I first read about the benefits of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) in Dr. Libbys book Beauty from the inside out. That same week, I was visiting some friends in Melbourne and one of them recommended a TCM practitioner she swears by.
I had been feeling quite sluggish after living too excessively over the Christmas period and decided to give it a go.
Im definitely not opposed to having a few cheat days and love nothing more than going out for dinner and some wine. But I was travelling for 2 weeks after Christmas and so for about 4 weeks, we were eating out or having wine most nights. It was safe to say my system needed a reset!
I think life is all about balance and I think its important to go out and have fun, travel and socialise and there is no way I would ever give that up. One of my favourite quotes is “What you do most of the time keeps you healthy, not what you do occasionally!” However occasionally had turned into regularly and it was starting to take a toll on me.
So I went in and asked for a check up explaining that I had low energy and was feeling a bit sluggish. The TCM doctor did an examination including taking my pulse and then examining my tongue.
He then told me that my spleen & kidneys were weak at the moment and gave me some herbal pills to detox the environment. I also got acupuncture for the first time.
I was really interested to hear his findings and have been doing a lot of research into a weak spleen in TCM and was surprised to see that I could identify with a lot of the symptoms, which include:
- an increase in desires for eating sweet foods
- iron deficiency
- internal dampness (stagnation caused by sugar, fried foods, dairy, and processed-flour food; symptoms include phlegm discharge, swelling or water retention; find out more here)
- feeling of heaviness in the head or arms
I was given a herbal remedy for this, but making the following lifestyle changes can also help:
- Avoid Cold Foods. Try to eat more warming soups and stews. Swap cold water for warm water & lemon.
- Avoid damp-causing sugar, fried foods, dairy, and processed-flour food
- Try not to worry. I know this is easier said than done, but worry is the emotion linked to a weak spleen in TCM. Try not to eat if you are stressed or upset as the digestive system will not be optimally working.
- Eating in a hurry, when stressed or upset, skipping meals and eating poor quality food all significantly weaken the Spleen.
- Avoid Physical dampness
What I have found the most helpful personally is to make sure I am calm before eating. If you are stressed at work, take a few deep breaths, even go for a 5 minute walk and get some fresh air and then come back for your lunch. Chew slowly – if you inhale your food, its making it so much harder for your body to digest which means you are more likely to have digestive issues. Sip on some herbal teas during the day. I love green tea, chamomile and white tea (full of antioxidants!) which is a good switch from a glass of cold water.
Has anyone else been to a TCM doctor? I would love to hear how you found it!