Posts Tagged ‘Detox’

Daily Detox

We all hear the latest craze of detoxing the body, either thru fasting, juicing or taking certain special supplements. Do they work? Maybe. Rather than do a specific detox , that sometimes maybe to intense on the person, such as fasting or long hours in a sauna, the traditional Chinese medicinal way is less intense. It is also done regularly thru daily routines.


You really wanna drink that?

According to TCM(traditional Chinese medicine) one’s body operates in a daily cycle that remains constant. Supplying the body with nutrients and energy, while dispersing waste is a natural way to keep the body healthy. A health risk may arrive should the waste fail to be discharged, causing toxins to accumulate in the body.

Physical signs are given by the body when such toxins have accumulated. By adjusting one’s daily patterns can aid in dispelling pathogens form different organs more productively.

In TCM ,there a generally two kinds of toxins, external and internal. External toxins are those penetrating the body from the outside such as pathogens like air and water pollution, as well as pesticide residue. They enter the body through the air, water, foods and skin contact.

Internal toxins are those that are produced by ones metabolism. These toxins will cause health problems if they accumulate and not discharged( through defecation, urination and sweating)  by the body in a prompt manner.

There are several physical signs that indicate a much needed cleansing of these toxins are needed.

  • Constipation

The most important method to expel bodily toxins is thru daily defecation. Toxins will start to accumulate if  one does not have a bowel movement at least once every three days(!) With fewer bowel movements, harmful substances in the stools may be reabsorbed should they remain in the colon for too long.

TCM doctors don’t recommend cleansing the colon by “natural” laxatives or so-called colon irrigation, as these may lead to digestive system disorders. They don’t sound like fun either! To aid in obstinate stools and help relieve constipation, it is better to add more fibrous foods  to ones diet and get regular exercise.


  • Bad Breath

Bad breath is often caused by heat toxins accumulated in the lungs, spleen and stomach. It can also be caused by the build-up of food in the stomach due to improper digestion.

Overeating, especially spicy and greasy foods, can cause toxins to accumulate within the body, generating issues like ulcers, and indigestion, which is accompanied by bad breath.

To help with this problem, changing to a plain diet , making sure to have daily bowel movements and getting advice from a TCM specialist on adjusting one’s digestion issues may help.

  • Chloasma

Chloasma,   large brown patches usually on the face, in TCM is considered a symptom of energy imbalance caused by the accumulation of toxins. It is often accompanied with  energy stagnation  in the liver and low energy in the spleen and kidneys.

A change in diet and daily exercise is strongly recommended.

  • Acne

Acne develops when there is excess body oil (sebum) secreted and ends up blocking the pores. Western medicine states the problem coming from the endocrine systems disorders. TCM believes that it is a result of toxins built up within the body.

This build up is generally caused by eating too much greasy and spicy foods, staying up late at night and irregular bowel movements.

Following a healthier diet with less spicy, fatty and sugary foods/drinks, more exercise and avoiding smoking , alcohol, caffeine amy help reduce one’s acne.


  • Dull complexion

A dull complexion is a symptom of an accumulation of toxins in the lungs. TCM consider the lungs and the skin are closely related. Healthy looking skin is a sign of healthy lungs too.

Get as much fresh air as possible and refrain from smoking(naturally!) Taking in deep breaths of fresh air can help dispel the toxins in the lungs.


A person in good health can generally get rid of wastes and toxins in the body naturally. Coordinating with the TCM body schedule’ one can  adjust their daily habits to aid in clearing out toxins more efficiently for the different organs.

According to TCM energy is transmitted throughout  the human body by 12 meridians. The meridian system is made up by a series of channels, which are sequential to each other in the circulation of Qi (vital energy). Each meridian is “activated” every two hours. During this activation period, extra blood and Qi flow to the specific meridian to keep it functioning. Therefore it is the perfect  time for organs related to that meridian to eliminate toxins.




Here are the time frames:

5:00 -7:00 = Large intestine

This meridian is active from 5 am to 7 am. The best way for the large intestine to dispel toxins is thru a proper bowel movement. To help relieve constipation, massaging the large intestine meridian, located through the outer arms.


Large intestine meridian


7:00-9:00= Stomach

At this time the stomach meridian is active, therefore it is recommended to eat  breakfast within this time frame. Doing abdominal breathing before eating, can aid in accelerating blood and energy circulation in the stomach. This will then enhance ones metabolism and digestion.


9:00- 11:00= Spleen

With ample energy in the stomach , it will digest all the food and send the nutrients to the spleen meridian , which is activated at 9 am. The job of the spleen is to turn all the digested food into energy.


11:00- 13:00= Heart

To aid to dispel toxins from the heart, it is highly recommended to avoid intense physical exercises from 11am to 1 pm.

Taking a nap in this time frame will help eliminate toxins from the heart and help it function better. One must not take a nap immediately after eating, as this may cause stomach trouble. It is advisable to take mini walk before napping. Naps over an hour are not recommended as it can cause insomnia at night.

Foods such as longan and jujubes are considered to help the heart get its proper nutrients.



longan fruit


13:00- 17:00= Small intestine and bladder

The main function of the is to separate and circulate digested nutrients. It forwards fluid to the bladder, waste to the large intestine and essence to the spleen where it forms blood and energy. The small intestine is critical to the absorption of nutrients.

Regarding the removal of toxins form the body, the bladder meridian is highly important. All toxins eliminated by other meridians go to the bladder and are dissipated thru one’s urine.

Drinking plenty of water during this time frame may aid detoxification through urination.


17:00- 19:00 = Kidneys


Edema, welling caused by excess fluid trapped in your body’s tissues, can be a sign that there is accumulation of toxins in the kidneys. Exercising during this time period can aid dispelling toxins from the kidneys. Fungus and kelp are considered good foods for the kidneys.


19:00-21:00 =Pericardium

The pericardium is a membrane that surrounds the heart and roots for the great blood vessels. It also helps regulate circulation in the major blood vessels that run in and out of the heart. During this time frame, it helps dispel toxic energy around the heart to protect it.

When the pericardium does not properly dispel toxins adequately, one may undergo sleeplessness or tightness in the chest.

Massaging the pericardium meridian can aid in stimulating the blood flow and energy circulation to the heart and improve the release of toxins.


Pericardium meridian


21:00- 23:00 = Triple Burner Meridian

According to the TCM meridian clock, this time slot is for the Triple Burner. This meridian is responsible for the movement and transformation of various solids and fluids throughout the system, as well as for the production and circulation of nourishing and protective energy. Since there is no specific organ connected to this meridian, there is not much importance in the subject of detoxification of one’s body.


23:00- 1:00 = Gall bladder
1:00 -3:00 = Liver
3:00 -5:00 = Lungs

These three are grouped together, because toxins are best dispelled from these organs when one is in a deep sleep. Therefore in TCM, it is highly recommended to go to sleep before 11 pm. The quality of sleep is of upmost importance too.

The gall bladder is responsible for the initial cleansing of all tissues, processes cholesterol, and  enhances brain function.

The liver is responsible for the cleansing of blood and processing of wastes. It is advised not to drink alcohol before going to sleep and highly suggested alcohol during the liver meridian time frame.

The lungs are responsible for respiration, oxygenation, and the expulsion of waste gasses.


Following these daily guidelines, rather than pursuing an intense detoxification, one can  see results come gradually to a healthier and gratifying life.




References: Zhang Qian, Shanghai Daily, 2014








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As most of us living in a cold climate area we are all happy that spring is here .As with all the seasons, each season is related to an internal .Spring is related to the liver organ. It is also related to one of the five elements :the element wood. Its related emotion is anger.


Visualize what happens in the spring. Nature is renewing itself from the inside out. The earth uses its force at work to push plants, flowers and leaves to grow outward. This force is energy. This energy is Qi. Without Qi, nothing can grow, and nothing can live. One can use nature’s renewal in the spring to renew and heal ourselves from the inside.


Anger: a great destroyer of our lives and the liver

Among the seven human emotions, anger is of an intense nature. It can dry up the blood and disrupts one’s soul. Due to this, it greatly affects the nourishment of the liver. Controlling one’s anger will make one’s liver healthier.


The Wood Elemental Qi is characterized by its willpower to go straight to where it wants to go. Should it not be blocked nor suppressed, the movement in the vessels will be smooth.


Since the purpose of the liver regulates the Qi flow in one’s entire body. It influences the dynamics of the other organ networks, particularly the digestive system. It passes bile into the intestines, helps to transport food essence, and aids the unobstructed movement and metabolism of water.

Our nails can be a visual notice to the quality of the liver blood. Dry and brittle or extremely pale nail beds can indicate a poor quality of liver blood. While pink nail beds and firm nails indicates a healthy state of the liver blood.


The eyes: gateway to our soul and liver

The eyes are considered to be the opening of the liver. The liver channel branches out to the eyes. Both liver Qi and liver blood flow maintain proper eyesight. A person’s eyesight may serve as an indicator for liver function.


A deficiency of liver Qi may cause someone to be indecisive and aimless, causing one to be fearful, have a panicky disposition, and have difficulty making decisions.


How can we do this “spring cleaning” for ourselves? Practice the natural healing methods seen in Qigong, special foods for healing if needed, lifestyle changes as in a healthier diet, and a more conscious and balanced mental state.


Diet  is an important part in regulating the liver Qi. Sour flavor, like pickled vegetables etc., is directly linked with the liver network. If used properly, sour foods can be a benefit to the liver. But as always, never in excessive use, as it harm the liver system. Bitter foods , such as kale, are also good to cleanse the liver.  Reduced or no consumption of alcohol, highly sweet foods & drinks, highly processed foods(even “healthy foods”) and high fatty/fried foods. A special detox program is not really needed, as the liver naturally detoxes  itself. Just cutting out the foods and drinks, mentioned above, will be enough.


References: Keep Fit the Chinese Way, 1991, by Hu Bin
The Root Of Chinese Qigong: Secrets of Health, Longevity,&Enlightenment,1997, by Yang Jwing- Ming


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Winter is now in full swing and it is important to talk about the kidneys,as they are the organ related to this season.

The kidneys are important for the regulation of our bodies Original Essence or Jing.
Since the weather is cold now, the surrounding air is also Yin and the  Qi levels of the kidneys are diminished.


Kidneys in traditional Chinese medicine

Will, determination, and   memory are attributed to the kidney.Should the  kidney Jing becomes exhausted, it shall result in a weak will and poor memory  .

The kidneys are  in charge of water.Fluids reach the kidney after they have been absorbed by the stomach, raised upwards by the spleen, and moistened downwards by the lung

The kidneys are responsible for ones bones too.An ample amount of  kidney Jing, makes both the bone (supporting the body) and the brain (supporting the mind)   at a level of ideal energy. On the other hand, a low kidney Jing will bring about frail bones and a dull spirit.

Since the teeth are also part of are bone structure, they also rely on the nourishment of the kidney. If the Jing is plentiful, the teeth are firm; if not, they become loose or fall out.

Ancient texts often consider the head’s hair to be a direct outgrowth of the brain, which would relate it to the kidney. The growth pattern and general luster of the hair is an important indication for the condition of prenatal Jing( the condition of health we are born with).

F ear is the emotion connected to the kidneys . When one is living in fear, it weakens the kidneys. Fright, in a long-term notion turns into fear. Should one be abused (any sort), and becomes ongoing, this leads to fear of when this abuse will happen again.



Living in fear damages the kidneys


Edema (fluid retention) is usually a sign of toxins accumulated in the kidneys. The body can naturally detox the kidneys. The kidneys naturally detox from 5pm-7pm. Therefore even light exercise during this time can aid the kidneys eliminate toxins. Types of fungus and kelp are considered  good food for the kidneys. Eating them at dinner time while also help.

It is also believed that slight increasing the  intake of salt, taken during the water season (winter) contributes to preserving the kidney against the cold.However,excessive consumption of salty foods is discouraged, as it will harm the kidneys.

When this happens, the Qi flow will be sluggish and the back will become sore and ache, especially the lower back. It is important that the kidney area be protected so that Qi will not be lost out of your body. One method is to wear warm clothes, especially around the waist. The other methods to improve Qi circulation in the kidney area, is to learn Qigong, such as Ba Duan Jin, and massage techniques using the Qi in your hands to help circulate the kidneys.


Kidney massage


Reference: The Root of Chinese Qigong, by Dr.Yang,Jwing-Ming

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Autumn is here in full swing, and that means the seasonal Qi becomes crisp and clear, and as seen in food crops, rely on this Qi force to become ripe and complete.

When one has a strong physical vitality, it means one’s Lung QI is high. Even our posture shows our sense of self-worth. An open chest (good posture) shows good physical/mental health; a poor posture (lungs collapsed) can mean can mean poor health, both physically and mentally.

When one has low Lung Qi, it means low vitality and a poor immune system. Breathing may be shallow and there may be respiratory problems. The overall circulation of one’s Qi may be weak.


The Lung is associated with the phase element metal, the direction west and the season of autumn.   Typically, the Lung is sensitive to dryness as well as to cold and heat.

Just like a metal object absorbs the temperature of its environment in an instant, the metal organ (Lung) is most easily influenced by external extremes of heat or cold. The Lung Qi is nourished by breathing. Therefore clean, fresh air is important for a strong Qi in the lungs.



The Lung is receives its Qi from the air we breathe. The Lung is known as the Delicate Organ, which means it’s extremely sensitive to the influence of evil Qi. There are six excesses that can   influences   easily cause a state if imbalance in the Lungs.  These six are: Wind, Cold, Heat, Moisture, Dryness, and Summer Heat. Because the Lungs are usually the first to be attacked by external diseases, they are called the Delicate Organ. Other negative Qi are viruses and the quality or air we breathe. These disturbances     can   cause the Qi to stagnate towards the Lung. Coughing, asthma and congestion is the main symptom of a problem with the Lungs.

External conditions like environmental cold, heat, and dryness all have the potential to injure the fluid supply of the body and cause dryness symptoms in the nose, throat, lungs, skin, body hair or intestines. The lung has a natural aversion to dryness, therefore harmed by dryness. Just as the leaves dry-out and fall off the branches, people’s skin can start becoming dry too. When the weather is changing from damp, hot summer into drier and chilly autumn, Lungs are the first organ to sense the change. If your Lungs are not able to readjust themselves to fit the new situation smoothly you will catch a cold

The skin is part of the Lung System. The Lungs control that part of the liquid metabolism which distributes liquid to the skin.Cleaning the skin, skin scrubbing will maintain the skin’s health and
help support the immune system. Wearing natural, loose clothing will help the skin breathe freely. Keeping the skin pores open is important, therefore deodorants are better than antiperspirants, as it allows the skin to breathe.

Lung Qi, constantly descends, moving water downwards, thus providing the rest of the organ networks with fluids.

The lung is situated in the upper burner, therefore is referred as the upper source of water. Should the Lung Qi fails to descend, it cannot open and regulate the water pathways and ensure the unobstructed transportation of fluids to the fluids.

Emotional states such as grief, sadness and melancholy affect the lung Qi. Should a person be sad, one’s Lung Qi will dissipate.


In Qigong practice, since the Lung’s belong to Metal, they are able to regulate heartburn. The Heart belongs to Fire. When the Heart has excess Qi, deep breathing is able to lead the Heart’s fire to the Lungs, and therefore cool the heartburn.

To increase Lung Qi, we can get a cleaner air supply and more proper nutrition. Going out to outdoors go to get cleaner air and thru foods since the color related to the Lungs is white, foods like radish, white meats and white mushrooms tend to have some benefits. Dairy products in many cases cause congestion and the build up of phlegm. Other foods that may cause congestion are like fatty foods, fried foods, and processed foods.

The Lungs are also self-detoxed at night after 11PM. So it is important to sleep by this time to allow the natural detoxing of the Lungs to happen.


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