Do you wake up at 2am every night and can’t get back to sleep?
Or do you struggle to digest lunch when you eat at 1:30pm but seem to be ok at 12pm?
You are not alone, in fact there are reasons why this is happening and I discussed this with Christine Heart Savage from Southern FM’s show Mind, Body, Heart and Soul on Monday the 5th of March. Now we only got through 3 2-hour periods of the 12 periods that cover a 24 hour day but stay tuned as we will be going through the rest on the 7th of May at 10am on 88.3 FM.
Ok, So how can we be guided by Mother Nature to live a life of optimal health?
Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that we live in accordance to the seasons, the time of day and other natural principles to prevent and cure diseases that bring us to optimal health.
The same way we divide the year into 4 seasons, TCM has divided the day into 12 periods, each lasting 2 hours.
What are these 12 periods of the day?
Each of the 12 periods correlates to a meridian in the body.
Ok before we go on could you explain what meridians are?
We understand our body has millions of connections communicating at any given moment through the movement of our blood and vital energy (qi) which are strongly affected by our choices in the area of nutrition, lifestyle and emotional thoughts. This communication strongly impacts our health and wellness. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, these connections are called ‘the meridian network’. A study published in Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that “15 years ago a breakthrough idea appeared when we realized that they (meridians) are low resistance fluid channels where various chemical and physical transports take place. This study highlighted the physical presence of the complex meridian network that connects the body as one system.
Let’s go through the 12 periods.
5am – 7am: Large Intestine
This is the time to awake.
The large intestine is now ready to empty and have a healthy elimination of toxins in the body. Having a warm glass of water when you awaken can help move this process along. If there is a sluggish stool this is an issue with the stomach/spleen if there is constipation then this is an issue with fluid. Either this is due to heat drying up the fluid in the bowel or the lung meridian not effectively distributing vital energy to the bowel.
Retention of toxins can upset the skin health, and putting strain on other organs that eliminate toxins such as the lymphatic system, lungs, kidneys and skin.
7am – 9am: Stomach Meridian
We have fasted over night so the stomach is empty. The stomach’s role is to digest food so breakfast during this time will increase energy for the day. Eat a warm breakfast as the stomach dislikes cold food. Choose food that nourishes the stomach such as porridge and this can be combined with fruits, or you can have eggs with vegetables.
Don’t overly eat cold beverages as this will upset the stomach’s ability to digest food optimally.
Eat slowly and not when stressed.
Chamomile tea is great to relax smooth muscle in the stomach so will help with reflux. Peppermint tea and green tea helps digestion so they can be consumed during meals.
Interesting fact: Green tea when consumed daily reduces chances of getting cancer by 50%
Important to note: issues such as indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, reflux result not from too much acid but a poor digestive system. So the stomach throws food around to digest it but ends up upsetting the sphincter muscle and resulting in reflux.
9am – 11am: Spleen Meridian
Caring for your spleen during this time will in turn give you a longer and healthier life.
Spleen and Stomach are involved in transforming & transporting food into nutrients.
Insufficient spleen energy results in obesity, anorexia, dizziness, bloating, diarrhea and malnourishment. Did you know excessive drooling when sleeping indicates a problem with your spleen? Also sleep issues such as sleep apnea, and snoring.
Foods to eat: barley, buckwheat, grains, sweet potatoes, yams, carrot, jasmine/basmati rice
Foods to avoid: Greasy/fatty food, spicy, hot food, sugar, cold/raw food.
Exercise is a great way to protect your spleen.
Ok so you may be eager to find out what happens in the early hours of the morning, Stay tuned as Part 2 will be up on the 7th of May after the show airs.
If you have any questions shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org au or book in an appointment so we can improve your biological clock and have you moving to optimal health.
Yours in Great Health,