If your stomach is healthy, you will be healthy. Some people have a “bad stomach” and often have stomach congestion, acid reflux, nausea, and vomiting. Irregular meals, stress, and lack of sleep are also reasons for stomach problems. In severe cases, stomach problems like gastritis and gastric ulcer occur.
In this article, Dr. Hu Naiwen, a professor at Nine Star University of Health and Sciences in Sunnyvale, California, suggests methods to maintain good stomach and digestive health.
Irregular Meals Cause Stomachache
Many people work hard to earn a living, pay off debts, and save for their own or their children’s education. People who work overtime usually go hungry or overeat, thus causing indigestion.
In the long run, they will have stomach aches easily and even gastritis and stomach ulcers. Irregular eating is not sustainable; it is better to eat three regular meals daily.
Massage 2 Acupoints to Relieve Stomachache
In addition, do not take medicine whenever you have a stomach ache. Let me show you two acupuncture points that will help.
Inner Pass (PC 6): Eliminate bloating, hiccups, and stomach aches.
Someone once asked me, “Dr. Hu, after I was full, I felt nausea, vomiting, indigestion, and palpitations. What should I do?” I responded, “You can try the acupoint called Inner Pass.”
The Inner Pass corresponds to the stomach and heart. Therefore, massaging this acupoint can strengthen the stomach, eliminate bloating, stop hiccups, and relieve stomachache. The acupoint is located three fingers wide above the transverse crease of the wrist, between the tendons.
You should note that a slight press on the acupoint can stop vomiting. However, do not keep pressing vigorously for a long time, as that will induce vomiting.
Central Venter (CV 12): Relieve indigestion, stomachache, and coldness in the stomach.
The section from the esophagus down to the stomach and duodenum is called the “gastric cavity.” The middle epigastric point is four inches up from the navel, about five fingers above. The Zhongyi point corresponds to the stomach and can improve symptoms of digestion and malabsorption.
People who often eat cold food or spend a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms are prone to cold stomachs; press on the middle epigastric point for relief. You can also massage the central venter.
Acupoints are a unique term in Chinese culture and TCM, and they are places with many nerve endings and blood vessels. TCM has found that acupoints are located in the viscera and meridian circulation routes distributed on the surface of the human body. TCM can treat diseases by stimulating corresponding meridian acupoints through massage and acupuncture.
Stress and Anxiety Cause Stomachache
Stress and anxiety can cause stomach problems. People who work in a fast-paced environment are very stressed at work. Often, they can barely finish their meals before they have to return to work.
When you are being served by individuals, you should be considerate and express gratitude to help relieve their pressure.
Smile More to Relieve Tension and Anxiety
One time, my wife went to the bank to handle some affairs. The bank was about to close, and the roll-down gate was nearly shut. However, a female bank teller allowed my wife to enter, and the teller served her efficiently and patiently. My wife told me that she was very appreciative of the teller. The next day, my wife made a cake and brought it to the teller, who was delighted to receive it.
Do you know that people working in the services sector are under a lot of stress? Although we cannot send them a cake every time, we can at least smile at them.
Moving Toes Can Relieve Stress
Moving our toes can relax our bodies, relieve stress, and strengthen our spleen and stomach.
TCM has discovered that there is a “meridian” system in the human body that is responsible for transporting “qi” and “blood” throughout the body. The two substances circulate to maintain balance and stability in various tissues and organs.
There are 12 main meridians corresponding to the 12 internal organs, from which they circulate further towards the hands, feet, head, and face. When the meridian system is blocked, it will affect the transport of substances and allow abnormalities to appear in the human body.
The big toe corresponds to the spleen and liver meridian; the index toe corresponds to the stomach meridian; the ring toe corresponds to the gallbladder meridian; the pinky toe corresponds to the bladder meridian; and the sole corresponds to the kidney meridian. When you move your toes, you mostly move the big toe and the index toe. Thus, your spleen, liver, and stomach are affected.
I recommend this method:
- Sit with both feet on the floor (or stand with your feet shoulder-width apart).
- Use the toes to grip the floor and relax them consecutively around 21 times. It will stimulate all the meridians on the feet during the exercise.
- Repeat daily.
Lack of Sleep Causes Stomachache
Office workers often stay up late. They quickly use up the “stomach yin” in the body. The ancients said that deep sleep is the method of nourishing yin. If one lacks sleep, he or she will lose yin fluid, which causes subtle pain in the stomach or bloating. The uncomfortable feeling is like a balloon or large rock block inside the body. People who experience this will suffer from loss of appetite or eat very little.
Dr. Hu recommends that everyone sleep early and get up early. People who try to go to bed earlier will have high spirits, be focused, and be very effective at work.
Rice Porridge Improves Sleep and Builds a Stronger Stomach
You can cook a pot of rice porridge during weekends or holidays. It takes 30 minutes to cook it. To make it softer, it needs to be cooked for an hour. The rice oil on top of the soup can have the effect of nourishing yin.
Many Chinese herbal recipes, such as Mai Men Dong soup, bamboo leaf Huang Qi soup, bamboo leaf Gypsum soup, and White Tiger soup, all use rice to nourish the yin and stomach. A large pot of rice porridge for the family is inexpensive, healthy, and comparable to ginseng chicken soup.
Following are two recipes for improving stomachache and stomach ulcers and reducing blood sugar levels.
1. Soup for Strengthening the Stomach
This is a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) formula as well as a food recipe that relieves stomachache and reduces blood sugar levels.
- 15 grams sand ginseng
- 15 grams herba dendrobii
- 15 grams radix ophiopogonis
- 15 grams rhizoma polygonati odorati
Mix and Boil them together.
The above four herbs all have hydrating properties, which can treat stomach problems and, in TCM terms, the “heat” in the stomach. Furthermore, herbs improve blood sugar levels to improve diabetes control. When we take Chinese medicine, we generally do not put any rock sugar in it, but if you like, you can put a little rock sugar in this recipe.
2. Pig Stomach Soup with Ginger and Cassia
This soup improves gastritis and stomach ulcers.
Vegans can eat millet, honey, Chinese yam, and chestnut to strengthen the spleen and stomach. If you have no dietary restrictions, you can cook a bowl of pig stomach soup with ginger and cassia to protect your stomach and improve the problems of indigestion, loss of appetite, gastroparesis, stomachache, bloating, and even stomach ulcers.
- 1pig stomach
- 15 grams ginger
- 3 grams cassia.
Mix and Boil them together.
Ginger can alleviate the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. One of the TCM recipes for treating vomiting is minor Spinelli decoction which has ginger as its essential ingredient. Adding a little more ginger to pork belly soup can improve vomiting, loose bowel movements, and poor digestion caused by a sluggish stomach. Dr. Hu also reminds us to cook the pig’s stomach longer so it will be tender and delicious.
Some of the herbs mentioned above may sound strange to some readers. However, most of these herbs can be purchased at health food stores or Asian grocery stores, such as Kamwo Meridian Herbs and TS Emporium.