Category Archives: Course

Chinese Nutritional Therapy

An old Chinese saying states “The best doctor treats the problem before the problem becomes the disease” (see The Three Doctors). Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has a number of direct treatment protocols and disciplines to treat health disharmony. We use Tuina and massage, Acupuncture, Herbs and medications, and medical Qi Gong exercises. TCM has been practiced in Asia for over 5,000 years. To emphasize its health preventative importance, the ancient Chinese only visited doctors for preventative care. If they became ill, the doctors were not be paid.

One of the most important elements of these preventative treatments or consultations was nutrition advise. Nutritional knowledge in China has been accumulated since at least 6,000 years. Humans have existed on our planet for about 200,000 years and we are probably the only animals that rationalise everything about our lives. This is no different when it comes to food and what we eat and the most important “Why we eat”. This knowledge is changing in modern times because of the powerful influence of advertising. Modern research does not seem to be helping either because its research which is expensive is usually funded by private sources. It tends to break down each food into its constituent nutrients and explores the benefits of each nutrient without reference to the others or the whole food. For example, a food manufacturer can then state that vitamin C which is researched as healthy, is an ingredient of the product and therefore the product is healthy.

Chinese Nutritional Therapy is based on the accumulated knowledge of the nature, benefits and safety of individual whole foods and the effect they have on the principals of Yin and Yang balance and harmony. The deepest truth of life is the inner meaning of Yin and Yang, and like Yin and Yang, the nature of life also tends to be both harmonious and balanced. Even when we observe events that could be conceptually classified as negative or conflicting, are only stages in the accomplishment of further harmonisation. This is the reality expressed in the Tai Chi diagram.

If you would like to express your interest in our forthcoming course in Chinese Nutritional Therapy, please complete the form here.

Tonifying Your Qi with Food

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is defined as the vital energy of the body, it is responsible for all energetic aspects of life and  living activity perceptible and imperceptible. It functions to protect, warm, hold, transport and transform, metabolism, hold the organs and muscles in place, maintain fluids, maintain the energetic function of all organs, the whole organism. When there is poor nutrition, chronic illness or severe diseases, Qi of the body can become deficient and is also affected by our ancestral constitution or genetic makeup. It also tends to decline with age.

Everything in existence contains or is motivated by Qi, for example the earth beneath your feet, your computer, your flesh and blood, to the most immaterial aspects like light, heat, movement, nerve impulses, thought and emotion.

Life is a meeting of Qi. A healthy and happy human being is a dynamic and harmonious combination of all the aspects of Qi. It is in a continuous state of flux, transforming endlessly from one aspect of Qi into another type of Qi. You cannot destroy it because it was always there. You can only change its manifestation.

In order to talk about the relationships between the various aspects and manifestations of Qi within a given context, Chinese philosophy employs the concept of yin and yang.

The main symptoms that identify a deficiency of Qi in the body are shortness of breath, breathlessness, feeble breathing, weak voice, spontaneous sweating or sweating on slight exertion, loose stools or diarrhoea, tiredness, weakness, fatigue, lethargy, poor appetite, urinary incontinence, pale complexion, desire for hot drinks, cold skin, cold limbs, aversion to cold. Some of these symptoms may be part of other clinical pictures but in the main they are signs of Qi Deficiency and may benefit from foods that tonify Qi.

Logic dictates that we advise complex carbohydrates in vegetables and unrefined grains as a good source for energy (Qi). We also advise eating small meals frequently. Avoid cold foods or foods straight from the fridge. Raw foods will not help you tonify Qi even in hotter countries.

Foods to avoid include processed sugars, large heavy meals and rich foods.

Warm Qi Tonics
dates artichokes brown sugar malt syrup
butter lamb molasses eel
ham pearl rice artichoke beef
grapes reishi mushroom sunflower seeds chicken
chestnuts coconut milk green beans quinoa
sweet potato mustard greens shrimp oats
ginger cinnamon garlic onions
cherries dates barley malt rice syrup


Neutral Qi Tonics
yams carrots shiitake mushroom celery
potatoes string beans freshwater fish beets
turnips papaya winter squash okra
apricots raisins pearl rice barley
black beans kidney beans currants carob
vanilla coconut artichokes cheese
nutmeg oysters goose brown rice
peanuts almonds tapioca cashews
pecans honey maple syrup cornmeal
hazelnuts rye parsnip pumpkin
Cool Qi Tonics
watercress lettuce banana buckwheat
tofu summer squash ocean fishes apples
avocado corn millet yogurt
clams cottage cheese wheatberries crab


A great start to the day for someone wishing to tonify Qi might be

  • A bowl of rice porridge flavoured with some honey and dates

To demonstrate the comprehensive nature of Chinese Nutritional Therapy let’s take a closer look at the kitchen herbal food Garlic.

  • The nature of garlic is warm
  • Its flavour is pungent
  • The meridians or channels are lung, spleen and stomach
  • Other: protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and mineral
  • Throughout Chinese medical history garlic has been called the “penicillin in the earth”. In earliest Egypt and India soldiers ate garlic to keep healthy and boost their courage in battle. In World War II the British government shipped tons of garlic to the infantry to cure the soldiers’ wounds. Its effects include: destroying parasites, detoxifying, removing indigestion, and strengthening the stomach. It is used to treat food stagnation, cold-pain of the stomach and abdomen, diarrhoea, dysentery, carbuncles, furuncles, swelling, whooping cough, snake-bites and insect-bites.
  • Because it has a warm nature, garlic is especially good to eat in the winter.
  • More on garlic here.

The Active Health Foundation Chinese Nutritional Therapy Course

This course is developed to include a detailed study of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the accumulated knowledge on the properties of foods and their practical application in nutritional modification for various disharmonies and conditions. The student will gain a thorough understanding of the principles of nutrition, the essentials of nutritional assessment and the functions of specific foods. The student will be able to apply Chinese nutrition and the use of Chinese herbs in food applications for specific Zang Fu (Internal Organ) disharmonies.

Topics covered:

  • History of Chinese Nutrition Therapy
  • The principals of traditional Chinese medicine
  • The Energetic characteristics of Food
  • Constitutional Types of People
  • Compare Chinese Nutrition with Western Nutrition
  • TCM View of Nutrition
  • Food Groups and Their Properties: Animal Products, Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Beans, Nuts and Seeds
  • General Plant Families
  • Eating with the Seasons Guidelines
  • Foods by the Five Elements: Wood (Liver), Fire (Heart), Earth (Stomach), Metal (Lung/Large Intestine), Water (Kidney),
  • Cooking with Chinese Herbs
  • Congee Recipes
  • Practice Cases

If you would like more information on this course when it becomes available, enter your details here.

Tuina Acupressure for Promoting Health

Next Course Dates and Duration:

  • Saturday & Sunday – May 21st and 22nd – 2016
  • Times: 9:30am to 17:30pm

Tuina Acupressure For Health and Emotional Well being (2 day course)

This two day course introduces you to the most powerful and amazing world of acupressure. Explore the healing potential of Acu-points.

This workshop is a great route into energy work if you are a beginner and holds a wealth of opportunities for complementary therapists to expand your skills and insight.

What you will learn:

On the day, you will learn to locate and activate the 6 ‘Master Acu Points’ plus other regular acupoints to effectively treat physical problems anywhere in the body, to help symptoms such as pain, low energy, breathing difficulties, and poor digestion. The course also includes an introduction to the traditional Chinese medicines mind-body aspects of Tuina acupressure, covering 8 principal mind-body disharmony and Acu points to help harmonize psychological stress. Tuina acupressure used in this way helps you understand how your thoughts and feelings influence your health and well being, and activate Acu points to improve how you feel both physically, emotionally and mentally.

Benefits of Tuina

Patients and Clients are often surprised at how quick Tuina can promote recovery from a particular condition. Some of the therapeutic benefits include:

  • Harmonising Yin and Yang
  • Revitalising Qi
  • Removing excesses that imped the flow of physical and emotional blocks
  • Smoothing the meridian channels and collaterals
  • Promoting the circulation of Qi and blood
  • Improving muscle relaxation and stopping spasm.
  • Increases flexibility
  • Improves posture
  • Prevention of future conditions by strengthening the body
  • Increases detoxification of cellular waste
  • Promotes mental relaxation
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Increases body awareness

Tuina is a complete system, able to safely and quickly heal and bring awareness to most of the illnesses that assail the human body, whether internally, affecting internal organ functionality, or externally, affecting joints and muscles.


Your teacher for the course is James O’Sullivan L.Ac. who is a visiting lecturer to Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, a member of the Teaching Council of Ireland, a director of Acupuncture Council of Ireland, he has developed various Tuina and acupuncture courses for a number of colleges in Europe. His lectures and workshops are full with meaningful and useful material delivered in a fun and pragmatic way. James has deep respect traditional Chinese medicine and the gifts of ancient wisdom that are so practical and relevant today.

Tuina Acupressure is practiced over clothes. Please wear loose cloths for the day.

Dates: See Calendar (Scroll through)


Who is the course for:

  • Everyone with a desire to learn Chinese Tuina Acupressure for Health.  Practitioners and lay people alike will enjoy this course. The content will challenge you as all our courses will but the two days will be fun and interesting.



  • €180 which include notes.
  • Places limited to 12 acupuncturists for maximum tuition and lecturer participation.
  • Policy of Payment in Advance – Why?
  • Cancellation Policy – See below

First complete the online application form to let us know who you are and how we can contact you. The application process is simple and completely online. If this course requires prior qualifications and we require evidence of your qualifications we will write to you separately.

3 Payment Options after you complete the Application Form…

Pay ONLINE Now with the PayPal button below.

If you don’t have a PayPal account – no worries, you can still pay by credit card on the PayPal site with NO extra cost. Click button to say you wish to pay by card only.

Drop a check, postal order or money order to us at 4 St. Bridget’s Place, Prospect Hill, Galway. Make check payable to Active Health.  Make sure you let us know who you are.

Pay directly into our bank account.

Account Name: Active Health
Bank: AIB
Bank Address: Lynch’s Castle, Galway, Ireland
National Sort code: 93-70-96.
Account Number: 04758064
IBAN: IE79 AIBK 9370 9604 7580 64 (BIC: AIBKIE2D)

Please ensure you include your name with your lodgement.

Cancellation Policy

Less than 3 days notice or “no show”: no refund
Greater than 3 days but less than 14 days notice: 50% refund
Greater than 14 days but less than 30 days notice: 70% refund
Greater than 30 days notice: Full refund

What happens after I complete the application form and pay my Fee

Within a couple of days, I will write to you with all the necessary details on the course.

Frequently Asked Question

Sheila asks: I am a trained holistic masseuse but I’m not practicing, would I still be eligible for this course? Is this course suitable for a beginner, I don’t know the acupressure points.

James response: This course is designed for complete beginners. We will cover briefly traditional Chinese medical theory, point location and function as well as a safe practical sequence that will be demonstrated during the workshop and practiced on each other. We welcome absolute mature beginners with no massage experience.

Practitioners Diploma in Tuina

Galway City 2020

2 Qualifications to start you practicing Chinese Medicine

1st Qualification: Practitioners Diploma in Tuina
2nd Qualification: Diploma in Anatomy & Physiology

Tuina Chinese Medical (Chiropractic) is the most powerful hands on therapy in the world today 


Treating Sinusitis

This course is designed for mature students who, upon successful completion of this course you will be qualified to practice this effective and practical therapy. Tuina is the Official Medical Chinese Bodywork therapy that was developed in China over 3,000 years ago and known as needle-less acupuncture. It is an integral part of the healthcare system in hospitals throughout China today. It works with the energy system in the body known as the meridian system. Traditional Chinese Medicine is now a well established health profession. It is a holistic approach that has received wide recognition throughout the world.

Hung Tsui Ying demonstrating technique

Subject Description: Tuina is the Official Medical Chinese Bodywork therapy that was developed in China over 3,000 years ago and known as needle-less acupuncture. It is an integral part of the healthcare system in hospitals throughout China today. It works with the energy system in the body known as the meridian system. Traditional Chinese Medicine is now a well established health profession. It is a holistic approach that has received wide recognition throughout the world.

Aim of Course: To enable participants to obtain a Practitioners Diploma in Tuina Chinese Medical Acupressure, which certifies their competence to diagnose and treat a wide variety of health conditions according to the practical and theoretical principals of Traditional Chinese Medical theory in a Holistic way.

Entry Level: The course is designed for mature persons with an explicit interest in studying a complementary therapy that they can use in helping others within the community.
It is also a prerequisite for all participants to adhere to a practitioner Code of Ethics and Practice

Course Validation: The course syllabus, its academic structure and the number of hours have been designed to meet the stringent requirements of the Chinese Academic Authority, through their principal college, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine and ZheJiang University of Chinese Medicine

The course structure is the only course in Ireland that meets with the training schedule as laid down by the World Health Organisation for practitioners of Tuina

Text Books: A list of text books, together with a detailed syllabus pack and course timetable is issued on enrolment.

Example video of Lecture Review .

Course Content: Click Here

Practical Extra: A commitment to full (95%) attendance is necessary to meet with Active Health Foundation requirements for examinations.

Western Sciences: All the WHO affiliated TCM colleges have taught Western Medical sciences since 1953. These have been taught alongside acupuncture, herbs, and Tuina.
Both Tuina and Western Sciences modules run concurrently.

There will be 3 examinations at the end of each year:
::: An exam in TCM theory
::: An exam in TCM practical
::: An exam in Western Medical Sciences

Duration of Course: 480 hours of lectures, practical’s, assignments and clinical experience

James O’Sullivan

James O’Sullivan has a busy Chinese Medicine practice in Galway. James also lectures for 5 VEC colleges around Ireland running the under graduate Tuina diploma course, as well as being a visiting lecturer to Beijing and ZheJiang universities in China. He developed the first under graduate Diploma in Tuina in Ireland. Many acupuncturists will know his fresh and hands on approach to TCM. James trained with Hung Shui Chen in Taiwan, a Tuina master practitioner and a living legend in his lifetime. More on James O’Sullivan

Your Lecturers: Hung Tsui Ying has a busy practice in Chinese Medicine in Galway.
She is a respected Tuina master from Taiwan and a master practitioner in Chinese Cosmetic Acupuncture, Chinese Nutrition therapy, Gua Sha therapy, Auricular (ear) acupuncture, Chinese Herbal medicine. Tsui Ying lectures extensively throughout Ireland and England.
More on Hung Tsui Ying.

2020 Timetable: Click Here.

Diploma Fees: start at €1850. Click Here. 

The Active Health group at the Forbidden City, Beijing

Career Opportunities: As a qualified Tuina Practitioner you qualify for Professional Indemnity Insurance – allowing you to practice legally in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. You can start your own clinic & practice, by practicing the most effective natural therapies from China.  More on the Tuina Practitioner Here. 

Progression Routes: You can progress with further training and qualify as a practitioner of Sports Acupuncture, subject to our affiliated college’s syllabus and curriculum. The Diploma in Tuina course is a step on your route to becoming an Acupuncturist

Practitioner Diploma in Tuina Fees

Main Course Details.
This qualification allows you to practice when you pass all exams and attend the required course hours and obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance

Course starting September 2016

Active Health Foundation Course Fee

Your Choice of Payment Plans

Standard Plan (Early Bird discounted fees)

Payable as follows:
Deposit with application

Balance payable at September lecture

Total Fees

Installment Plan

Deposit with application

First lecture. Installment of

plus 3 monthly Installments of
Total Tuition with installment plan

Examination Fees included
The fee for our program covers all tuition, course material (with the exception of the student clinical kit and text books), administration.

Anatomy and Physiology Exemption

If you already hold a recognised qualification in Anatomy and Physiology, you may apply for an exemption of this module which is worth a reduction in fees of €500 off the above fees.

Why do we ask for payment in advance?

Lecture Days – Saturday / Sunday
Venue – National University of Ireland (NUIG) Galway City




How to Apply

In the first instance, please fill out the application form and send it to us.

We will then arrange a time and location to meet to discuss if this is the correct course for you.

Need to Talk in Person

I understand that this is a huge step in your life and that you may require more information about this course. There is nothing to replace a face to face. I would be delighted to speak to you over the phone (087) 785 1158 (if I’m in clinic or lecturing, leave a message).

We can arrange a meeting in the Galway Clinic, to answer any question you may have.

Calendar of Events