Rise 'n' Shine!
How to Get Your Summer Mornings Started Off Right!
According to the Chinese clock, the hours of the day are related to various organs. In the morning, we have the Liver from 1-3, the Lung from 3-5, the Large Intestine from 5-7, the Stomach from 7-9, and the Spleen from 9-11. This moves us through the elemental phases from Wood to Metal to Earth.
Wake up in the middle of the night?
People that habitually wake up at 3am usually are having a problem with transitioning from Wood into Metal. The energetic of Wood prevails beyond its time, creating visions, making plans, and, in pathology, generating stress, frustration, and anger over the people and things it perceives to stand in its way. This manifests as stress dreams or with waking at 3am with obsessive thinking about work, scheduling, and imaginary conversations or emails with people and situations that feel stressful or anger inducing. A great tea before bed to benefit this pattern is Dream tea, as it generates a feeling of relaxation and well-being at bedtime. It is best to avoid alcohol when experiencing this pattern, as it creates the Liver to flare up even more.
Morning tummy problems?
For difficulty with the bowels in the mornings, it is best to work with the Metal element from 3-7. The Lungs are in their prime from 3-5, and are in charge of inhalation of air and Qi. Some great ways to strengthen the Lungs are with breathing exercises and practices such a Kundalini yoga. Traditionally, such practices are done outdoors at dawn to allow for maximum receptivity of the new day and all it has to offer. Doing some deep breathing before bedtime can also enhance relaxation during sleep and replenish the Lungs during this time. The Large Intestines are in their prime from 5-7, and are in charge of the process of releasing the waste carried over from the day before for a fresh start to your day. If there are problems with elimination, drinking Gut Health in the morning and regularly after meals will help to regulate this process.
For low appetite and lack of energy in the mornings, it is best to work with the Earth element from 7-11. At this time, Skinny Me (soon to be renamed Energize) is the ideal tea, as the Puerh boosts energy and enhances metabolic and digestive processes, while the hibiscus, orange peel, and peppermint get the Qi flowing to get you moving as you prepare to move out into the world in the later part of your day. It is best to eat a large breakfast that helps to warm the Spleen and prepare it for the day. Traditionally, in China, the ideal breakfast food is a warm congee (rice porridge) with warming herbs such a ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Add some fresh berries, nuts, and chia seeds to maximize antioxidants, protein, fat, and hydration.