As we move into Autumn here in the northern hemisphere, I am starting to see more and more people with coughs and colds. On a flight back to the UK from Santorini recently, myself and Mr Shen Holistics were sat a few rows back from another passenger who was coughing and sneezing throughout the entire flight. Unfortunately, the plane was rather warm and I thought this is perfect breeding ground for that virus to infect everyone on board. So, as soon as we landed out came the acupuncture needles.  Now whether manflu exists and cold / flu do indeed affect men worse than women is open for more research, but suffice to say Mr SH thinks he does actually have manflu…me on the other hand I’m fine. So rather than see him ‘suffer’ I brought out the big guns and started him on Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa which is a mixture of honey, lemon, liquorice, ginger and other herbs. Interestingly, a small amount and he’s feeling much better….chinese herbs are marvellous and can even help manflu but I like to think it was my acupuncture that did the trick and the Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa was a coincidence or provided just a little assistance.

However, as the pathogen season is upon us its important to keep yourself healthy so you can fight off bugs much easier, eating warming foods such as soups, stews and casseroles is really important as well as taking some regular exercise. Eating good amounts of fruit and vegetables will help support your immune system, and I do advise to cook them as this benefits your digestion. I’m also advising all my clients to start back on their bone broth, over the summer it was rather too warm to eat although many people were able to consume it by adding into other foods and eat it that way. So what’s the big deal about bone broth…I hear you ask? Well, its packed full of nutrients essential for the human body and its really easy to make. There are plenty of easy recipes available on the internet and even some vegetarian ones if you are not a meat eater.

If you have read my other articles you will no doubt think I’m a junk food hater, and yes I am to a certain extent. Eating junk food on the rare occasion as a treat is fine, but eating it instead of proper food will really impact your health and general wellbeing so if you want to be able to fight off the upcoming bugs a lot easier then look at your diet….oh and stop smoking, cut down the alcohol and do some exercise.

I also advise regular treatments to help support you and your wellbeing, many people think they should only get acupuncture, chinese cupping or massage when there is a problem. The vast majority of my clients see me for general maintenance because it not only helps them feel good and keeps their mood positive, but they find it helps them not be susceptible to the lurgies that do the rounds each year.

If you are feeling industrious and want to make yourself some soup here is a really good one that may help your body fight off viruses and bacterial infections courtesy of my collegue at Mango Acupuncture and as she says…It’s not that bad, honest!

Ingredients: Clove of garlic, half a leek, bunch of spring onions (don’t chop them up just trim the roots off and chuck them in), celery stalk, handful of brown rice, handful of fresh parsley, few good chunks of fresh ginger and a bit of black pepper.

1. Chuck it all in a slow cooker with enough water to just cover.
2. Cook for a few hours
3. Enjoy the nutritiousness! (You don’t have to eat the chunks of ginger or garlic…)

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