3 THINGS FROM EASTERN MEDICINE YOU SHOULD START DOING ASAP
Look Beyond Yoga, Gua Sha & Meditation
Yoga. Gua Sha. Meditation. There’s so many things from Eastern medicine that have become major parts of life over here in the western world. But most of us have only begun to scratch the surface of what awesome life hacks and health tips eastern medicine has to offer. So if you’re looking for more ways to incorporate eastern wisdom into your life, try these 3 methods ASAP and see for yourself how much they’ll change your life!
3 Eastern Medicine Practices To Start Doing Like, Right Now
Check Your Tongue
When was the last time you looked at your tongue? Not just the last time you saw it, but the last time you spent a minute or so scoping it out? If you’re like most people in the west, you probably can’t even remember the last time you really inspected your tongue.
But in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), your tongue can tell you a lot about your health. In fact, if you go to see a TCM practitioner, odds are that they’re going to have you stick out your tongue so they can take a look.
What makes the tongue so special? Well, in TCM the tongue is supposed to correspond to 5 major liver systems: liver, lung, spleen, heart, and kidney. Based on the color, shape, coating and other traits of your tongue, an experienced TCM practitioner can get an idea of how your organs are doing.
And you can do this yourself at home if you want to keep an eye on your health! Here’s the basics that you need to know.
Ideally, your tongue should be a light red color. According to TCM, that means that your qi (life force or energy) is strong. But if the color starts to change, it could be a sign that something’s wrong. So if your tongue gets pale, you might have a problem with your digestive system. On the other hand, a purple tongue means your qi flow is blocked. A visit to your TCM practitioner will help you figure out exactly what’s going on.
You might think your tongue stays the same size, but any TCM practitioner will tell you that both the shape and size of your tongue can indicate whether you’re healthy or if there’s something to be concerned about. So if your tongue starts to get bigger or smaller, there might be an issue with your blood or qi. Swollen tongues usually mean digestive problems, a curled tongue sometimes indicates stagnant qi, and if you notice cracks in your tongue that could be due to imbalances with your heart.
Most of us have a thin, white coating on our tongues, and that’s totally normal and healthy. Sometimes that coating also gets a bit thicker and yellow towards the back of the mouth, and that’s fine too. But if that coating starts to go away, get thicker, or take on a different color, it’s time to visit your TCM practitioner. You can have a yin deficiency or might have a cold coming on.
If you’re a fan of popping Advil or rubbing in Bengay for muscle aches and pains, it’s time to oil up instead. We’re talking about Wong To Yick, or Wood Lock Oil. It’s a popular herbal TCM remedy for dealing with muscular pain that just won’t go away. It’s a great alternative to painkillers if you’re looking for a more natural, topical method of relief.
Wood Lock Oil has lots of natural yet powerful ingredients that pack a pain-relieving punch, including menthol, camphor, and methyl salicylate.
Menthol, which is the essential oil that helps give peppermint its cooling sensation, is the base for Wood Lock Oil. Studies have found that menthol can help ease muscle tension and relieve pain, making it great for everything from headaches to muscle cramps. In fact, it’s just as effective as taking 1,000 mgs of acetaminophen!
Camphor, which is an oil extracted from camphor trees, has been used for pain relief in the east and west for hundreds of years. It helps wounds like cuts and scrapes to heal faster, and relieves muscle pains and cramps. And because it’s got anti-inflammatory properties, researchers have found that camphor can even help with arthritis.
Methyl salicylate is another minty ingredient that helps ease pain and lower inflammation. It also absorbs very quickly, so it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy or oily after you use it.
So instead of reaching for an aspirin, try massaging Wood Lock Oil wherever you notice muscle pain or achy joints. It’s a natural, fast, and effective way to sooth your body without popping any pills.
Hit The Sack At 10 pm
If you’re a night owl, 10 pm might seem laughably early to you. But according to TCM, the best time to hit the hay is between 10 and 10:30 at night until 7:00 to 8:30 am so that you have adequate deep sleep.
That’s because of something called the TCM body clock. Divided into 12 2 hour segments, the body clock lets us know where our qi is concentrated in our body at any given time. Where the qi goes is where the organs and other systems will be powered up into high gear. So using the body clock can help you figure out the optimal times of day to do everyday tasks like eating, working out, and sleeping.
So according to TCM best practices, you should start getting ready for bed at 9 pm. That means winding down, prepping for the next day, and getting your mind and body ready to sleep. Ideally, you’ll be in bed and drifting off to dreamland by 11 pm.
What’s so special about the 2 hour block from 9 to 11 pm? Well, it’s when your entire organ system is the most active. That means your body can process any leftover food and emotions from the day so you can focus on resting and recharging while you’re asleep.
Whether you want to keep an eye on your health, find natural ways to sooth pain, or feel your best by getting plenty of rest, eastern medicine has so much to offer. Check out our other posts to learn more about easy ways to incorporate eastern medicine into your life!