Healthy digestion is fundamental to our physical, mental, and emotional wellness.  While Western medicine tends to see digestion as the mechanisms by which we process food, Eastern healing traditions take a broader view.  Ayurvedic (Indian) and Chinese medical systems conceive of digestion as encompassing the ability to take in not just food, but ideas and life experiences.

Digestion also includes the processes of turning what we consume into something the system can recognize and use.  Additionally it involves efficiently separating the life-sustaining stuff from the waste, and eliminating the waste.

Here are some easy steps that can be taken to enhance digestion:

  • Eat foods that are right for you.  Take into account your individual constitution, food sensitivities, and basic health guidelines (avoid sugar, caffeine, highly processed foods, etc.)
  • Be conscious of the environment you eat in.  Avoid eating in stressful situations, emotionally charged conversations, television, loud music, and reading.  This allows for you to be fully present to digesting rather than engaging your nervous system or trying to simultaneously digest both food and new ideas.
  • Eat until you are 3/4 full.  Don’t overeat.  Leave room in your stomach for the digestive actions to occur.  If you overeat, you smoother your digestive “fire,” making it impossible for that fire to fully digest what was eaten.
  • Be aware of how you are eating.  Relax and take time to enjoy your meal.  Take a few deep breaths before you begin eating in order to get yourself present.
  • Chew your food to an even consistency.  Digestion begins in the mouth and we skip an important step when we don’t take the time to chew our food.
  • Avoid drinking cold beverages while eating.  Coldness constricts the digestive tract and impedes the digestive process.


– Briana

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