How we Eat, Is just as Important as what we Eat
A lot of clients come for Acupuncture to help with digestive problems. Whether it is Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or food intolerance’s. Many of my clients are all doing the right things, watching what they eat and avoiding trigger foods. A very important and often overlooked factor though is also how we eat.
Our bodies autonomic nervous system (the system we have little conscious control of) has 2 divisions, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. Depending on our emotional and physical state, one can be more active than the other. The sympathetic state is primarily activated to defend us from attack, this is the “fright or flight” response. The parasympathetic system is activated when we are at rest and relaxed, its job is to nourish and heal the body. So what does this have to do with eating? Well.. Though many people may take a nutritious lunch with them to work, how many are actually sitting, relaxing and slowly enjoying what they eat? or do most eat in a hurry whilst trying to work and worrying about other things?
There’s been plenty of research which shows that people who eat slowly and enjoy their food, feel fuller longer, therefore snack and crave less, and absorb more nutrients from their food. This is because their digestive system is in a nice relaxed state when they eat.
Our bodies can’t tell the difference between being attacked by a bear, or running late for a meeting, when you are stressed, your body’s “fright or flight” mechanism kicks in. This means of course the body is more concerned about defending itself than it is enjoying and absorbing the food you are eating.
Food is an important symbol in many cultures, from being a peace offering to celebrating historic events. Always it is depicted as people sitting around laughing and enjoying their food, not typing on a computer and eating out of one hand.
Whenever you are ready to eat, make sure you are calm, relaxed and can sit and enjoy the food in front of you. Savour the flavours, and let your body relax so it can better digest the meal. You will find after doing this for a few weeks, your digestion will be better and you will crave snacks less.
This also means from my perspective, that the body will be generating more Qi and Blood which the Acupuncture can then make use of to rebalance your body more effectively.