What is a good gut health in TCM?
In TCM, good gut health is essential for the body’s vitality as it holds a healthy microbiome which participates in healing and protection against diseases. Effective brain-gut signalling through nerves and hormones ensures overall body optimization and positive mental well-being.
TCM Tips to protect and optimize your gut health - habits
Take your meals at regular timing
- Breakfast: 7am-9am
- Lunch: 11:30am-2pm
- Dinner: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Practice mindful eating
- Cultivating the art of presence during mealtimes
- No handphones, newspapers or other forms of distraction on your table
- No multi-tasking when eating
- Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing down
- Select nutritiously healthy food
- Stop when you are full
- Drink at least 2L of water daily, pace your drinking at 150ml-200ml every hourly and take sips of water after 8pm.
Improve your gut microflora with prebiotics and probiotics
- Have moderate miso soup, tempeh, Greek yoghurt, kefir and kombucha
Engage in moderate intensity exercises
- Brisk walking, jogging and/or swimming at least twice a week, 20mins each time
Sleep before 11pm for good rest and recovery
Take naps in the afternoon to compensate for a poor night rest
- You can consider to take an afternoon nap within 12:30pm to 2:30pm
- Corresponds to the heart meridian and the transition from Yang to Yin energy
Practice meditation, mindful breathing to lower physical and mental stress
TCM Tips to optimize your gut health - acupressure massage
1. Gong Sun (SP4)
“公孙冲脉胃心胸” (Gong Sun Chong Mai Wei Xin Xiong) – Luo-connecting channel which eases gastrointestinal and cardiovascular discomfort such as bloating, nauseous, chest tightness.
Location: At the base of the 1st metatarsal bone, on the anterior border where the skin colour changes
Function: Strengthen Spleen, harmonize Stomach Qi, transform and drain dampness
Direction: Use your thumb and massage in a circular motion on SP4 for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds before stimulating the point for 2-3mins.
2. Zhong Wan (CV-4)
“胃募中脘” (Wei Mu Zhong Wan): CV-4 is the front Mu point for the stomach to relieve gastrointestinal discomfort
Location: Four-finger width (index finger to the last finger) above the navel.
Function: To tonify the Stomach, dispel dampness and invigorate Spleen and improve Qi circulation in the middle energizer.
Direction: Use your palm and massage in a circular motion on CV-12 for 3-5mins or till the skin is slightly flushed.
3. Zu San Li (ST36)
“肚腹三里留” (Du Fu San Li Liu) – ST36 is a useful and necessary point for gastrointestinal discomforts. Location: Four-finger width (index finger to the last finger) below the kneecap, on the outer side of your shin bone. Function: Descend Stomach Qi and restore Spleen and Stomach function Direction: Apply slight pressure using your thumb on this point and massage it in a circular motion for 10 seconds, rest and relax for the next 5 seconds. Repeat this 3-5 times.