Chinese medicine tips

Self-care is so important to our health. It’s often the little things we can do for ourselves every day that add up to make a big difference to our health. Here’s five small things we can all do each day to help our body’s stay healthier and happier! 

Lemon Juice in Warm Water 

A dash of lemon juice in a glass of warm water first thing each morning is a great way to start your day. It kicks starts your digestion and helps to clean your liver ready for the food challenges you are about to throw at it that day. 

In Chinese medicine, your Liver is one of the most important organs to your health. It is known as ‘The General’ as it calls the shots for many of the processes occurring in your body. If your Liver is happy all your organs are happy. But if your Liver is not happy it tends to cause a lot of trouble for all of your other organs. 

Your Liver loves the taste of sour (and lemon is certainly that!). Your Liver also loves fruit and vegetables as they help to clean it and keep it strong. Your Liver does not like fats and oils at it often struggles to process them if its function is poor. So, more fruit and vegie and less fats and oils are a good way to look after your Liver. 

Drink your lemon juice in warm water at least 10 minutes before you eat breakfast to give it time to work its way through your Liver before you eat. 

TIP: use a straw to protect your teeth for the acidity of the lemon juice. 

Do Your Exercise First 

Do your exercise first thing, before the hustle bustle of the day. How hard is it to come home from a hard day at work and summon the strength to do your exercise then? 

Exercise releases endorphins (your body’s feel good hormone) to relax you and also vasodilates your blood vessels to temporarily improve blood flow. 

So, what sort of exercise should you do? 

Hard exercise that really gets your heart rate up can be good if you if you are highly stressed and need the release and if you feel good after doing it. In Chinese medicine terms though, doing excessive exercise will wear your Kidney’s and your heart out over time. 

For most people, gentle exercise is a great way to go. Historically in China, people went for walks or did Tai Chi to stay healthy. It was all about gentle, stretching movements rather than sweating. These exercises promote blood flow without wearing the body out. 

When they interview centenarians they never say they ran marathons and went to the gym every day do they? 

Remember, half an hour’s daily gentle exercise is so important to your health. But do it first thing in the morning to avoid the day getting away from you and not doing it at all. 

Good Sleep Hygiene 

Train your body to sleep well through good sleep hygiene. The best sleep hygiene consists of: 1. a dark room; 2. A cool room; 3. no screen time just before bed; 4. A quiet room; and 5. going to bed and get up at the same times every day (as the body loves routine when it comes to sleep). 

Also, get to sleep by 11pm every night. Your body works on organ repair while you sleep and according to Chinese medicine 11pm to 3am is the time it works on your Liver and your Gallbladder, which are both critical to your health. 

TIP: An old Chinese medicine sleep remedy is to soak your feet for 5-10 minutes in a bucket of warm water containing Epsom Salts just before bed (or have an Epsom Salts bath). 

Drink Plenty of Water 

Hydrate your poor dehydrated body! Most people are chronically dehydrated. We tend to drink a lot of diuretics like tea and coffee which dry us out even more. Good hydration leads to better blood quality, which is incredibly important to our health. So, drink at least 2 liters of water a day to stay hydrated. 

TIP: buy a 1-liter bottle and make sure you get through two of those a day. This way you can keep track of how much you drink. 

Get Nature Time 

Get out into nature every day. Nature cleanses and heals. Trees and oceans are both ideal. Do your exercise in either of these environments to kill two birds with one stone. Or get out for a walk at lunch time in the local park. Nature heals. Get a bit of nature every day. 

Plan to do these 5 simple things each day to help protect your health.