Gut diseases has become so common that we have accepted it as part of us, rather than looking at it as an abnormality. It has become the new normal in the modern society. If you talk to people around you, there is a high chance that they are suffering from one of these: irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, bloatedness, GERD, over-eating, or in some weight control diet.
Last weekend, Physician Goh You Li shared on the importance of maintaining a healthy gut health and pathological reasons of imbalance Spleen-Stomach Qi flow. Spleen plays a key role in the middle segment of our body (中焦), which not only participate in the digestion process but it is also responsible in distributing the nutritive essence to all parts of our body. It produces blood in our body and ensure healthy uplifting Qi to prevent our organs from prolapsing (脾生血主升). It is also known as, source of life after birth (后天之本). Thus, ensuring our spleen functions well so that it can absorb the nutrients we required is as important as choosing the right type of food to eat.
She also shared about how dampness (湿)is the main cause of spleen-stomach related diseases. Dampness with heat (湿热)could lead to constipation while dampness with cold(寒湿) could lead to leaky gut. We have a healthy conversations about poop and how it can show signs of our gut health.
Dietary recommendation: Less cold, oily and heaty food. Not to avoid them totally buy to take them in moderation. Too much of them can store dampness in our spleen. Chinese Yam (山药) is a gem when it comes to spleen health, in addition it also nourishes the lung and kidney too. Chinese Barley is also a good source of food/herb to remove moisture in our body.
Yin Yoga recommendation: Saddle regulates Qi along the Spleen stomach channels. Sensations along the inner and top of the thigh stimulate the spleen and stomach lines. 5-10 min is recommended. *You may take shorter hold if you experience excessive compression in the knees. Dragon pose can be an alternative if your knees do not allow you to take saddle pose.
Takeaway: A quote shared by Physician Goh that I really like – “内伤脾胃，百病由生”. “Spleen stomach imbalance is the root of all diseases”, a quote by 李东垣•补土学派，金元四大家之一。