Improve Digestion With Chinese Medicine
It is no coincidence that the two oldest systems of medicine on the planet, traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda , consider digestion as one of the key factors of health. These precursors of modern medicine discovered through thousands of years of clinical practice and observation that a very direct link existed between the digestive health of a person and his physical and mental well-being. Indeed, poor digestion can have a great effect on a person’s daily life.
Traditional symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, pain, acid indigestion, immune resistance, sexual health, mood and appearance are also directly related to digestive health. In fact, almost every facet of health begins with good digestion .
We all suffer from digestive health problems at some point in our lives. However, for too many of us, these problems become chronic.
On the one hand, we are rarely informed about symptoms indicative of poor digestion. On the other hand, we prefer quick solutions such as drugs, laxatives and intensive detox to temporarily contain the visible face of poor digestion.
In this article we will focus specifically on the traditional Chinese medicine to understand, clarify and provide solutions to digestive problems.
The Main Causes Of A Bad Digestion According To Chinese Medicine
In the West, in case of indigestion, one often hears “I ate something that does not pass”. On hearing, it is the food alone that is guilty of this inconvenience.
For Chinese medicine, food choices are one of the possible causes of poor digestion. Here is the list
It is difficult to estimate how much stress affects digestion. In case of stress, the body releases adrenaline which prevents the digestive system from functioning properly . This is also the case in emotional difficulties, such as anxiety and depression.
Eating Without A Real Hunger
In the case of diet based on sugar and pleasure, some people are tempted to eat while they are not really hungry. Indeed, a real hunger, intervenes only once the previous meal completely digested, which can take 5 to 6 hours for a large meal, especially in case of weak digestion. According to TCM, the actual appetite maximizes digestive fire and prepares for proper digestion of food.
For Chinese medicine digestion begins in the mouth. Each digestive enzyme acts for a specific type of food. This is why Chinese dishes are always divided into different parts containing a single type of food.
Once in the mouth, digestive work is initiated via mastication. She is responsible for the first phase of processing the food. The more the food will be liquefied by teeth and saliva, the easier it will be to preserve the digestive fire .
Eating Too Fast
Just as the preparation of a meal stimulates the appetite, the ability to be present concentrated on the flavors, aspects, odors of the meal allows the digestive system to “understand” the role it will have to play . It is better to shift your meal if you feel nervous rather than eating precipitously.
Most of us do not realize the effect of weather, moisture and temperature of their digestive system. Sudden changes in external temperature affects circulation, the nervous system and also digestion. Living or working in cold conditions or in drafts can weaken digestion.
Hot weather can cause bloating and water retention.
Conversely, it is important for anyone with digestive health problems to stay warm and dress appropriately when the weather is cold .
Too Much To Eat In The Evening Or Not Enough
“Eat like a king in the morning, like a prince in the south and like a poor man in the evening . “ This is a maxim often taken up by Chinese medicine.
A large meal just before sleeping will not be digested properly and will also affect your sleep, leaving you tired in the morning.
It is just as penalizing to go to bed hungry because sooner or later in the night your body will wake you up.
The evening meal should therefore be adjusted between the two extremes.
Eating Fruits With Other Foods
If you eat fruit with or immediately after a meal, then it will take longer to be digested and will start to ferment. This can cause bloating, “wind” in the body and even pain. Take the fruit in a snack between meals.
Principles For Improving Digestion
In addition to avoiding all the pitfalls mentioned above, the following principles should be followed to improve digestion.
Distribute The Meals
Eating in large quantities exerts excessive pressure on the digestive system. Simply eating more often but lighter avoids overloading the digestive system .
Massaging the abdomen after meals promotes digestion. For this, the ideal is above all to warm your hands, then perform a gentle and circular movement of the stomach. Perform the gesture 20 to 40 times in a clockwise direction, then reverse the movement. This technique is likely to eliminate post prandial fatigue (the one that makes you want to sleep after a meal).
We digest with his feet! A walk allows to circulate the energies of the body and optimizes the digestion .
Eat At Regular Intervals
For those who have adopted a rhythm of 3 meals a day, the often recommended rhythm is: breakfast 7 am-8pm / lunch 12-13h / dinner 18h-19h.
In order to save the stomach / spleen duo, a sufficient interval of 5 to 6 hours between meals must also be observed, so that everything is digested before the next cycle, but also to allow the birth of the fire digestive.
Eat In Peace
Mastiquer and be free from stress, will allow an optimal mechanical functioning of the digestion. Chinese medicine also takes into account the factor of mindfulness .
Indeed, the act of eating is considered by the MTC as a spiritual and sensory act. By focusing on the smells, textures and sight of foods, the individual will enhance the body’s degree of awareness. It will thus be able to identify what is happening, namely the process of the meal and to answer in adequation by a better digestion.
This principle is unfortunately very little respected in our modern societies where eating in front of television is a widespread habit.