Eating with delight and enjoyment in a leisurely and relaxed atmosphere and without any external distractions creates excellent conditions for good regeneration of qi from food. Positive feelings and moods generally promote good qi flow. During meals, positive feelings enable free flow of stomach and spleen qi, which supports the smooth processing of food and effective integration of food qi in the body.
Exhausting talks, discussions, and distractions (TV, radio, reading) burden stomach and spleen, which are especially sensitive to emotional tensions such as brooding, worries, anger, and fear. Negative emotions block and weaken the qi of digestive organs, resulting in loss of appetite, bloating, regurgitation, and stomach pain. "It turned my stomach"; "It ruined my appetite"; "The news made me choke on my food" are popular ways of describing this all too common situation. Continuous exposure of the stomach/spleen network to emotional stress can cause serious eating disorders and digestive problems such as obesity, bulimia, anorexia, or gastric ulcers.
The classic texts recommend: "When angry, it is easy to swallow food, but hard to digest it. When sad, it is hard to swallow and digest food. When experiencing strong emotions, it is advisable to delay eating until they have disappeared. Foods should always be ingested at the proper time. This makes it easier to digest them. Delaying eating and being able to digest food is better than eating too soon and not being able to digest. Digestive problems are accompanied by trouble, while good digestion frees a person from worry. It is not advisable to eat when strong emotions are brewing."
Well-chewed food supports spleen qi, satisfies hunger more quickly, and prevents obesity.
"Stop when it tastes best" is a good basic principle for determining the right amount to eat. Sleepiness or a burdened feeling should not appear after a meal. After excessively large meals, the entire qi and blood of the body is pulled into the center burner to cope with the excess. This initially results in bloating and drowsiness, and in case of protracted excess, weakens the digestive organs and causes dampness and phlegm disorders.
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