Chinese Medicine and The Gut
Welcome to episode 11 of The Wellness Podcast, today we discuss Chinese Medicine and the Gut. Chinese medicine honours the gut as pivotal to our health. It is the earth centre, and everything revolves around the gut. We discuss seasonal approaches, how to honour the centre, and Chinese medicines unique approach that revers the gut and its role with wellness.
A Poetic Approach
'In Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) we view the human being as a small working model of the universe. The same natural laws that govern the movements
of the stars and planets, the weather and the seasons govern the human body and the human journey through life. All things are connected. We are a microcosm that is reflected by the vast macrocosm.
The language of health in TCM is the language of weather and landscape: we talk about of Wind, Heat, Cold or dampness.' Daverick Leggett
Yin and Yang Partnerships, what does that mean?
Chinese medicine Places A Strong Emphasis On Keeping Your Stomach And Spleen (The Organs Which Create The Earth Centre And Primary Organs Of Digestion) Vibrant And Healthy. They Form A Yin Yang Partnership.
Stomach, the yang organ is likened to a cauldron, a hollow vessel that receives and breaks down food into qi. The Spleen then transforms and transports this qi into all the vital substances and functions of the body.
The Kidneys provide the fire and heat necessary to break down the food and liquids into the soup. Chinese thought is that food is sacred because it is one of the most potent ways to build and maintain our life force, eat well.
Furthermore, the Stomach, the yang organ is likened to a cauldron. This hollow vessel that receives and breaks down food into qi. The Spleen then transforms and transports this qi into all the vital substances and functions of the body.
Finally, the Kidneys provide the fire and heat necessary to break down the food and liquids into the soup. Chinese thought is that food is sacred because it is one of the most potent ways to build and maintain our life force, eat well.
Food For Thought
So how do we keep our inner cauldron bubbling away and nourishing us? We need to arrive at our meals and eat mindfully. Because the Spleen has various functions, such as the thinking process, learning, and concentration.
Just as we receive, assimilate, and digest the food we receive, assimilate and digest information.
Be present at your meal, and engage in good company but avoid watching television, reading, emails, and texts to prevent splitting the Spleen's Qi and weakening it.
Recommendations For Eating Well
The earth centre is our foundation. There are five elements in Chinese medicine and five seasons accompany them.
Fire belongs to summer, Metal to autumn, Water to winter and Wood to spring.
Between each change of the season, our qi returns to the element of earth.
All elements return to earth, for the earth is the centre and the foundation of all. Western medicine is just beginning to understand the vital importance of digestive health and gut flora.
Want more information?
Click on the image below for recommendations, the chi clock and MORE!
Our first nourishment comes from our mothers.
It's with the sweetness of mother's milk that our earth centre awakens.
The earth is as much about food as it is about relationships; relationships with those we love, and with our bodies,
as it is about our relationship with food.
Our sense of connection with other human beings is essential for both our health and our happiness.
When we nurture a healthy centre within ourselves we also nurture a healthy, loving community.
Resources and Book List
- Pie Chart by Jane Barthelemy
- Healing ourselves: A Guide to Traditional Chinese Food Energetics. Daverick Leggett. Meridian Press. 1995. ISBN 978-0-9524640-0-4
- Recipes for self healing; Daverick Leggett. Meridian Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-9524-640-2-0
- The art of fermentation; an in-depth exploration of essential concepts and processes from around the world. Sandor Ellix Katz. Chelse Green. 2012. ISBN 978-1-60358-286-5
- Sacred Woman; A guide to healing the feminine body, mind and spirit. Queen Afua. The Random House Publishing Group. 2000. ISBN 978-0-345-43486-9
- Upsplash Photos for Everyone