Healthy Digestion and Happy Holidays
/ the evening moon / Autumn wind
As the bounty of the Harvest continues and the season of celebrations begins—Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza—it’s a good time to remember a few things about healthy digestion
How To Improve and Maintain Healthy Digestion
Here are some tips to keep in mind now—as the flow-of-food begins to pick up speed—and throughout the rest of the year.
Cultivate these three simple habits, by being mindful of what you put into your stomach, and you’ll be the beneficiary of a happy body and healthy appetite.
1. Don’t eat sweets, especially refined sweets, on an empty stomach. It’s not good for your digestion.
2. Don’t put cold or raw food into an empty stomach. For example, raw vegetable salad and ice cream are two things people typically eat on an empty stomach. Don’t do it. It’s not good for your digestion.
3. Do eat small amounts of protein throughout the day—especially if your pancreas is out of balance. Diet-wise, it doesn’t matter what kind of protein it is, although animal protein has beneficial aspects not necessarily available in plant proteins.
How To Tell When Your Pancreas is Out of Balance
It’s very simple: When your digestion is working well, you don’t feel it. That’s the beauty of the subtle feeling of health; nothing about your body is grabbing your attention, so you’re free to do whatever it is you want to do.
If you’re not currently experiencing digestive problems, cultivate the three simple habits to help ensure your Digestion stays in good shape.
On the other hand, when your Digestion is out of balance, an array of annoying distractions begin to appear. Discomforts like:
- Intestinal gas.
- Feeling sleepy after you eat.
- Feeling hungry again soon after eating.
- Not having much of an appetite.
Everybody doesn’t experience all these symptoms of poor digestion, but if your Pancreas is not in good shape—which tends to include most people in the U.S. and related dietary cultures, including vegans and vegetarians—then one or more of these symptoms will likely be familiar to you.
Oriental Medicine Can Help
Oriental Medicine has very effective ways to rebuild Digestive Energy—Five Element Eating; Chinese medicinal herbs, Acupuncture & Acupressure, and Chi Kung.
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How To Protect and Strengthen Your Lungs In Autumn
The forest rustles
Alive with surrendering leaves
— Lao Xian
Fall is the time of year when the Lungs and immune system are working hard to help your body adapt to the changing weather.
Working together, your body’s organs are a networked system that receives, transforms and transmits energy. A balanced system is a healthy system, and in Autumn, you want to make sure that your Lungs get tuned-up. Oriental Medicine does that.
Lungs Are Most Sensitive In Autumn
The Lungs are the focal point of your body’s energy network in Autumn. So now is the time to do some very simple things that will protect your Lungs from the forces that cause cold and flu, by preparing them to deal with the dampness and cold that come with Autumn and Winter.
Five Ways To PROTECT Your Lungs
- Use a scarf or collar to cover the front and back of your neck when you go outside.
- Avoid drafts and wind.
- Wear a dust mask, or other cover, when working around dust, spores or other airborne contaminants.
- Use Chinese medical herb formulas, or other internal protection, to guard against colds, flu and other contagious illnesses.
- Be mindful of any intuitive insights you may have regarding your health.
Five Ways To STRENGTHEN Your Lungs
- Eat foods that nourish the Lungs. These include: daikon radish, lotus root, maiitake mushrooms, and Chinese herb formulas.
- Get enough sleep.
- Reduce and keep stress low. (Easier said than done ... but doable.)
- Pace yourself. Make sure to save some of your energy.
- Begin developing—or maintain—an inner practice like meditation or deep breathing to help your body relax and rejuvenate.
So, as the days continue to shorten and the nights get longer, remember to slow down to match the deepening of the seasonal energy.
Conserve and enjoy!
Autumn Equinox: The Yin Deepens
As the days continue to shorten and the nights get longer, remember to slow down to match the deepening of the seasonal energy.
Autumn Equinox is a time of discernible BALANCE in Nature; where in the northern hemisphere the number of hours of daylight and darkness are about equal: then we gently tip into predominant Darkness ... DEEPENING YIN ...
Unlike the Spring Equinox ... when we rise up into the Warmth and luxious growth of Summer (YANG) ... we’re now going the other way ... sinking ... into YIN ... Winter ... Cold ... Darkness. Not a darkness of gloom or despondency ... not at all ... we’re sinking into the fecundity of YIN.
To be able to sink ... fluidly and gracefully ... into the Yin ... one must understand one’s own Yin, and the Yin of Nature.
Yin needs to be understood so we know how to moderate our ‘lifestyles’ during the Yin seasons we call Autumn and Winter.
YIN: A Time of Receptivity
In the Yin time of year—from Summer Solstice to Winter Solstice—to be in BALANCE, one must recognize and practice the dynamic of RECEIVING.
Interestingly, at this time of Autumn Equinox, as we ready ourselves to move deeper into YIN ... Emptiness ... we’re equally ready to Harvest the bounty of YANG ... Fullness ... that has been growing in our fields and gardens since Spring.
Conserve Your Reserve
Health-WISE, we have just received the bounty of Yang energy we call Summer. Our bodies have been warmed and strengthened, and are now better prepared to combat the microorganisms trying to infect us through our LUNGS in Autumn and Winter.
Like our ancestors, who understood the necessity of storing as much of their harvest as possible, we need to CONSERVE the Energy ... the Chi ... we’ve cultivated throughout Spring and Summer so that we have an energy RESERVE to receive from as the easy energy of late-Summer wanes and cold and darkness expand.
How can Emptiness, the essence of Yin, be appreciated and enjoyed? Emptiness waits, exists, until something fills it. Appreciate Emptiness for the opportunity it provides to be filled. How? Be receptive—ready to receive. Savor your capacity to be FULL-filled.
Don’t accept the negative connotation of emptiness. Emptiness is the precondition to being fulfilled. And fulfillment is a reason for being alive.