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  • Writer's pictureViola the acupuncturist

Why Was the Pig Tired?

Since this week is the Chinese New Year, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

It is the year of the Pig. Interestingly, the Pig is in the last place on the Chinese zodiac calendar. You are probably asking yourself why? Okay, even if you aren’t, I will tell you the story.

Buddha was gathering twelve animals to be in the zodiac. Our little pig was very excited about being chosen to be part of the Zodiac. Unfortunately, on his way to join the Buddha, he got very hungry. He saw a food truck on the side of the road and stopped to have a big meal. After the meal, he got very tired and had to take a nap. When he woke up, he hurried as fast as he could, but alas, he was still last. So, this is why the Pig has the last place on the Chinese Zodiac.

As an acupuncturist, I wonder and worry a little about the Pig. What is going on with him? What acupuncture points could I use to help him? Is there a good Chinese herbal formula for him? Would some Western supplements help?

Well, let’s take a look at his symptoms. He was very hungry. He was sleepy after he ate. And he was sluggish, even when he was trying to hurry.

My guess, without being able to diagnose him by reading his pulses or looking at his tongue, is he might also have some digestive issues. With the exception of turkey, which contains tryptophan- an ingredient that makes you sleepy, he shouldn’t feel that tired after he ate. I can imagine he just felt over all sluggish. My first question to our pig would be how is overall energy is? Do you have digestive issues?

And what about you? Can you relate to our little Pig? Do you have gas and bloating after a meal? Do you get that afternoon slump? There is a Chinese medical diagnosis which covers many of these symptoms. It is called “spleen qi deficiency”. Don’t worry, it’s fixable.

Give your acupuncturist a call to see how acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help to stimulate the body to heal itself!

In the meantime, here are some simple things you can do:

1. Add some fermented foods to your diet such as sauerkraut or yogurt. Fermented foods add to the “good” bacteria in your body.

2. Use a digestive enzyme with your meals. As we age, our digestion doesn’t work as well as it used to and digestive enzymes can give your body the little help it needs.

3. Make an effort to add whole grains and fresh vegetables to your diet. Challenge yourself, see how many different vegetables you can add to your cart when you go shopping. Don’t forget to eat them during the week.

4. Avoid refined sugar and fried foods.

5. Make sure you get enough rest. As our little pig knows, an afternoon nap can be very refreshing.

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