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Digestive Disorders

Your digestion and your sense of well-being are more closely connected than you may think

Digestive DisordersWhat exactly is digestion? In scientific terms it is the process of ingesting food and breaking it down. However digestion also pertains to life. How do we understand and process our life experiences mentally, emotionally and spiritually? Your digestion easily gets disturbed by stress, travel, work pressures, infrequent meals, over eating, and hormonal shifts. Almost everyone at some point of their life has experienced digestive disorders and problems, even if they were short-lived.

Many people today experience sensitivity to gluten and dairy.  Some people find that they must completely eliminate certain types of food from their diet, while others find that they have to moderate their intake of foods which irritate their system. Each individual must discover through trial and error what diet is most appropriate for them. You need to study your own needs and digestive response so that you can feel better, enjoy life more, and stay connected with the people you love because when your digestion is functioning well you have higher levels of energy.  

Here are some simple and general ways to boost your digestion

  • Stay hydrated with water or your favourite herbal teas; Adding lemon or orange slices gives water a refreshing, cost-effective makeover
  • Eat the natural colours of the rainbow (and we are definitely not talking about artificial  food colourings here)  and sometimes you do need to supplement;  For example, you can exchange white potatoes for purple ones; add beetroot to your diet or try exotic vegetables and fruits
  • Make sure you have enough fibre and exercise in your diet; walking is great for centering, but you should also include higher intensity workouts to stimulate your system
  • Eat regular meals at reasonable intervals; (this varies between individuals, so find your ideal)
  • Consider adding probiotics and turmeric
  • Pay attention to your response to different foods and most importantly monitor your levels of stress.  Sometimes people believe that they have certain food intolerances, but it often has more to do with the stress that they are experiencing in their life at that moment. Chinese medicine may be able to assist with your stress.

Chinese Medicine and Digestion

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) affirms that food is medicine, as well as lifestyle.  Simply waking up an hour earlier than you normally do, taking time to drink your morning coffee, chai tea, or chia seed smoothie can set the tone for your entire day. Incorporating a Qi Gong, yoga, or dance practice, gardening, or playing fetch with your labrador may do wonders for your digestion.  Set health goals within the context of community and enlist the help of your friends or family to eat more consciously and exercise more regularly.  

Your practitioner can also work with you to help you achieve your goals.  Within the framework of holistic medicine it is always important to remember that you are not the sum and total of your problems.  Difficult digestion and digestive disorders are just one facet of your health. Chinese medicine may also be able to assist with your levels of stress and dietary therapy.