Coupled with its mate the lungs, the large intestine can be particularly vulnerable to sluggishness or upset at this time of year. Typical fall weather is dry and cool, and the heating system is turned on at night. Not only can dry or chapped skin, a stuffy nose and a dry cough become a problem, but also constipation may be more likely. According to the Five Element Theory, maximum energy flow through the large intestine is between 5 and 7 am. This makes the early morning hours the ideal time to get things moving and flush away bodily wastes. To help accomplish this, try the following exercises. The first one is done before you get out of bed in the morning. It also helps bring the body back into alignment after a long period of lying in the same position. The second exercise is practiced sitting, standing or lying down and is done as and when needed.
1. Lying on your back, bring the right knee to the chest and hold with both hands beneath the knee for 60 seconds. Lower the leg and do the same with the left knee for 60 seconds. Lower the leg and now bring both knees to the chest and hold for 60 seconds. Lower both legs. With arms extended to either side, raise both legs in a bent knee position and bring them over to the right side of the body till they touch the bed. You will feel a gentle twist in the waist. Relax in this position for 60 seconds. The head can be turned gently to the opposite side – the left – or stay facing forwards. Repeat on the other side – legs to the left, head to the right.
2. With both hands massage the abdomen clockwise 81 times in a circular motion. The navel is the center of the circle.
Note: In case of diarrhea the above two exercises can be done in reverse. In exercise (1) the left knee is brought to the chest first. In exercise (2) the rotation is made counterclockwise.
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