Why Will Power Doesn’t Work

Why Will Power Doesn’t Work

Food is the quickest way to change how we feel.

But switching the foods we eat is often the most difficult thing to do.

Why is that?

That’s because our relationship with food is a mirror for the relationship we have with life.

Eating is a primal urge and so unsurprisingly, it comes interwoven with all sorts of subconscious, unconscious and emotional aspects.

Our relationship with food is created by the family we are born to, the culture we grew up in, even our ancestors DNA that flows through our body and their relationship with food influences the food choices we make today.

This is why willpower is not the way to make lasting changes to the food you choose.

It’s why dieting doesn’t work.

Will power uses an impulse to do what is “right” and not what is “wrong”; to choose the food that is “good” and avoid what is “bad”.

However this sets up an inner conflict which serves to only sustain familial, cultural and sometimes ancestral conditioning and trauma regarding food.

In Chinese Medicine, excessive will power weakens the kidney energetic system, putting the body into fear and stimulating the stress response.

The first step to making change is self awareness;  Taking time and space to examine why we make the choices of over eating, under eating, dieting, avoiding gluten, exercise or overdoing the sugar.  

By giving ourselves the space to see unconscious patterns, allows us to begin to unravel them and clear the trauma that drives us.

Remember the unconscious mind makes unhealthy choices in an attempt to keep you safe.  This could be from childhood imprints taken from the dinner table where you had to fight for the food on your plate, through to teenage need to be accepted with the “desirable” body shape or right back to the womb with the mother and baby bond. 

If we see these beliefs then they are no longer unconscious.  The mind realises that new choices are safe then new patterns of behaviour can begin.

Your conscious and unconscious are now on the same team, taking action, understanding consequences and doing so with self love and compassion.

This doesn’t mean that you will never eat a chocolate bar again, on the contrary, everything will be on the table but with self awareness comes a knowledge of the consequences of your actions. With compassion and love for your spirit and body you will make the food choices that best serve you.

Addictions come from a grasping for love, a need for connection and acceptance.  Much as you love that chocolate bar it’s never going to love you.  It’s not the answer you are looking for.  Which is why abstinence and avoidance never satisfies the addicted soul.  You can only deal with addiction and cravings by connecting to your spirit with guidance and support.

In my Sweet Self Retreat we will be providing the space for self awareness, the knowledge of the (w)holistic aspect of sugar cravings in Chinese Medicine plus the support and care so you release the ties that bind you and take new self loving action. 


And of course you can always find  self compassion and mindful movement in my daily LIVE Qi Gong – why not try a free class.

Chi Flow with Jo Waitlist

Store cupboard tea for immunity

Store cupboard tea for immunity

Always make sure to have these two store cupboard ingredients that will always help to keep you healthy. I also share a recipe that puts them all together in the best flu-busting, immune-supporting, inflammation-reducing, spirit-lifting, tasty tea, I know.

The first ingredient is ginger. Traditionally the rhizome (root) is used in complementary medicine all over the world but the flowering plant originated in China and is closely related to turmeric and galangal.  Ginger has been used for over 1000’s of years in Chinese Medicine to treat nausea, chest infections, digestive conditions, colds and flu.  At the moment in the treatment of COVID-19 wild ginger (Xi Xin) is part of a compound which has been very useful when treating the virus.*1  Wild ginger can only be prescribed by a Chinese Medicine physician as it can be toxic if not used properly.  However, there are no such worries with regular ginger.  We can all use it in large doses to strengthen the immune system and keep the mucus from settling on the chest.
The pungent flavour in Traditional Chinese medicine supports the immune system with foods such as garlic, ginger, and any of the onion family such as scallions, leeks and regular onions.  These ingredients in Chinese medicine disperse phlegm that builds up in the lungs and helps to strengthen the immune system.   Which includes our next ingredient turmeric.

In Chinese Medicine, turmeric stops blood stagnating and coagulating thereby reducing pain, swelling and stiffness all over the body. It helps the gallbladder produce bile, aiding the liver’s detoxifying powers, invigorating blood and moving Chi in all areas of the body. In the abdomen, it reduces cramps and the pain of slow-moving menstruation blood and in the lung, it keeps passageways open aiding breathing.

Cinnamon is another fantastic ingredient. With its gentle Christmas spice flavour it warms the lungs and allows flow. With its sweet flavour it also supports the spleen, which according to the simple 5-element theory is the mother of the lung.  Out of balance, too much sugar creates internal dampness, which clogs the lungs, making conditions such as pneumonia even more difficult to treat.
So whilst the maple syrup in the tea is a good alternative to refined sugar as it contains minerals and antioxidants it is still a sugar and will cause problems if taken in large amounts.

Immune Boosting, Anti Inflammatory Tea

Page 309 – Good Food, Better Sex



•750ml water
•1⁄2 a lemon, sliced or rough chopped rind included
•2-inch ginger root, roughly chopped
•1 tsp. freshly grated turmeric
•1 stick cinnamon
•1 tbsp. maple syrup (more or less to taste)
Put all ingredients into a large saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-20 minutes. Strain and serve. Once strained I like to keep this in the fridge, filling half a mug and topping up with boiling water when I want a hot cup. It’s a very pleasant drink to take warm in the winter or cool in the summer. Feel free to change quantities of ingredients depending on your taste or illness.
Ginger and Turmeric can be kept in the fridge or freezer to be grated or chopped when needed.
I hope this insight into how you can use Chinese Medicine to complement your health by using simple food as medicine.


Why not  Buy the books which are full of food medicine recipes, acupressure points and energy exercise to help us stay young and healthy.  Find Chinese Medicine in your kitchen for lowering cholesterol, balancing hormones, building blood, strengthening bones, calming anxiety, reducing hot sweats, strengthening bladder, prostrate, nails, hair and much much more.

If you would like to learn more for individual solutions that work specifically for you work 1-1 with me  

YouTube player

Sign up below to receive blog posts as they are published