Feel better and lose weight with Acupuncture and TCM

So.. now the Christmas festivities are over! You’ve eaten and drank enough for the whole year ahead, and no matter how good you had been before the silly season.. the effects of the Christmas splurge are now beginning to make themselves evident. Youre tired, irritable, sluggish, the pounds have piled on, and you just don’t seem to have the motivation to do anything about it! So … what can you do? You would join the gym, but you just don’t have the energy… you could go on a diet but whats the point? Don’t despair… there is help… probably in a way you’ve never even considered before… Acupuncture! It can – believe it or not , kick start your new attitude and your new year!

Never thought about acupuncture in these terms? Not surprisingly! Most people associate acupuncture with the relief of pain… and it is indeed unrivalled in this respect! In fact, acupuncture can work where all else fails – but it can do so much more than this!

It is only one branch of an ancient system of medicine called Traditional Chinese Medicine, – and because it is so ancient and a medicine in its own right, it has a method of diagnosis which is unique also. Because of this, when you attend an acupuncturist for treatment.. you will hear terms such as “Damp”, “Cold”, Heat”, “Deficiency”, “Excess”, “Qi”, (pronounced Chee), and how a combination of any of these diagnostic terms, can affect the smooth flow of energy within the body organs, and thus affect the energy of the body itself!

In the case of the festive indulgences, quite often any of the above may have been either introduced, or have aggravated an already existing condition, by improper eating and drinking, and the energies of the Spleen and Stomach organs may have been affected. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, as in conventional medicine, the Spleen and Stomach play a vital role in digestive functions.

Just a note about the Spleen!

The Spleen in particular is of vital importance in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is the organ of adaptation, and its special function is to “Transport and “Transform”. What this means essentially is that the Spleen adapts to our particular nutritional needs, transforming the food we eat into Blood and energy and transporting it around the body to nourish the fascia, muscles and brain. So when we “overload” it with inappropriate food and drink , its function of “Transporting and Transforming” is greatly impaired, and we are left feeling bloated, sluggish, constipated, tired, unmotivated and cant think clearly.

So how does Acupuncture work to re invigorate your Spleen and Stomach? Put very simply… the insertion of very fine, sterile disposable needles along certain points of the body including the ear, which travel along pathways of Qi or energy, which also flow through the organs of the body, – can boost what needs boosting, clear whatever is detrimental to the smooth flow of Qi, (energy) and, in general, bring the body back to a state of balance and harmony. The result is that you feel better, your metabolism increases, and with a healthier diet and a little exercise (you will feel so good you will want to do it!) – you will even start to lose weight!

So make Acupuncture part of your New Year resolution, and take the first important steps to improving your health and your life.
Call Mairead Fahy, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Clinic, The Avenue, Gorey, Co. Wexford. 0539483155 or 0876452409.

Home-made Bone broth helps Infertility

As practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine, many of us are treating infertility patients. Some of us have treated only a few patients who are trying to conceive; some of us solely focus on the treatment of infertility.


As my practice has matured, it has become more and more focused on women’s health and infertility. And, although I always treat based on TCM pattern diagnosis—I also find it extremely important to incorporate lifestyle and dietary modifications into the treatment plan of my patients. One of the most important dietary additions that I feel should be incorporated into such treatment plans is the daily ingestion of homemade bone broth.

As students of our medicine, we know that the Kidney energy is strongly associated with infertility. We need an abundance of Kidney Qi, Yang and Yin to be able to reproduce. As well we know thatJing is the basis of Kidney Qi. If Jing is lacking, one will age faster, have a weaker constitution and their ability to reproduce will diminish.

So, as I was taught (and, I’m sure you were too) the main treatment principle for all infertility cases is the boost the Kidney energy. Whether the patient has in conjunction Heart Qi stagnation, Liver blood deficiency, Spleen Qi deficiency or a cold uterus—we also always need to focus on tonifying the Kidneys.

In addition to acupuncture and herbal medicine, I recommend that my infertility patients consume one cup of bone broth on a daily basis to boost Kidney Jing and therefore improve their ability to successfully reproduce.

Why bone broth?

As you may recall from anatomy class– the inside of bone contains bone marrow and according to TCM theory, bone marrow is produced from Kidney Jing. So, basically drinking a cup of bone broth daily is like drinking a cup of Kidney Jing.

When one cooks down the bones of an animal into a broth, the bone marrow and its nutrients—namely: fat and protein and some minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium—seep out into the broth making it a rich, nutrient dense, Jing-rich, fertility boosting concoction.

Clinically, I have seen a dramatic increase in the fertility of my patients who are compliant and drink a cup of bone broth daily. Depending on the case, I may also give them some raw Chinese herbs to add to their broth. I know we were all taught the importance of bone and bone broth in the treatment of Kidney deficiencies, however often times it’s difficult to implement such recommendations into our practice. I am here to urge you to do so. Drinking a cup of homemade bone broth will have a tremendous impact on the health and fertility of your patients.

Beware though: there will be many patients that will moan about cooking a homemade bone broth. However, it is important for you to urge them to do so. Before you ask them to take this task on, make sure you make a couple batches for yourself first. This way you will know the experience and be able to share with them how simple the whole process is. Personally, making homemade bone broth is one of my favorite things to do—in the business of life, it slows me down. It feels nourishing, therapeutic and really, really good for my Kidney Jing.

My favorite bone broth recipes come from the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Check out the book, it’s an amazing resource for those practitioners who focus on nutrition as part of their practice of TCM.

Lastly, there are four secrets to making good bone broth:

  1. Use the highest quality of bones you can find. Bones from grass fed animals is best.
  2. Add vinegar to the water to draw the minerals out of the bones into the broth.
  3. Roast and brown the bones in the oven before adding them to the stock.
  4. Be in the moment when you’re making it—and see the process as a therapy in and of itself.

Happy cooking!


The emotions associated with Organs of the body in TCM


What Emotions Affect Different Organs in the Human Body?
Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Emotions are how the body responds to feelings. The International Shen Therapy Association describes emotion as a metaphysical experience paralleled by biological responses and psychological processes. Traditional Chinese medicine views seven emotions including joy, anger, anxiety, grief, pensiveness, fear and fright that each affects the health of an organ according to Shen-Nong. Greek medicine, the root of traditional western medicine, also views that emotions affect the health of the organs according to David Osborn.


Traditional Chinese medicine, which has been practiced for more than five thousand years, has a central principle that classifies five major organ systems that are each associated with particular emotions, according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation. The five major organ systems involve pairs of organs and an associated emotion. The liver and gallbladder are associated with anger, the heart and small intestine are associated with joy, the spleen and stomach are associated with over-thinking or pensiveness, the lungs and large intestine are associated with grief, and the kidney and bladder are associated with fear. Chinese psychology, which is an integral part of traditional Chinese medicine, focuses on the relationship between emotions and organs and their effect on health.


Joy is an emotion of deep contentment and is connected to the heart, according to traditional Chinese medicine. When a person becomes overexcited with joy, she can experience agitation, insomnia, fever and heart palpitations. Another name for the Heart in TCM is the Shen.


Anger is an emotion that is associated with resentment, frustration, irritability and rage. Chinese medicine asserts that this choleric emotion is stored in the liver and gallbladder, which produce and store bile, respectively. This anger can affect many biological processes that sap energy and cause headaches, dizziness and high blood pressure. People also experience constipation, bloating ,IBS and other digestive problems, as a result of stored anger / Frustration.


Anxiety is an emotion of excessive worry that can affect the lungs and large intestine, according to Anxiety can cause a person to be unable to use energy and suffer from shortness of breath and ulcerative colitis, an inflammation of the large intestine.


Grief is an emotion that can cause a person to cry, create disharmony in the lungs and block energy from circulating throughout the body. Grief can sap the will to live, injure the lungs and cause respiratory diseases.


Pensiveness is an emotion of excessive thinking and melancholy. Pensiveness affects the spleen and can cause fatigue, lethargy and inability to concentrate. According to, it can also constrict the digestive system and affect the stomach with gas, distension and bloating.


Fear is an emotion that can cause disharmony in the kidneys and cause involuntary urination. Extreme fear can cause a person to spontaneously lose control of his kidneys and bladder, according to


Fright is an emotion of shock and panic due to something sudden and unexpected. Fright affects the heart in the short run and when it becomes chronic can affect the kidneys, says

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