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


About 1 inch of fresh raw ginger grated.

1 cup of boiling water.

1 teaspoons honey.

Optional: 1/2 lemon juiced.


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.





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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.

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


  • 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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