002 Datamonitor Survey, 80 percent of cancer patients reported using at least one alternative or complementary medicine as part of their treatment. Herbal medicine was found to be the second most commonly used therapy (second only to spiritual healing and prayer).
Nutritional supplementation is one of the easiest and safest forms of alternative medicine. Mesothelioma patients can increase their intake of certain vitamins, minerals and herbs to improve their body’s natural cancer-fighting ability. These alternative medicines may include astragalus, cat’s claw, ginger, beta carotene and garlic. Basic vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C may also be incorporated into an alternative medicine regimen.

Homeopathic medicines are also used in the treatment of mesothelioma. With hundreds of homeopathic solutions for symptoms or side effects such as cough, chest pain and digestive distress, mesothelioma patients can turn to these vitamin and mineral-based tonics for palliation of their symptoms.
Many natural health practitioners also include non-medical activities in their definition of alternative medicine. These practices are able to relieve pain and other mesothelioma symptoms and reduce a patient’s stress. 

Some of the most popular non-medical alternative therapies include:
  • Acupuncture
  • Aromatherapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Yoga and Meditation

Pain and anxiety tend to be the most responsive to these alternative therapies. Nausea, diarrhea, constipation and fatigue have also been treated – with varying levels of success – by these alternative therapies.

Using Alternative Medicine with Traditional Medicine
Many patients choose to combine one or more of these therapies with traditional treatments. This approach is known as “integrative medicine” or “complementary medicine.” One study revealed that people who use complementary therapies are more likely to utilize mainstream medical services than patients who shun alternative therapies altogether.

Combining alternative and traditional medicine provides mesothelioma patients with a wider range of options for reversing their cancer. Patients have also reported feeling a greater involvement with their care when they work with alternative medicine practitioners to add natural medicines to their treatment plan.

Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Co-operation is the key to health

The only way forward for any medical modality is "Patient centered treatments" and that means working together to find what works for the health condition suffered by our patients. It is heartening to note that this is happing around the world today. Researching and bringng together the exponents of traditional Chinese medicine together with molecular science, we will open the way forward to apply the best of each science for the sake of the patient. This article tells another story of cooperation between Western Science and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Read the Sunday Mail Adelaide article...