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4 Ways To Improve Your Digestion According To Traditional Chinese Medicine

Written by: Michael Hetherington, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

‍Digestive problems can be frustrating and uncomfortable and can lead to further health complications if left untreated. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a unique and holistic approach to the management of digestion.

Close up picture of fit woman holding her belly on white background

According to TCM, there are four key steps that can be taken to improve digestion:

  • eating according to the season

  • clearing out old emotions & traumas inside the digestive system

  • paying attention to how and when you eat

  • strengthening the digestive organs

These steps can help restore balance and improve digestion, resulting in increased energy and better overall health. By following these methods, you can learn to nourish your body and find relief from digestive discomfort.


Eating According to the Seasons


In TCM, the seasons are connected to certain organs, emotions, health concerns, and dietary recommendations. This connection is based on the idea that the weather, temperature, and environment affect the health of each organ.


For example, summer is connected to the heart organ, which governs blood flow and circulation, so summer is when the heart is most active and blood flow is increased. This can cause an increase in heart palpitations, anxiety, and a rise in blood pressure. In order summer-related issues, the TCM dietary recommendation is to reduce heart-heat foods like red meat, poultry, and eggs. Eating according to the seasons can help create a balanced diet and provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy body. It can also reduce the risk of developing certain health complications.


Clearing Out Old Emotions & Traumas Inside the Digestive System


According to TCM, certain emotions and psychological states can get stuck or stagnate inside the mind-body system and disrupt physiological function and even create physical pain. When these emotions are processed and cleared from the mind-body system, all physiological functions, including the immune system begin to work more effectively and efficiently. In the modern world, many people suffer from overstimulation of the senses, stress, unprocessed traumas and a lack of quality rest.


Excessive worry, stress, anxiety, grief, guilt and depression are the most common emotional states that tend to get stuck in the mind-body system, disturb digestive function and harm the immune system.


There are many methods such as EFT (the emotional freedom technique), acupuncture, Qi Gong, meditation, martial arts, Chinese herbs, and psychotherapy that can help people clear stuck or stagnant emotional states from the mind-body system and therefore, improve digestion. For more information on how to clear old emotions from your mind-body system, visit my website (www.michaelhetherington.com)


Pay Attention to How and When You Eat


The way you eat and when you eat can dramatically affect your digestion. Eating while distracted (such as looking at your phone) tends to disconnect the mind from the body which leads to a breakdown of internal communication between mind and body.


When there is a breakdown of internal communication, the stomach can become confused about what is happening and what it should be doing. When you bring the mind to the party, it sends signals to the stomach and the rest of the body which allows it to keep up to date with what is happening with your food.


Eating too quickly can cause your digestive juices to flow too quickly, causing your stomach to produce too much acid, which can lead to indigestion and discomfort.


Eating at regular times can help with digestion because it allows the internal bio-clock to become organised as to what is happening at what time and therefore it can prepare accordingly. Regular time activities and a regular eating schedule can also help people to feel more "grounded" and relaxed which can also help improve digestion and enhance the immune system. Additionally, eating in a calm environment (away from your computer) can go a long way to help to reduce stress and improve digestion.


Strengthening the Digestive Organs


The digestive organs play an important role in digestion. According to TCM, the spleen and stomach are the major organs in digestion, but the liver, gallbladder, and pancreas also play a role. These organs can become unbalanced from stress, long-term illnesses, lack of exercise, or hereditary factors, which can lead to digestive issues.


Strengthening the digestive organs can help to reduce digestive discomfort, restore balance, and improve digestion. Qi Gong, proper breathing practices, martial arts, strength training and running are all methods that can help improve the circulation and overall power and function of the digestive organs. When there is poor internal circulation, it doesn't matter so much how well you eat because there is no real power in the organs to pull the good nutrition out of them. Therefore, I always encourage my patients and clients to focus on building their internal organ strength and improving internal circulation more than anything else if they really want to improve their digestion.


There are many TCM herbs that can also help strengthen the digestive organs. Some of these include ginseng, long guo, long dan sao, gao shan shu wan, and shen qiao mu wan. When taken alongside physical practices to improve internal organ strength, these herbs can help reduce digestive discomfort and improve the digestive process.


Conclusion: Benefits of Improving Your Digestion with TCM


Improving your digestion with TCM can help to reduce digestive discomfort, improve nutrient absorption, and provide overall health benefits. Eating according to the seasons, clearing out old emotions & traumas inside the digestive system, paying attention to how and when you eat, and strengthening the digestive organs can help you find relief from digestive issues and lead to a healthier, more balanced diet. By applying a few lifestyle adjustments and some of the methods mentioned above, they can help to quickly improve your digestion and have you feeling better in no time.


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Michael Hetherington, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Michael Hetherington is an anxiety-release expert with over 13 years of experience in the health and wellness industry. He holds a bachelor of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), a brown belt in Taekwondo, and postgraduate qualifications in education and counseling. Michael has been teaching and giving talks on energy medicine and traditional Chinese medicine around the world since 2012. Most people describe him as calm, knowledgeable, and playful.

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