Wednesday, 30 May 2018


Credit Image: BON Cloud

While the UK is experiencing a decline in private healthcare and the standard of treatment, with a number of private hospitals being issued with warnings linked to poor quality standards and failing safety [1]; out of all the large emerging economies, China boasts the swiftest and most high tech growing healthcare market. In addition to this, due to its massive potential for growth, and the size of the nation, it has proved to be one of the world's most inviting regions for international investors.

Furthermore, here in 2018, China's economy is well on course to surpass that of the Euro Zone. Bloomberg's data analysts indicate that this year, China’s GDP will amount to around $13.2 trillion, a figure which overshadows the 19 EU nations' total of $12.8 trillion [2]. This is excellent news for the Chinese private health medical industry, and patients alike - be they in China or the US, where Chinese companies have brought up large stakes in healthcare services.

Chinese Innovation is Key

Over the upcoming years, as the country's economic model evolves from quantity into quality, it is clear that innovation is fundamental to success. The Chinese governmental heads have devised a formidable plan to make China a progressive worldwide manufacturing economy, and to that end, the country is predicted to ascend the global value chain [2]. And as BONCloud notes, very importantly, healthcare, which is a vital service industry, has been a point of focus for the country's economic strategy over the next five years [3].

Credit Image: BON Cloud

Achieving Health in China and Beyond

In order for China to offer a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art high tech contemporary healthcare model, cooperation from various medically advanced countries is needed aside from the said investment. An excellent working example of this synergy is the success of the Tahoe Investment Group, a renowned Chinese company which as shown by BON Cloud, has enjoyed noteworthy advances within the private sector, and has a strategy to invest up to 15 billion dollars in the field of health and medicine [3].

In 2017, Tahoe's acquired a majority share in the American based, Alliance Health Care Services, a US company listed on the NASDAQ, which according to Bloomberg, offers US healthcare providers and hospitals leading outsourced healthcare services in the fields intervention, oncology and radiology [4], [5]. BON Cloud states that due to this huge investment, Tahoe medics and researchers have been empowered with access to 30 years of top quality clinical care expertise [3]. Further, between then and now, the Tahoe group have been instrumental in either buying or building general hospitals. These are set to serve private patients who seek superior treatment in Sichuan (where a first-class maternity hospital will be established); in Beijing (where a general hospital will be built), and in Shanghai, (which involves collaboration with the American Weill Cornell Medical College, for the purpose of establishing an advanced international hospital).

Credit Image: Bon Cloud

The Problems With Private Medical Care in the UK

It is these readily accessible private hospitals and high tech innovative services and treatments from Tahoe, that the UK is lacking for self-pay and private insurance holders. There is a shortage, primarily because the NHS has a number of agreements with them to to carry out operations and services that the NHS does not have the capacity to handle. Moreover, due to a reduction in health tourism, limited National Health Service work, and scandals involving patient safety, the once rocketing UK private healthcare industry is spiraling into free-fall, and it is the private patients who suffer [6].

Further, in a continually evolving and unpredictable healthcare economy where it is essential to generate a positive margin, private healthcare systems such as those in the UK, have suffered decreasing margins for a very long time, and their revenue pressures have been substantial. Further, it is anticipated that this situation will continue as upgrades in infrastructure, a substantially higher number of patients, and advancements in tech and therapeutics, are causing a heavily strain on the already restricted funds for investment [7]. Moreover, the UK does not of course, share the economic success of China.

The UK private health facilities do serve one very important purpose: they are a preferred option for patients who do not want a long, and sometimes fatal wait on the National Health Service (NHS) list. After all, when it comes to crucial medical treatment, time is of the essence. In many people's experience, the trauma of not even being given an appointment, even if it is many weeks way, can prove all too much for patients, and stress is the last thing that they and their family need.

Another major difference in the way in which UK and Chinese private health providers operate, is in the crucial training of their medics. Tahoe leads the way by providing a broad scope of educational curriculums via its collaboration with some of America's and China's leading medical schools, whereas in the UK, medics generally have only one avenue of training.

In summary, the difference between what the future holds for the UK and Chinese private healthcare industries is quite staggering. In the UK, there is not the emphasis on high tech and innovation, and there are no major financial backers such as the Tahoe Investment Group, which have a clear vision of their long-term strategy and goals. Moreover, due to its association with the NHS, the private healthcare industry in the UK, is not financially stable, and some of the private hospitals have suffered from scathing reports about standards and patient safety. At the end of the day, private patients have to make wise choices, and as we move closer to 2020 travelling abroad for treatment is becoming much more commonplace. High quality tech and procedures are part and parcel of this era, and patients need access to them.

Credit Image: BON Cloud


[1]. Hunt, Jeremy (2018). “Private hospitals warned over failing safety and quality standards.” The Guardian. Accessed 29 May, 2018.

[2]. Perucchini, Alberto (2018). Julius Bar. “Made in China 2025: moving up the value chain.” Accessed 29 May, 2018.

[3]. BON Cloud (2018). “Tahoe Group Is Transforming China’s Healthcare Into A Global, High-Tech Industry.”’s-healthcare-global-high-tech-industry Accessed 29 May, 2018.

[4]. Tahoe Investment Group (2018). “About Us.” Accessed 29 May, 2018.

[5]. Bloomberg (2018). “Healthcare Providers and Services. Company Overview of Alliance Healthcare Services, Inc.”

[6]. Withers, Iain (2017). “Is the private healthcare market going into reverse?” The Guardian. Accessed 29 May, 2018.

[7]. Deloitte (2018). “2018 Global health care outlook.” Deloitte. Accessed 29 May, 2018.

Monday, 17 November 2014


Please take a look at this excellent, easy to understand presentation: 
The Effects of Smoking on the Body, sent to me by Ann Pietrangelo:

Wednesday, 20 November 2013


A big thank you to the fabulous Canadian "Herbal Collective" Magazine for reviewing my latest book: 
"The Winning Way to Quit Smoking"
You can also subscribe FREE to this fantastic publication which is full of incredible health tips and advice!



After years in the same old routine we can almost run on autopilot.  We do the same things as yesterday, the day before, and most days before that.  Habits and routines are good for us because they reduce stress - accomplishing tasks from memory rather than active though.  Habits, good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, make up most of our day. If you know how to control your habits, then even a small effort can create big changes in your daily life and health.  The same is true for changing your smoking habit.

Multiply over ten drags on a cigarette from a pack a day, and you get roughly 250 hand to mouth motions.  Smoking is a ritualized behavior that must be replaced by something productive and healthy.  The trick is using your triggers.  A trigger is an event that causes you to perform some action.  Usually for smokers it is something like morning coffee, traffic, or lunch break that causes them to reach for a pack of cigarettes and light up.  If you want to stop smoking, that means every time you feel the urge for a cigarette, you have to do something else besides smoke, until you create a new habit.

When smokers generally try to quit - and then fail, it is because they try to give up cigarettes without making changes to their lifestyle and routines.  You can’t just pull out old habits without finding another way to replace the needs that those habits fulfill.  Smoking fulfills needs such as having a few moments alone when you take a smoke break.  But that smoke break can be taken without cigarettes.  You don't need a cigarette to stop what you are doing and sit quietly for a few moments and reflect.  You could just as easily make a cup of herbal tea, and sip on that quietly away from your place of work.

This method of habit replacement is often called the Substitution Strategy for Quitting Smoking.  First you have to become aware of when you smoke.  Then you will be able to find something different to do in that time.  It is best to pick something healthy like breathing exercises, stretching, eating raw vegetables, drinking herbal tea - like QUIT TEA, or playing brain games.  There are endless possibilities that are healthier than smoking!  If you can stick with doing that for a few weeks or months, you will have created a new habit, and instead of being triggered to smoke, you will be triggered to do something healthy and beneficial. This Substitution Strategy for Quitting Smoking definitely works to recondition the automatic response - and after a period of time, your new response to the same old triggers will feel natural.  Stick with it - it works!

Matt Bucklin, the author of this article, is the creator of Quit Tea which forms part of the protocol in"The Winning Way to Quit Smoking".


Sunday, 13 October 2013


Crow’s feet, premature wrinkles, dark circles, pucker lines, prune-like, leathery, dry, thin, dull, shallow, sallow, saggy, grey and yellow – this is the description of the face of a long-term heavy smoker. If your image is not like this yet, then a polluted transformation to fast-track aging could be facing you in the mirror anytime in the future. The skin quality of some smokers is a testiment to what is happening to their bodies. And whilst cosmetic procedures are available for those who have the funds – just think of the irreparable damage that is done to the body’s cells and organs. Smokers age more rapidly on both the inside and outside; and scientific studies prove that smokers can have rapid aging of the body, particularly their facial skin which results from poor oxygenation of the tissues and various other related effects. 

The toxins found in cigarette smoke have a devastating impact on the skin, and when skin is exposed to this smoke, free radicals can be generated in a millionth of a second. In large doses these free radicals can break through the membrane that protects the skin’s cells and cause inflammation, visible lines and wrinkles as well as other damage. What most smokers do not realize, is that just like sun damage, it can take many years to reflect on the skin.

Consistently smoking throughout your 20s or 30s can add 10 to 15 years to your looks, and the irony is it may only surface in your 40s. Nicotine and tar decreases the circulation to the entire body, including the skin; this forces the blood vessels to narrow in the outer layers which reduces the amount of vital oxygen and nutrients required to keep it healthy and looking good. And this “looking good” is also dependant on the DNA – the cell’s genetic material which can become jumbled by excessive free radical damage, creating poor unhealthy cell duplication. And this is not the only problem - as people age, they are subject to cell degeneration. So logical thinking would be that if you care about your looks, you should not want to continue to smoke. 

Puffing away and pursing the lips year in and year out creates pucker lines and wrinkles on the upper lip and the surrounding area. Repeated sucking on cigarettes can develop hollow cheeks and squinting in smoke generates crow’s feet around the delicate eye area, where the skin is very thin. And because the blood vessels are constricted, the skin's cells do not receive an optimum supply of blood. This means that the skin can lose its robust texture and radiant colour, and that a blue tinge can develop under the eyes. Also there seems to be evidence that smoking may activate the genes responsible for a skin enzyme that breaks down collagen. The collagen (which can suffer a 40% drop in production), along with elastin, form the skin’s protein which both support and generate its elasticity. – These can become weakened and permanently damaged through free radical destruction. Once the collagen molecules are damaged in this way they become stiff and inflexible (cross-linked), and are unable to slide freely over one another, or spring back when stretched, as in healthy skin. And it is this process that leads to the “wrinkled–up” prematurely-aged look which affects the entire body. 

Smoking also diminishes the body’s supply of vitamin C, zinc, and bioflavonoids, all of which are fundamental to the formation of new collagen. - Taking a good quality collagen supplement, such as the one at the Amazon link at the top of the page, is (subject to any contra-indications), highly recommended.  Proper nutrition and waste elimination within the skin’s cells become compromised, muscles weaken, and the firmness of a well-toned defined visage becomes something of the past. Smokers may also suffer with blackheads because the decreased collagen dilates the pores. In smokers and non-smokers alike, the skin’s ability to replace damaged collagen decreases with age; and a poor nutritional status including diets high in glycemic carbohydrates and sugar, UV and other environmental damage, certain age-related hormonal changes and stress, all take their toll. – Smoking heavily adds to the long list of negative factors. 

On a far more hazardous note, smokers are subject to much higher rates of skin cancers than non-smokers, and their skin also takes longer to heal. This is because when the skin is trying to repair itself from a cut, it requires more oxygen and nutrients than it would normally. The skin’s prime source of nourishment is from the inside, so your nutritional status plays a major role in the condition of your skin. Youthful skin means a healthy well-balanced diet, good absorption capability, lack of toxicity, and maintaining an optimum intake of water, as explained in my book "The Winning Way to Quit Smoking". Most of the water that gives the skin a healthful look is deposited in the deep layers of the dermis (the skin or connective tissue just beneath the epidermis which is the skin’s surface); and the hypodermis (the layer of fatty tissue below the dermis). - And just as smokers can be easily recognized, so can insufficient water drinkers. 

This is a popular skin polishing technique which uses micro-particles to remove the top layer of dead skin to give it a smoother, brighter, more youthful appearance. It could even help to remove the yellow stain on smokers’ fingers. It is usually carried out by a dermatologist, registered beauty therapist or a medical beauty specialist. The technique is moderate compared with far deeper techniques using dermabrasion which should only be administered by a registered medical physician, with experience in this field. Winter is the best time of year to have a course of treatments, and a sun block must always be applied during that time. 

Antioxidant protection from both the inside and the outside is the way to go with optimum skincare. Nutrition plays a crucial role in minimizing free radical damage, and supplements form an important part of this. After the age of 30, there appears to be a sharp decrease in the quantity of ingested vitamins that actually reach the skin, so a healthful diet and supplementation will address this issue. A general profile of nutrients, and protein powder, along with an additional supplement of collagen and hyaluronic acid could be of benefit. Note: Always consult you medical physician prior to taking any supplements, as you may have contraindications including certain diseases, be on certain medication, or be pregnant or lactating. The topical application of vitamins to nourish the skin through oils, creams, lotions and serums can all be of great benefit in improving and maintaining a fantastic skin. 

It is not necessary to buy the designer labels, where the packaging is frequently more valuable than the product itself. Often, the people spending exorbitant amounts on tubs of designer cream could have had better results if they had applied inexpensive freshly produced organic oil, or used a plain cream and just added a drop of essential oil, such as lavender or patchouli. There is now increasing scientific evidence immerging that up to 60% of everything we put on our skin is absorbed into the blood stream, so try to go for organic products and ones without a plethora of chemical ingredients. 

Using a skin exfoliant at home once a week can help to speed cell turnover, which starts to decrease at a young age. This will assist in keeping the skin in good condition, and will also increase the absorption of moisturisers and oils. During the day a moisturiser with a UVA/UVB filter with the minimum of an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 must be worn all year round if you want to look after and protect your skin. The topical application of recommended products include various carrier oils which you can research, and change from time to time, so that your skin doesn’t just get accustomed to one product. Sweet Almond oil has a light texture and is easily absorbed – it is however, contraindicated if you suffer from a nut allergy. It is bursting with vitamins, minerals, proteins and glucosides, and is suitable for all skin types. 

Argan oil is also easily absorbed and it is perfect for very dry and damaged skin - it has a superb combination of vitamin E and pro-vitamin A. Jojoba oil is balancing, and very good for both dry and oily skin types, and has great anti-inflammatory properties. Peach kernel oil is for mature skins. It has a richer texture than sweet almond oil, and is particularly valuable for dry, sensitive skin. There are also some wonderful pre-blended oils which include various aromatherapy essences. These blends, which you can make yourself, hydrate and nourish the skin, and may, over time, even help to soften facial lines. They can also give you an emotional sense of sereneness, and help you sleep. When using any oil on the face, the best time to put it on is at night. Avoid applying close to the eye area, and leave it on for up to half an hour, and then blot off any residue with a tissue (this stops it blocking the pores which need to breathe). Oils can of course, be used successfully for whole body.

Heat improves absorption, so apply after a bath for the face, or the body as well if you have not used oil in the bath. Try to always purchase your oils in glass bottles, and store in a cool dry place, away from the sun, and in a safe area away from children. Note: if you suffer from a nut allergy only purchase oils which are not originated from nuts. And whilst we are on the subject of aesthetics, it brings us onto the “tobacco smile” – years of tobacco stain build-up which has often left behind the bright healthy smile that smokers have forgotten they had. Fortunately, there is something that can be done about it – a “Hollywood Smile” can be yours, and it can transform the way you look, and really give you a positive self-image – a new you on your way forward! Many dentists offer this straight forward treatment to recharge your smile. It simply involves the application of hydrogen peroxide gel and usually takes about an hour – and after that you will be smiling at everyone! If you want to have further work done, you can go for veneers or crowns. So, you can see the beautiful benefits that quitting will give you on the outside as well as the inside!


Sunday, 15 September 2013



Firstly, congratulations for deciding to take positive action and move forward with THE WINNING WAY Method. There are 3 Zones which you will enter to slowly and systematicaly become a non-smoker: THE CUTTING DOWN ZONE 8 WEEKS, THE QUIT ZERO ZONE 16 WEEKS & THE PERMANENT QUIT ZONE - your final destination. Over the years I have had in-depth conversations with countless smokers who would dearly like to kick the habit, but are terrified that if they do, they will not be or feel themselves, and that it would be a quantum leap into the dark unknown for them. -  This is particularly so for long-term smokers.  But what I try to get them to think about is not the unknown - but the known - the time when they once were non-smokers and felt their normal-selves.  There are so many things in life that seem insurmountable - yet often when we reach our goals, we look back and see that the fretting and worrying was worse than the getting on with it and going through it.  You are looking at this book because you want to stop - you have the will and by following my unique positive mindset strategy, along with using easy supports like e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), Quit Tea, a hypnosis CD, and de-stressing inhalers, you have the way.  - With THE WINNING WAY Method you do not have to quit right away - it is about small steps that allow you to gradually cut down your cigarettes number. - This makes the transition phase as calm and un-stressing as possible, and allows your mind and body to acclimatise.  Step by step I will show you how to be in a much stronger and succesful position to quit for good and never want to light up again. It is possible for everyone to achieve non-smoking status. - And with THE WINNING WAY Method, smoking will become a thing of the past - a foreign country!
Shirley Amy, BSc.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013


In the US, lung cancer is the largest form of cancer death. Jessica Patella ND, has written a summary from the journal: Cancer Prevention Research (2013), which states that research on animals has indicated that garlic offers a protective effect by reducing the contraction of lung cancer. - It is believed this may be because when we eat raw garlic, high levels of certain compounds (organosulfur) disperse in our lungs.  
A recent large human population-based case controlled study indicted that the more the participants had eaten fresh garlic, the lesser the lung cancer risk.  So whilst more studies are needed, the fact that raw garlic already has many well documented health benefits, makes it a winner. - It is cheap and accessible to everyone, and can easily be added freshly cut or pressed to all kinds of meals and snacks. - Nature has so much to offer us, so add some to your shopping cart!!




This product is recommended as part of "The Winning Way to Quit Smoking" protocol.  It is a successful natural proven aid for smokers who are trying to quit. - It is a specially formulated herbal tea which is aimed to support your willpower, reduce cravings, de-stress and relax, increase energy, lessen hunger pangs, and improve lung function.  It can be taken for a limited period of weeks, or indefinitely.   Keeping some at work as well as home is a great strategy!