Written by Danielle Toranto – Acupuncturist / Chinese Medicine Practitioner
One of the things that has come to mind for me personally in my practice is how well are we able to digest what is happening around us at the present moment?
Certainly we could not have predicted the current situation and it is ever changing with the pandemic in our local region and beyond.
I thought it appropriate to think a little about digestion; that is literally about our mind taking in, transforming and processing our daily lives and then our better known and talked about physical digestion… which may suffer if there is mental stress and worry.
Another aspect in Chinese medicine is that our nourishment from digestion is directly related to our immunity. That is our spleen and stomach energy is related very much to our lung energy which is thought to ‘look after’ our immunity and protective energy. If we eat well and are able to absorb and use our nutrients well it stands to reason that we would be able to uphold our immune systems in the greatest way.
One of the first things discussed in an initial Chinese Medicine appointment is your digestion. The state of your digestion determines how well you receive your nutrients and if indeed you are receiving enough to be in the optimum state of vitality. Your ‘digestive fire’ or ‘yang’ energy comes from the spleen, stomach and ultimately the kidneys.
When the body is in a state of balance there will be enough digestive fire to perform the digestive process. It is often described as the fire underneath the cauldron, so that fire needs to be burning well, despite what we put into that cauldron. We need to support this fire on a daily basis to ensure it remains ‘stoked’.
A combination of acupuncture, herbs, teas and Chinese dietary therapy together can hugely change your state of nutrition and health. Chinese dietetics uses specific foods, herbs, spices and Chinese herbal formula to boost your digestion.
Some tips to get you started
Daily exercise and stretching our limbs to support and warm the digestion
Drink warm water between meals
Eat nourishing and slow- cooked foods over Winter- keep it warm!
Avoid taking fluids directly with meals this slows digestion
Avoid eating dinner late
Avoid icy drinks, cold water and eating foods directly from the refrigerator
Relax when you eat as worry and overthinking directly affects the spleen and digestion
For more information and assistance with any digestive or related health issues Danielle is available in clinic on Monday’s 9am to 2pm. You can call the clinic on (03) 5429 3610 or book online by clicking the link below.