Peru made me do it: get my digestion on trackSep 06, 2023
Leading up to my trip to Peru, I was experiencing digestive issues for the first time in a long time. It stemmed from my general diet change to accommodate my post menopausal body. I was only somewhat working on getting it back on track because, well… it wasn’t too bad; it was only slightly off.
Can you relate? I mean, who wants to bother with something that is not so bad?
But the Peru trip, which was going to involve all day activities and some big hikes, concerned me. Digestion is more likely to go awry rather than better when traveling, so I shared my concern with my TCM (doctor in Traditional Chinese Medicine). He suggested I take magnesium with me.
A simple decision
I committed to making sure I felt good while in Peru.
I know what I’m about to say is obvious, but I’m going to say it anyway: feeling good makes it easier to enjoy things.
I started every morning with what some refer to as medical meditation. “Medical” because it works on physiological issues, and at a deeper level, whether or not the root cause is known. This one involves a suspension of breath exercise with gentle stomach pumps. I did it for 11-31 minutes every morning, depending on both my body’s feedback and our morning pick up time (we traveled with a daily guide for this trip). And then I drank two cups of warm tea. The first cup was with my lemon-flavored magnesium, as per my doctor. The second was coca leaf tea, as per Peruvians, said to help with high altitudes. That’s it. This was my morning, before breakfast ritual.
Throughout my two week trip, my digestion was great, stronger than it had been in a while, and I ate everything without concern.
I could tell myself that I’m on vacation, I want to sleep in a little longer, skip my meditation and hot water sips… why do I need them, I have nature, I’m surrounded by the Andes Mountains and Machu Picchu and the Pacific Ocean - and I’ll just keep something with me on hand in case I don’t feel well….
I’m very familiar with those kinds of decision. But I decided to make another one. One where, instead of excusing or trying, I commit to a strong digestion. “Trying” and “committing” sit differently in the body. The latter dramatically reduce the feeling that the other shoe will drop. The choice to commit is always worth it. While it sometimes feels scary to do so, it’s internally strengthening and psychically supports what you really want for yourself.
Speaking of digestion, your core, known to those familiar with the energetic body as Manipura, or the third chakra, is associated with your personal power and ability to make choices. So it doesn’t hurt to take a good look at your own practice in personal power - the choices you make - as it relates to how your digestion is doing.
Bringing it home
Of course I want to feel the best at home too, not just in Peru. I only “tried” to get my digestion back on track before the trip because it wasn’t bad enough, there were other things to do, and I figured I’d just give it time to fix itself. Right. Thank God for Peru, because otherwise I might have just kept “trying” until it got chronically worse, which is not a great place to come back from. I dropped the coca leaves part of my Peru ritual, but the rest of my commitment came home with me.
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