July Blog

The hottest summer since 1976, and Mr SH and I are loving it. We had a few days away in Cornwall, which is somewhere I have wanted to visit since I was a child and we were not left disappointed. The beaches were amazing, the sea crystal clear and the people very friendly, it is somewhere I definitely want to revisit and explore more. My Qi was definitely recharged by the time we left.

Just a word on digestion during warm / hot weather, I’m advising all my clients to eat cooling foods but not ice cold during this hot weather as they can upset the stomach. In Chinese Medicine the digestive system doesn’t like very cold foods but trying to eat hot or spicy food in this weather is impossible. You may not feel like eating very much either, and that’s ok. Just try and pick at small amounts or wait until it cools down a little before eating. Eating fish or seafood can help you feel cooler but try not to eat lots of food before bed as that can make you hot and you might find it difficult to sleep even more. Don’t worry too much if your appetite is non existent right now, just keep drinking plenty and know that in a few months it’ll be cold and I’ll be advising warm stews and stodgy puddings to nourish your digestive system.

Now for some really exciting news…I am thrilled to announce that Shen Holistics is on the move from it’s current home on Ingleby Barwick to the gorgeous Acklam Hall in Middlesbrough. Shen Holistics has grown massively in the last year and it’s now time for a bigger clinic, so Shen Holistics is joining forces with FootMan Podiatry in the relocation to Acklam Hall. I will still be offering the same high level services; Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, Massage, Cupping and Cosmetic Acupuncture but every client that visits us during the month will be entered into the FREE monthly prize draw to win afternoon tea at Acklam Hall. The more visits you make, the more chances to win. Myself and Alan Cawthorne (Footman Podiatry) are looking forward to seeing you at our new clinic, so from 1st September 2018 the clinic address will be:
Shen Holistics
Suite 5
Acklam Hall
Middlesbrough
TS5 5DY
https://www.acklamhall.co.uk

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June Blog

This month has flown by and I’ve noticed a great many of my clients are loving the gorgeous weather we are experiencing here in the UK right now. Much of May was particularly nice too but I spent a lot of my spare time making sure Shen Holistics was GDPR compliant, unless you have been living under a rock you will have heard and probably groaned about it. GDPR is the new EU data protection policy implemented on the 25 May 2018. I’m pleased to say it was done in time and all my clients were emailed advising them of my privacy policy, which can be read here.

So June has been a very busy month, I’ve received wonderful feedback which I love because it makes me appreciate why I work in the health sector. A client is pregnant after having regular acupuncture with me for 6 months, she was going to try IVF because she has a few complications but decided to give acupuncture a try. Both she and myself are absolutely delighted, and the pregnancy is going well. My fibromyalgia clients are feeling much better. More energy and less aching plus they have an appetite which is fantastic, all from acupuncture. Feedback from a hypnotherapy client who wanted more confidence, she walked into a hairdressers and got a fringe cut in! Now that may not sound a great deal, but this client had not been to the hairdresser in 20 years and had always done it herself, including the cut. So this is really huge, and her hair looks amazing with the new fringe and really suits her. She’s also saying no when she really doesn’t want to do something without feeling guilty, which is incredible. Another lady received hypnosis for anxiety and lack of confidence a few weeks ago, she has since ditched her energy sucking job and got a new much better one…all in the space of 2 weeks! I am so happy for the feedback.

I hope you are all enjoying this lovely weather we are experiencing in the Northern Hemisphere, apologies to those in the Southern Hemisphere where I hear it has been a tad cold…just a reminder to be careful of the sun. Whilst we do need our vitamin D and the sun is the best source, please be careful not to get burnt. We all know the damage the sun can do, it not only ages you but can cause skin cancer and members of my family know only too well what this is like.  I’m fair skinned, blue eyes and blonde hair so my skin burns pretty quickly without protection, so I take inspiration from my dog. She’ll sit outside in the sun for 10 minutes maximum then return indoors, she drinks plenty of water and will not venture out at all between 11am and 4pm.  Even then I check the outside surface temperature with my hand and if its still to hot, then we don’t venture outside until its cooler. Great advice I think. If you do need to go outdoors then use a high sun protection factor. Be really careful with babies and small children when in the sun (Read advice for children and babies here), and keep animals indoors or in the shade between 11am and 4pm. I do have to say this because people still keep doing it, DO NOT LEAVE BABIES, CHILDREN OR ANIMALS IN A CAR DURING THE SUMMER!!! Whether that’s with windows up or down slightly, as its too warm. Please don’t it, not even for a few minutes.

I was lucky enough to attend the The Homegrown Food Festival in Northallerton on the 24 June 2018, where the most amazing people create culinary delights and entertain the public with the Food Theatre. Its a fantastic atmosphere and gets more popular each year. The stalls offer a food experience from all four corners of the globe, and for me being a TCM practitioner I love seeing how they use different ingredients to create a taste experience and it inspires people to try something new they wouldn’t normally try. Of course for me, it inspires me to use it with my clients so they enjoy their food even more, especially when they know its helping them to feel better.

One last little note, I am seeing a huge amount of people with hayfever this year because the pollen levels are very high. Some people swear by raw honey for hayfever and this article by The Telegraph explains a bit more. (Read here). So if you find someone selling honey please buy some. I know its more expensive than the shop bought but it contains natural vitamins, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements, and of course its delicious. Also do the bees a favour and if you can plant some bee friendly flowers in your garden. They will really thank you for it in the form of fabulous honey with great health benefits.

If there is anything you think I can help with please don’t hesitate in getting in touch.

 

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May Blog

As everyone knows April was stress and anxiety awareness month and I certainly heightened that awareness with my article on this site, and my frequent Facebook and Twitter posts.  So that said, I couldn’t let it pass without mentioning that April was also Bowel Cancer awareness month and I wrote an article that talks about it, which can be found here.

One of my big pieces of news for this month is my return to Body 2 Fit in Wynyard Park commencing on 1st May 2018. Body 2 Fit has undergone some huge changes over the last few months, and I’m so excited to be returning. I will be offering Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, Acupressure Massage / Chinese Cupping and Cosmetic  Acupuncture. The clinic at Body 2 Fit is in addition to the clinic Shen Holistics currently operates at Ingleby Barwick. So if you’d like to make an appointment, you can contact me via the contacts page on this website or contact Body 2 Fit on 01642 680680.

Another major piece of news for me is finding out I require knee replacements. I see many people with joint issues and I love helping relieve their pain and give them some mobility, so it was a little bit of a shock I can tell you to find out I am in the same boat as many of my clients. I’ve had problems with my knees for a long time, which I attributed to years of doing martial arts and crawling around under desks tracing cables / wires, when I worked for years in IT. Of course I had been self treating with acupuncture and massage, and clearly done a good job as I was managing to lead a fairly normalish active life, with only mild discomfort. It was only when my knees started collapsing underneath me, and the pain was more bothersome especially at night, I thought it time to bite the bullet and see my G.P. I expected some mild arthritis on the test results, so I was a tad surprised to realise how severe it actually was, but its a great testament to the effectiveness of my treatments of acupuncture and massage. So am I getting the knee replacements….? well no, not yet. I am continuing with the self treating but stepping up the massage with Tui Na, and incorporating supplements and herbs. I want to hang on to my own knees as long as possible, because as much as replacement joints are marvelous they are still not as good as your own. A positive that has resulted from this, is knowing my approach to muscular skeletal issues really does work and its why I gets such good feedback from my clients.

Just to add further to muscular skeletal issues, I have seen a lot of clients recently with lower back pain, knee pain and foot pain so one aspect I always check is the feet…yes that is what I said….the feet. Mr SH is a biomechanics podiatrist and I have taken onboard his knowledge and experience, and always have a look at my clients shoes and feet when they present with lower back / knee / foot pain to see how someone is walking because they are nearly always linked. Below is a picture of someone’s feet over pronating (which means leaning inwards), this person suffers from plantar fasciitis, knee issues, and lower back pain and was resolved with orthotics, acupuncture and massage. So don’t discount your feet being the source of the problem, they might just provide the solution.

This sums up the month of April and as we move into May, hopefully we’ll gain some warmer weather but don’t forget the old saying ‘Ne’er cast a clout till May be out’ which means don’t discard your extra winter layers just yet. Indeed I am still making ginger tea for those chilly days and nights we keep getting. Ginger tea is very simple to make and is also great for when you have cold or flu. You can find the recipe below, hope you enjoy it. 

Ginger Tea

Ingredients

About 1 inch of fresh raw ginger grated.

1 cup of boiling water.

1 teaspoons honey.

Optional: 1/2 lemon juiced.

Method

Peel the fresh ginger then grate it (please be careful with your fingers on the grater).

Boil a kettle of water and put the hot water into the cup. Add the grated ginger and leave for at least 10 minutes.

Add the honey (and lemon if you want) to taste.

Sip slowly once its cooled down enough for it to be drank warm, not hot.

Enjoy….!

 

 

 

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April Blog

March has been an interesting and exciting month, I attended a course on psychotherapy which was a refresher to what I learnt on my degree and then nipped off to Rome for a few days with Mr SH. Whilst in Rome we visited a little restaurant for an evening meal, the type where all the locals appeared to frequent. Restaurants like this always appeal because you can be assured of good quality wholesome food and a warm welcome, and this restaurant did not disappoint. It was whilst dining I realised that even though it was winter…ish the local people still ate a good variety of fresh fish, lots of fruit / vegetables and very little sweet foods. The people also ate heartily and took the time to enjoy their food, with no eating on the run. This approach to food and eating is at the heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine, its not only about the food we eat but how we eat. Sitting down with family or friends at a table relaxing, catching up with the day and eating good food is key to your digestive system. In Traditional Chinese Medicine the vast majority of complaints that people attend my clinic with, are based around digestive disharmony, and this is caused by several reasons such as poor quality food, stress and lifestyle. Of course I always have my radar on high alert in case my clients have any red flag symptoms, in which case they are referred straight to a conventional medical practitioner.  But in most cases taking baby steps to make changes to support the digestive system sees results very quickly.

And whilst we are discussing the digestive system an interesting article was published in the UK by The Guardian newspaper (see article here) regarding gut health and microbes.  Unless you have been living on the moon you will no doubt have heard of probiotics, and the yoghurt drinks such as Yakult or Actimel. Whilst these do contain a probiotic they also contain alot of sugar which is not what the 21st century diet needs and they are very expensive. However, there are other ways to get your probiotics which are not as expensive and contain far less sugar. Fermented foods are a great way to get your probiotics and a nutritionist friend has method to make sauerkraut which is inexpensive and fully of friendly bacteria (see recipe here) and if sauerkraut doesn’t appeal to you then consider making kefir, sourdough or other fermented foods. There are plenty of good recipes on the internet.

Don’t forget that once you start consuming your friendly gut bacteria (probiotics) you need to feed them with prebiotics such as artichoke, leeks, celery, onions and garlic. That way you’ll keep them happy and help your digestive system do its work. One thing to add about your friendly gut bacteria…they hate junk food so avoid the junk once you have started looking after your gut, otherwise the gas you may produce will not be pleasant….!

Before I finish off this monthly blog don’t forget that April is stress awareness month, so have a look at my article on stress and anxiety. I also have to mention this fascinating piece of research and the huge implications on how conventional medicine will treat disease, but it’s not new…. well not in Traditional Chinese Medicine, because it’s the organ system known as the San Jiao and it’s been known about for thousand’s of years. I use the acupuncture points on the San Jiao a lot because they are great for IBS, Stress, Migraines / Headaches, Ear and Eye Problems including Tinnitus, and Muscular Skeletal Problems. So next time you get acupuncture ask your practitioner about the San Jiao channel and watch their face light up when they talk about it, we really do love the San Jiao.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/researchers-accidentally-discover-what-could-be-an-entirely-new-organ-in-the-human-body

Happy Easter Everyone….

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Welcome to the Shen Holistics Blog

The weather maybe cold outside but I want to give you a very warm welcome to the new Shen Holistics Blog. Due to the adverse weather conditions I had to cancel my clinic, but I still have my practitioner hat on no matter what the circumstances are.  Whilst making some delicious carrot and coriander soup (see recipe below) which is great for the digestive system in Traditional Chinese Medicine, I was chatting and giving some advice to an osteopath on the phone regarding acupuncture and Meniere’s disease. As an acupuncturist and hypnotherapist I come across lots of issues people really do suffer with, and February has been no exception. Using hypnosis I’ve dealt with exam anxiety, PTSD, food cravings, addictions, IBS, and sleep issues. Whereas, using acupuncture a lot of muscular skeletal issues have presented themselves as well as IBS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, infertility, stress and headaches. I’ve also written an article on the dangers of fizzy drinks and processed foods as well as infertility so one month is never the same as another but I enjoy the variety.

Lifestyle is a big part of someone’s wellbeing and my clients often ask me what I do to relax and have fun, well Mr Shen Holistics (Mr SH) and I like to go walking with our dog Sophie, the United Kingdom has some spectacular scenery and its great to get some gentle exercise and fresh air.  We have some favourite walks and we are working our way along the Cinder Track which is the old railway route from Whitby to Scarborough….the views are breath taking and its a fairly easy walk. I can thoroughly recommend this.

I’ll round off this blog entry by giving a few tips on keeping warm;

Have some soup or ginger tea, both is very good for the digestion and warming.

Avoid cold or raw foods.

Dress in layers, this traps the air and provides good insulation. If you get too warm you can simply remove layers until you feel comfortable.

Take a warm bath or shower, even steeping your feet will help warm you up. But please do be careful that its not too hot or too cold, make sure its the right temperature for you. Try adding some Himalayan or Epsom Salts to the bath or foot steeping as this creates a rejuvenating, detoxing, and relaxing at-home spa. Keep safe and warm everyone!

If there is anything you think I might be able to help you with then have a look at my website or get in touch with me on 07956 042888 or visit my contact page. Don’t forget I offer a 20 minute free telephone consultation.

Carrot and coriander soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 450g/1lb carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1.2 litres / 2 pints vegetable stock
  • large bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Carrot and coriander soup

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