Balancing Your Health With Traditional Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the abdominal area, especially the stomach and the spleen, are seen as the ‘kitchen’ of the body, where food is broken down into nutrients for the rest of the body to use.
Maintaining these two organs in balance is extremely important as an imbalance can affect all other parts of the body. The Yin and the Yang should be balanced so that the Qi can flow freely.
External forces can affect this balance and cause digestive problems. Heat, either from the weather or from spicy or hot foods, can overheat the abdominal area and create complaints such as heartburn. Cold, on the other hand, from wind, rain or raw foods can weaken or slow down the digestive system and cause pain among other common indispositions.
Identifying digestive issues caused by cold and by Yang insufficiency
Digestive problems could be caused by both cold and by Yang insufficiency, they are related but not the same.
Cold usually shows itself as an intense acute abdominal pain that improves when applying heat to the area. When health issues are caused by an insufficiency of the Yang the symptoms show quickly after weather or dietary changes. For example, abdominal pain that appears right after having a drink with ice. Yang insufficiency develops over time and symptoms worsen slowly.
Dietary changes that can help fight the cold
Changing dietary patterns can help relieve some digestive issues caused by cold, especially if the symptoms are not too severe. The recommended ways to prepare food are by roasting, boiling, stewing, slow-cooking and barbecuing.
Raw and cold food and drinks, such as salads, fruit and ice should be limited or avoided if possible and replaced by cooked and warm foods and drinks. Game meats and processed carbohydrates should be replaced by fish, seafood and unprocessed grains.
Warm drinks should include warming spices, for example ginger, cinnamon, cloves and black pepper. Two easy and tasty combinations are tisanes made from fresh ginger with brown sugar and fresh ginger with cinnamon.
Using herbal medicine to treat digestive issues
The use of herbs has been a staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries. However, access to quality herbs that have been combined in the correct manner is extremely hard to access outside of China.
Those of us who live in Western countries can still use traditional Chinese phytotherapy thanks to Fitoki. Their herbal medicine experts prepare Traditional Chinese Medicine blends and package them in capsules that can be consumed as dietary supplements.
Fitoki, now available through 3B Scientific, offers three formulas that can be used to treat cold. GUI ZHI WAN TCM F008 addresses abdominal pain caused by cold, tendon and muscular systems, and superficial-level cold issues. V-004 helps disperse digestive cold by reducing pain, toning the spleen Qi and warming the Yang. V-012 strengthens the Yang, particularly in the kidney, spleen and lungs.
Acupuncture as a way to relieve abdominal problems
Digestive issues caused by cold can, according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, also be treated by the use of acupuncture. There are several possible acupuncture points for dealing with digestion-related issues. Some of the most common ones are in the abdomen, arms, legs and lower back areas.
Acupuncture should always be performed by a professional who follows safety practices and uses needles of the best quality. MOXOM needles are made of stainless steel and are CE certified. They are available with either plastic, copper or steel handles for maximum comfort; and in a variety of sizes.
As with other health issues, herbal medicine and acupuncture can be used together if the patient prefers it. The use of both herbal medicine and acupuncture is safe if supported by experienced professionals, and is even promoted by the World Health Organisation.