By Danisha Bogue, L.Ac. - July 7, 2024
Categories: General

Welcome to the era of hot-girl tummy troubles, where we’re all getting real about digestion – and it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Bloating, grumbling, the occasional rebellion – our guts can be a bit dramatic sometimes. Luckily, there’s an ancient wisdom tradition with some pretty cool insights into keeping your gut happy. Buckle up, because we’re diving into the world of Traditional Chinese Medicine and gut health!

Traditional Chinese Medicine 101: All About Balance

Unlike Western medicine, which focuses on specific organs, Traditional Chinese Medicine sees things more holistically. It’s all about keeping your internal energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”), flowing smoothly. Your gut functions like a grand central station for Qi – food comes in, gets broken down, and nutrients are sent throughout your body. But if things get backed up, like with sluggish digestion, your Qi also gets backed up. This affects not just your tummy, but your energy and even your mood!

The Spleen and the Stomach: The Gut’s Power Couple

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, digestion relies on two main players: the Spleen and the Stomach. The Stomach is a hot and active organ. It’s the grinder of your digestive system, and breaks down the food you eat. When your stomach Qi is out of whack, it can manifest as: 

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Poor appetite

Your spleen is your stomach’s partner in digestion. It’s a cool and nurturing organ that takes the food that your stomach broke down, and transforms it into energy and nutrients. It also helps transport these nutrients throughout the body and filters out waste. When your spleen’s energy is weak, it can lead to: 

  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Loose stools
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Weak immune system

Tummy Tamers: Gut-Loving Tips

So how do we keep our tummies happy and avoid digestive meltdowns? Traditional Chinese Medicine has some tips that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine: 

  • Spice up your life: Ginger is a superstar in Traditional Chinese Medicine, known for its ability to calm a grumpy Stomach (a reputation that has luckily made its way to the West as well!). Feeling nauseous? Sip on some ginger tea. Dealing with indigestion? Add a sprinkle of ginger to your stir-fry. Ginger is like a soothing balm for your digestive system, helping things move smoothly.
  • Ditch the ice water: Traditional Chinese Medicine believes cold food can weaken your Spleen, making it harder to do its job of transforming food. Think about it – if you put cold water on a fire, it dampens the flames, right? Same goes for your digestive fire! So, opt for warm beverages like herbal tea to keep things balanced. Think of it as a cozy hug for your Spleen, helping it work its magic. 
  • Chew on this: Proper chewing helps break down your food better, easing the burden on your stomach. Put down your phone, savor those bites, and give your stomach a helping hand. Chewing is like giving your food a pre-grind before it even hits your stomach, making the whole digestive process smoother. 

Next Level Gut Health: Acupuncture and Cupping

Acupuncture is a staple of the Traditional Chinese Medicine world for a reason! If home remedies just aren’t giving you the results you want, acupuncture and cupping may be the tag-team duo to help you out! 

Acupuncture involves inserting super tiny needles into specific points on your body that correspond to gut health and will help get your Qi flowing the way it should! Cupping involves using fire (don’t worry, not on you!) to create a suction effect in small cups that are placed on your body. Here’s how it works to help your digestion: 

  • Regulates Gut Motility: Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system, influencing the muscle contractions in your digestive tract. Cupping increases blood flow to the area, reducing stagnation and also helping to stimulate those digestive organs.This can help regulate bowel movements, meaning regardless of whether your digestion is moving too much or not enough, it’s going to move back towards normal. 
  • Reduces Inflammation: Unfortunately for us, the Standard American Diet these days tends to lead towards a lot of inflammation in the gut. Processed foods, sugar, and fried foods are NOT a tummy’s best friend, and that’s not even including foods that you might be sensitive or allergic to! Acupuncture and cupping can both help to clear out that inflammation, helping you to feel better!
  • Promotes Relaxing and Stress Relief: Stress is a major trigger for tummy troubles! Traditional Chinese Medicine treatments are fantastic at calming your nervous system and helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Think of it as a de-stressing spa day for your gut!
  • Enhances Nutrient Absorption: Unfortunately, if you’ve had a lot of stress and inflammation, it doesn’t matter how clean your diet is, your gut may not be absorbing nutrients from the food you eat. Luckily, acupuncture and cupping both bring more blood flow to your gut and can help you get more of the essential vitamins and minerals from your food!

Let’s Be Real: It’s Not a Magic Bullet

Traditional Medicine is a powerful tool in getting your gut fighting fit, but the best medicine in the world can only do so much without a healthy diet and lifestyle to support it! So chew your food, add some tea, and consult with your practitioner to keep your guy happy!

Be well.



This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.