Millions of Americans suffer from digestive disorders ranging from constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome, to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Evidence that Oriental medicine has been used for digestive disorders can be found in early medical literature dating back to 3 AD, where specific acupuncture points and herbal formulas for borborygmus (rumbling or gurgling in the intestines), abdominal pain, and diarrhea with pain are discussed.
According to Oriental medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. The spleen plays a central part in the health and vitality of the body, taking a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and qi (energy). Many schools of thought have been formed around this organ, the premise being that the proper functioning of the”‘middle” is the key to all aspects of vitality.
By taking into account a person’s constitution and varied symptoms, a treatment plan using a variety of techniques is designed specifically for the individual to bring their “middle” back into harmony and optimize the proper functioning of the digestive system.
Optimizing Digestive System Function
Consider the idea that maintaining an optimal digestive system involves more than eating a healthy diet — it’s just as vital to know why, when and how to eat as what we eat can either promote healing or cause damage to our digestive system.
Using the rhythm of the Oriental medicine circadian clock, based on 2-hour increments in which each organ performs at its best, you can plan your meals and snacks to help your entire body run well.
The large intestine functions best from 5 am to 7 am, which makes this the ideal time to eliminate waste from the body and provide the colon enough energy to function at full force. Immediately upon waking up, drink a glass of lukewarm or room temperature water to rehydrate the intestinal organs.
The time of the stomach is from 7 am to 9 am. As one of the first digestive organs to receive food, this is a perfect time to enjoy a good breakfast. Warm, cooked food is advisable as opposed to dry cereals with cold milk or smoothies. Both the stomach and spleen thrive on food that is warm.
Cold causes contraction, which interferes with their ability to digest food properly. A simple omelet, oatmeal, or warm, moist porridge can make for a filling, hearty meal. Try not to get too complicated with heavy sauces, spices or oily, fried foods. If you indulge in coffee or warm tea, wait until after you eat so your digestive juices remain undiluted and full of power.
The time of the heart is from 11 am to 1 pm. A healthy lunch can contain pungent and spicy foods as the energy of the heart hours can easily metabolize heat-producing foods. Consider swapping out cold salads and sandwiches for hot meals or warm soups.
Between the hours of 3 pm and 5 pm many people experience a slump in energy. This corresponds to the energy of the urinary bladder. During this time, the metabolic waste in the body is beginning to enter the kidneys for processing. To help initiate the kidney filtration process, enjoy a salty snack. A savory snack washed down with a warm herbal tea is a nice treat for your bladder and kidneys.
From 5 pm to 7 pm is the time of the kidneys. Kidney energy is about reserving and storing. The energy of the body is focusing inward as it begins to settle into the quietness of nighttime. A tranquil dinner focusing on whole grains, roasted meats, and legumes can satisfy the nutritional needs of the kidneys.
After dinner, keep calm and don’t exert energy for the rest of the evening. This doesn’t mean you have to forgo going out with friends but, it does mean it shouldn’t be part of your regular routine. Parties and nighttime celebrations can be nurturing and joyful experiences, and they have their proper place.
Striving to eat in tempo with this circadian clock provides a structure for the whole day and helps to harmonize other aspects of your life.
Dr. Mindy Boxer is a holistic practitioner who has grown into her specialties in an organic way. Understanding a range of disciplines allows her to integrate the wisdom of Ancient healing in combination with the most recent innovations in Scientific research. This dynamic blend has enabled Dr. Boxer to help patients in the prevention and treatment of disease for over 25 years.
Dr. Boxer has a particularly keen understanding of Women’s Health issues including Gynecological irregularity, PMS, Fertility, IUI & UVF support, Healthy Pregnancy & Delivery, and Menopausal issues. Her interest in the human body as a dynamic system has given her the understanding to deal with such problems as improper Digestion and elimination, Cancer Support, Allergies, back pain, tight neck and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory distress, chronic fatigue, Insomnia, Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
She has also studied the art and science of Homeopathy, earning her Diplomate in Homeopathy from the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in 1995. This allows her to treat the whole person — physically, mentally, emotionally.
Proper Nutrition, Herbs, Acupuncture, and Homeopathic remedies are the tools Dr. Boxer utilizes to allow the body to heal itself and find its way back to balance. She is dedicated to helping her patients find “Radiant Health and Well-Being.”
3301 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405