- Written by Louise Stevens
In Chinese Medicine a fully functioning digestive system is key to maintaining a healthy body and mind. The food we eat produces the blood and energy (qi) that is vital to our well being.
The importance of keeping a healthy digestive system is paramount when maintaining our health. The problem is we are often too busy to allow our systems to function correctly: we don't take the time to eat our meals in a relaxed manner away from screens and other stimulations, we have irregular mealtimes and many often skip meals altogether. These bad habits are equally as important as the food that we eat when encouraging our digestive function!
When we are stimulated or stressed its our sympathetic nervous system that kicks in and enables us to 'deal' with things. When we eat, we need our parasympathetic nervous system to switch on to allow our digestive function to operate efficiently. Any distraction, stimulation or stress will turn this off and activate your sympathetic nervous system, leaving your digestion bereft of positive guidance.
So if you're health conscious and have a 'good' diet, please consider your environment and make some decisions to engage with your food: regular meals, allowing 15 minutes to eat away from your daily routine. Yes that means NO screens.... You can do it!
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common chronic condition which upsets the bowel (with either diarrhoea or constipation or both at different times) causing discomfort and pain. It is thought that to one degree or another it affects 20% of the UK population. Symptoms are often worse with upsetting emotional events or stress at work. The first episode often occurs after a period of stress or gastrointestinal infection.
Chinese Medicine is very effective at treating 'functional' digestive problems, and is aimed at calming the bowels, clearing any residual infection if present and supporting your digestion to make it less vulnerable to stress.