Updated: May 25
To visualize blood stasis, imagine a blockage in a river. Such a blockage can happen for can either happen if an object of some kind fell into the river and is blocking its flow or if the stream wanes so much that obstacles that so far were not significant are now strong enough to stop the flow.
To “break” the stagnation we need to give the river some vigor, or strength to blast through the stagnation. We may need to add volume to the river, in which case we will need to nourish blood as well, or we may want to allow the river to run faster and more strongly by reducing dampness. In both cases, what we need to start with is to bolster the qi, which invariably comes from the energy we get from our nourishment. Hence, we start dealing with the blood stagnation by taking care of our spleen qi: our capacity to absorb nutrients from food and turn this energy into a healing force.
So added to the guidelines we have for nourishing qi and reducing dampness (see the corresponding articles) we add some that reduce energetic blockage and help move qi and blood.
· Avoid having big gaps between meals. Have frequent, smaller meals rather than big meals.
· Do not stuff yourself. If you doubt whether you had enough to eat- the answer is that you did
· Avoid being hungry. If you are- add a healthy snack, preferably one that helps disperse blood: a green vegetable, an apple, etc.
· Reduce stress around the dining table. Eat slowly with minimal distraction
· Chew thoroughly and eat slowly
· 2 hours after big meals, moderate activity such as walking will help disperse the food energy throughout the body
· Do not eat steaming hot food (food that will burn your mouth)
· Avoid heavily spiced food like black pepper or chili peppers
What shall we eat?
Citrus peels are particularly beneficial. They can be added to teas or infusions or spice up different dishes (zest) such as salads, meats, etc.
Beet, cabbage, fennel, cauliflower Broccoli, kale, etc. – these vegetables should be lightly cooked steamed, or blanched (highly recommended).
Lettuce, kale, baby leaves of all sorts, sprouts, and seeds can be eaten raw
Berries (blueberry, raspberry blackberry, etc.) Cranberries are particularly recommended
Apple, peach, fig pear- these fruits are particularly effective, yet all fresh fruit are good. However, avoid excessive sugar intake. Slightly sour fruits are preferred over very sweet fruits such as watermelon.
Spices and herbs
Due to their aromatic nature, the use of even the smallest amount of the following can have a significant effect:
dill, mustard leaves, shallots, melissa, turmeric, basil, cardamon, cumin, ginger rosarian, radish, and all types of mint (spearmint, peppermint, etc.)