When we think about the mind we normally think of the brain as the mind’s house. But did you know that it’s actually the digestive system that houses the mind? That’s right! According to Traditional Chinese Medicine the stomach meridian is where the conscious mind primarily lives, whereas the spleen (together with the pancreas) meridian houses the subconscious mind. Now you can perhaps better understand the connection between excessive worrying and stomach ulcers – worry (which is a destructive activity of the mind) literary eats up its host – the stomach. Want to know more about that? Read the article below.
What came first – too much eating or too much thinking?
The Chinese have known for a long time that the corresponding meridians of a number of digestive organs “touch” certain cognitive centres in the brain. That’s how they could explain the observation that too much (unproductive) thinking compromises digestion. Hence, if you have a busy, overactive mind and you tend to worry and get anxious a lot, you are also likely to suffer digestive challenges. In this case, meditation can be particularly helpful to you as it quiets the mind and can therefore regulate digestion as well.
Importantly, the opposite connection is also true – too much eating causes muddled thinking. Why? That’s because when you constantly stimulate the digestive organs, you also overstimulate the mind (which “lives” in the corresponding meridians). Too much eating is particularly destructive at night time when the digestive fire is at its weakest and the stomach should be resting, not processing. Thus, if you eat late at night, you don’t have the energy necessary to process the food and it tends to clog up your body. Besides, going to bed on a full stomach disturbs the sleep as it activates the mind at the worst possible time. Therefore, avoid eating too much too late at night if you want to quiet the mind for a deep restorative sleep.
And lastly, if you want to clear the mind and elevate your thinking for a smoother and more efficient decision making process, consider fasting. Fasting has been used for centuries to bring clarity of mind and to elevate consciousness. And this method works so well precisely because when you stop grazing or stuffing yourself with food all the time, you give a rest not only to your digestive system; you also give your mind a chance to pause, defrag, and reassemble itself into newly organized files with freshly updated information. That results in more productive, organized and clear thinking, and heightened creativity.
To conclude, whether you want to heal the mind or your digestion, consider meditation and fasts. They have endured the test of time and they still work today as well as ever.