Tag Archives for " digestion "
Well, of course we have to start off by saying you “shouldn’t” get carried away indulging in the holiday feasts. We are human though and often that isn’t something that we want to think about this time of year. We have new years resolutions coming up for goodness sakes right?
So, this is one way to look at it. But if you prepare properly, you may surprise yourself and actually not overindulge or hurt yourself. See my other blogpost for more info on this and other tips to thrive during the holidays.
Here are three simple Qi Gong exercises that will help prime your digestive fires, or alternatively, help you feel better after you indulge. Please leave your comments below…I would love to know how this helps you! I have also thought about shooting a quick video demo, please let me know if you would find that helpful. Additionally I can always teach you these or several others in a one on one 30-60 minute appointment.
Grasping the Ball
Create an imaginary ball with your hands at the level of the abdomen, starting with your hands on each side of the ball. The size of the ball is optional but should be a comfortable size relative to the size of your abdomen. Once the ball is established, start to expand and contract the ball from side to side. Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed and your elbows dropped. The expanding of this ball can correspond to your breath, increasing in size as you inhale and shrinking as you exhale. Again, feel the connection between the ball and the torso. If this is difficult, try to imagine this ball inside of you, feeling your hands inside of your lower abdomen. After 5-10 times, rotate your hands to hold the ball on its top and bottom. Expand the ball up to your head and down below your naval. After 5-10 times, rotate your top hand to the bottom and the bottom hand to the top. Then, change hand positions again, placing each hand on the diagonal sides, expanding and contracting. Finish with rotating the initial small ball at the starting point for five breaths.
Flow of digestion
Hold your arms out in front of you at shoulder height, keeping them slightly bent and at a 45º angle from your chest. Starting with the right hand, arc it in towards the chest bone. Touch the chest bone and in one continuous movement bring your fingers down the centerline to just below your naval. Then, as that hand comes back up to its starting position, the left hand starts on the same movement as the right hand has just completed. As you become comfortable with this movement, start to naturally and gently turn your upper body (from the hips) towards the hand that is coming in. The hands should be alternating positions simultaneously, slightly resembling the motion of swimming. Practice 20 strokes with light pressure, be sure to feel the connection between the hands and the torso.
Encircling the Torso
Make medium size circles on the abdomen with the palm of your hand. Rest the other hand on top of the active hand. Start one direction (i.e. clockwise or counter-clockwise) for a couple minutes and then switch. Feel the connection between the hands and the abdomen or feel as if your hands are inside the abdomen. You can actually start and finish the entire routine with this.
…“Then you would know where you’re coming from. Then you wouldn’t have to ask me who the heck do I think I am.” Ah…the words of Bob Marley! In another song…”Remember that I and I are the roots, Some are wolf Inna sheep’s clothing.”
…Wise words indeed!
We have to know our roots in this world. We have to reconnect with them if we don’t know them…if we have lost them, if we are confused. We have to know who we are in order to grow into who we can and will become.
Searching your genealogy, the meaning of your name, your birth signs, etc. can help tremendously. But getting to the roots of your food is what I want to talk about here. There is so much value in knowing where your food comes from, and being connected to that major source of nourishment. When we are connected to our food we are automatically more healthy, vibrant, and limitless. There are so many different dimensions to every action that we do that most of us are completely unaware of. When we go into the grocery store and load up on cheerios, toaster strudels, sodas, bagels, etc. we are consuming a lot of calories at the same time that we are starving our body of what it really needs – Nutrition! And when we feed these things to our children, we are robbing them of their ability to access a greater potential in life.
When we let go of these convenience foods and actually spend a little time on the preparation, consumption and digestion of our food we give ourselves a great gift. Greater than I think many of us realize. As we all know, we are creatures of habit. But most habits need to be broken. The term habit infers a subconscious action, but when we know what we are doing and the consequences it is called other things such as addiction and laziness. Of course a lot of the times we buy these “foods” because we are stuck in a poverty mentality too.
This is a huge condition in our country and our times. The poverty mentality invades most people’s minds, giving the assumption that organic food is too expensive. I also see a lot of this in my practice when I am told that alternative medicine is too expensive because insurance doesn’t usually cover it. My reply to this is simple. I believe and have seen proof of this many times, that when we spend time and money (two of the most valuable things really) on our food, our mental health and our physical well being, we don’t get sick, don’t stay sick or don’t need to seek drugs and surgery. As someone who has not had health insurance in eleven years, I can say proudly that I haven’t needed it. Yes, of course there is always the argument that insurance is important to pay for accidents, etc. but hey, that is what savings, Aflac and car insurance are for.
There is a huge movement going on right now. People are buying local, organic, and sustainable more than ever, well since the agricultural revolution anyway. This is so exciting. Maybe because food is becoming more expensive we will actually start eating more nutritious foods by necessity. And maybe when we start eating these foods we will see our bloated medical industry shrink to a more appropriate size due to lack of its importance in daily life. Maybe we will fall a few points closer to the healthier countries like Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Columbia, etc. Yes, you heard that right, our health as a nation is poorer than a total of 11 NON-industrialized countries. How does that make you feel? I’ll talk more about this in another post.
So grow a vegetable or two this year, and add one each season. Go to the farmers market, it is an amazing place to celebrate local culture and local food. There is such a feel-good aspect to a farmers market. There is a vibrancy there that even just going and being there brightens your spirits. We have to get back to our roots, meaning we have to get back to REAL FOOD if we want to make it!
50% of men get cancer and 33% of women. This is ridiculous and there are many things that we can do to PREVENT IT. So many organizations are working to cure cancer and so few in comparison are helping to prevent it. We’ve got to take back our health and our power. So get to the farmers market this weekend, call up your local CSA if you’ve been debating it, “splurge” on your produce at Central Market, or trade your basil for your neighbors tomatoes! Pick a peach off of a neighbors tree and give them some okra. It’s now fall in Austin and an amazing place to grow and forage food. So get to it!