By Dr. Shiaoting Jing O.M.D, Ph.D
Edited by Miao Miao L.Ac and Florence Lim L.Ac
Dr. Teitelbaum, an MD, originally designed the S.H.I.N.E.® approach from 40 years of clinical experience treating Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia. He identifies the five key elements – namely, SHINE - that serve as a blueprint for promoting optimal energy – Sleep, Hormones, Immunity/Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise.
For the past 40+ years, Dr. Jing has explored the full integration of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Modern Western Medicine and introduced 2000 years of wisdom known as "Yang Sheng" (Life Nourishing and Disease Prevention) to mainstream US communities. She believes this is an excellent integrated practice. Let's take a deeper look. Everybody can SHINE your health daily!
Sleep: Get adequate sleep, preferably eight to nine hours a night. Sleep replenishes your body's energy and helps heal your muscles. Inadequate sleep will leave you exhausted and in pain. Sometimes sleep support is necessary. In Chinese Medicine, sleep is essential for energy recovery and Detox, stabilizing mood, balancing the metabolic system, and replenishing blood!
Based on the Chinese Medicine Channel clock, we suggest getting ready for sleep around 10 pm so that your body can fall into a deep sleep during Gall Bladder and Liver time (11 p.m.-3 a.m.). The Liver and Gall Bladder are the Shao Yang (Lesser Yang) paired Channels. Shao Yang means the channel runs through the half interior/half exterior layer of our body (like our lymphatic system). With this idea in mind, good quality sleep between 11 p.m.-3 a.m. gives our body a deep natural cleansing.
Chinese Medicine considers the Liver as the organ that influences growth and has a rising quality; it is likened to an army’s general from whom the strategy is derived. Gall Bladder is the Upright Official that makes decisions. Together, they ensure the free flow of Qi through the whole body. With a night of good sleep, the movement of Qi will be properly planned and distributed. It will not become stagnant or rebel, and you will have better strategical and decision-making abilities. Meanwhile, the midnight Liver time is the turning point from Yin to Yang, in which your body is getting ready for the rising of Yang energy. To prevent bringing Qi stagnation into your sleep, pineal gland activation meditation, a warm bath or foot soak, and emptying your stomach at least 2 hours before bedtime will help!
How can we get good quality sleep? Blood is the key! Chinese Medicine considers blood as the material for holding spirits inside the human body. Without enough blood, spirits will lose their roots, and thoughts will float up, leading to dreams, making it difficult to fall back asleep or frequently waking up. The generation of blood involves a properly functioning Spleen to digest nutrients from the foods we eat, the Kidney Pre-Heaven (congenital) Essence and bone marrow, and sufficient Heart Yang Qi and warming energy. Furthermore, blood travels back and is stored in the Liver during deep sleep. Any dysfunction in the above organs may lead to blood-related sleep issues. Chinese Herbal formulas such as Gui Pi Tang, Suan Zao Ren Tang, An Shen Bu Xin Tang (available to purchase), Xiao Yao San, etc., will help with blood-related sleep issues from different perspectives. Please consult our TCM Healing Doctors for our all-natural herbal formula prescriptions.
5 a.m.-7 a.m. marks the Large Intestine Channel time and the rising of the sun and Yang energy. If you follow an appropriate sleep schedule, your body will be ready to wake up at this time. Many people with longevity share a common habit of having their bowel movements during this time. Chinese Medicine also believes that this is the best time to eliminate waste and prepare for the next dominant channel time, which is the Stomach Channel time from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. It is good recommended to enjoy a nourishing breakfast during the Stomach Channel time period.
To summarize, the TCM time clock indicates that every two hours, a particular Channel dominates the Qi and Blood. Each channel connects with its own organ and pairs up with its corresponding interior/exterior organ (such as the Liver/Gallbladder relating organs). By following the time clock, whether you are trying to improve sleep or digestion, your body will become more efficient and be able to do more with less effort. Your body system and even your mind will have naturally improved coordination!
In the next blog, we will continue to discuss the rest of the SHINE program – Hormones, Immunity/Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise. Follow our blog for more info and book a session!