Case studies: Have a Healthy Colon

Cleansing herbs can minimize gas and digestive discomfort

| July/August 1999

Sometimes it’s valuable to have a client’s spouse in the treatment room during a consultation—it can bring out details that wouldn’t be discussed otherwise, especially when a topic is hard to talk about. When Ken and Marjorie came in together, they looked at each other nervously while we talked about Ken’s digestive problem.

“I can’t seem to digest anything without a feeling of fullness, rumbling, and pain,” Ken said. Marjorie rolled her eyes, and I knew some point of contention existed here. “Why don’t you tell him about the constant gas?” she said.

I avoided this obviously touchy topic for the moment and asked Ken about his diet and eating habits. Marjorie interrupted in the middle of his description of a breakfast of orange juice, bacon, eggs, toast, and coffee.

“I’ve been reading about food combining,” she said. “And that combination has to be tough on anyone’s stomach. Fruit juice and fried meat—what a nightmare!”

Ken looked a little hurt. “I have bacon only a few times a week,” he said. This back-and-forth went on for some time, so I finally asked Marjorie if I could talk with Ken alone. By then I had an inkling of what was going on.

Food combining

Ken described his usual meals, most of which were combinations that are pretty tough on the body. The result was that he had a condition known in Chinese medicine as “food stagnation.” This showed up in his pulse, which was hard and full, in the ample girth around his mid-section, and in the thick, slightly yellow, greasy coating on his tongue. Food stagnation can become extreme and lead to nausea, vomiting, constipation, and a feeling of pain and fullness after even a small meal.

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