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Constipation is a regular occurrence in the modernized lifestyle and is a sure indication of an imbalance. Usually, it stems from energy stagnation and can often be cleared by more physical movement, a reduction in breads, pastas and other heavy types of foods and by adding some digestive tonics and stimulants to the digestive system such as some chili, lemon water or apple cider vinegar. Emotionally, constipation is connected to being unable to “let go” and this can manifest as constipation. In the Metal Element chapter found later in this book, we address this issue in much more detail. If you are unable to correct the constipation through your own efforts it’s advised to seek out assistance from a health practitioner.
General Principles of Oriental Diet Therapy:
– Eat to only 70-80% full. Overeating taxes life force and damages the stomach and spleen organs. It is also good for mental training. Overeating is a sign of attachment to the senses and a loss of equanimity of the mind.
– Eat with mindfulness, patience, with minimal distractions and chew thoroughly.
– Avoid extreme temperatures of foods. This means to avoid ice cold drinks such as ice water and avoid foods like ice cream. It is also better to avoid overly spiced foods, foods cooked on open flames and foods that are dried out.
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– In most cases and especially in any case of illness, weakness, age or poor digestion, it is recommended to eat well cooked foods such as soups, stews, congees and casseroles. Only those with a strong constitution can handle raw foods for extended periods.
– Vegetarianism is recommended for the serious yogi, however education in nutrition is a must to avoid energetic and blood deficiencies.
– Meat in most cases is recommended, especially for the young and for those who are ill or weak.
– The quality and regularity of your bowel motions provide an accurate indicator of your internal organ health. It’s important to address any consistent signs of constipation or ongoing wet or loose stools. You can do this through adjusting diet, adding digestive tonics and adding more dynamic physical movements. If these options don’t prove helpful, seek assistance form a health practitioner.