4 Tips for Healthy Digestion

By Jenny Abel, Registered Acupuncturist, at Local Health Integrative Clinic

Healthy digestion is central to a healthy mind and body. Not only is it what we eat, but how we eat it, that impacts our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Here are 4 tips to create healthy digestion:

1) Acupuncture

How does acupuncture help digestion?

  • Acupuncture works on a series of energy channels to balance the body and optimize health. If there is a blockage in the energy that is where illness
  • Stress is a huge factor affecting our digestion. Stress is related to the Liver in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which is in charge of moving energy through the body. That is why you may experience terrible digestion during times of stress no matter what you eat, and when you are on a holiday you can eat anything and your digestion is great.  One way acupuncture can help digestion is by shifting the body’s mode from flight or fight (sympathetic nervous system) to rest and digest (parasympathetic nervous system).
  • Acupuncture can balance the body and help to strengthen the digestive organs, correct the flow of energy in the body (for example, bring down the Qi (energy) in case of vomit, lift Qi (energy) in cases of diarrhea, and remove pathogens hindering digestion (such a dampness/candida).
  • Acupuncture can treat a number of digestion related disturbances such as:
    • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
    • diarrhea or constipation
    • bloating and/or gas
    • heartburn
    • nausea and vomiting
    • hiccups

2) Eat in a relaxed and mindful way

  • In TCM, eating when emotional causes your body’s energy to stagnate and aggravates the Liver’s energy, which can cause further stress, irritability, indigestion, and IBS.
  • Avoid working, reading, or typing on the computer while eating.
  • Focus on chewing your food really well and tasting the flavors as they evolve.

3) Eat breakfast

  • Eating breakfast is very important in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • In TCM, 7am to 9am is related to the Stomach and 9am to 11am is related to the Spleen, both are important for healthy digestion.
  • If you have no appetite or feel nauseous in the morning, this is a sign of weak digestion and an indication that eating breakfast is very important for you. You can start with a piece of toast, and gradually increase to something more substantial.
  • Solid, warm, cooked foods are best to start your day, sweet potato and yellow foods are particularly good for the spleen and stomach. Here is a nourishing breakfast recipe from Local Health’s Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Lindsey​ ​Luckey:

Turmeric​ ​Sweet​ ​Potato​ ​Oatmeal​ (makes​ ​2​ ​servings)

Ingredients: 1​ ​cup​ ​gluten​ ​free​ ​quick​ ​oats , 1​ ​cup​ ​sweet​ ​potato,​ ​cooked​ ​(use​ ​leftovers​ ​from​ ​dinner), 2​ ​Tbsp​ ​ghee​ ​or​ ​coconut​ ​oil, 2​ ​tbsp​ ​maple​ ​syrup, 2​ ​tsp​ ​grated turmeric​ ​root,​ 2​ ​tbsp​ ​grated ginger​ ​root, 1​ ​tsp​ ​cinnamon , 1​ ​cup​ ​organic​ ​coconut​ ​milk.

Instructions:  Melt​ ​ghee​ ​or​ ​coconut​ ​oil​ ​in​ ​a​ ​pot​ ​and​ ​add​ ​oats,​ ​coconut​ ​milk,​ ​ginger,​ ​turmeric,​ ​and cinnamon. Simmer​ ​on​ ​low​ ​5-10​ ​minutes​ ​and​ ​stir​ ​in​ cooked​ ​sweet​ ​potato​ ​mashing​ ​with​ ​a​ ​fork​ ​as​ ​you stir.​ ​Simmer​ ​until​ ​oatmeal​ ​reaches​ ​desired​ ​consistency. Remove​ ​from​ ​heat​ ​and​ ​stir​ ​in​ ​maple​ ​syrup​ ​and​ ​sprinkle​ ​with​ ​extra​ ​cinnamon​ ​if​ ​desired.

4) Eating for your body

  • Each person is different and will benefit from different types of foods.
  • During the first acupuncture consultation we offer customized food recommendations. Here are a couple examples you could try if either apply to you.
    • Do you feel fatigued after eating, experience bloating, loose stool, and worry a lot?
      • Your Spleen Qi(energy) may be weak and unable to digest and absorb nutrients.
      • Avoid: raw foods which are hard to digest, cold drinks
    • Do you have constipation, thirst for cold drinks, and are easily angered?
      • You may have heat in your body. Heat dries up body fluids which causes constipation.
      • Avoid: Spicy foods (eating spicy food is like putting a log on a fire)

If you are experiencing digestive concerns come in and give acupuncture a try! Click here for more information or to book an appointment with Jenny https://localhealthco.com//jenny-abel-r-ac/

Local Health Integrative Clinic has a wonderful team of practitioners including Naturopathic Doctors,  Registered Holistic Nutritionists, Counsellors, and  Registered Massage Therapists. We work together as a team to help our patients, using the best of each modality to help you achieve optimum health.  We offer direct billing and we are conveniently located across from the Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station. We would love to see you: For more information visit: https://localhealthco.com/