Fasting for women over 40 – Chinese Medicine Style

Fasting for women over 40 – Chinese Medicine Style

I have been intermittent fasting for quite a few years now and it is my saving grace. At only 5 ft small, I have to watch my weight and especially since as I age (I’m 55), extra wobbles and curves can creep up and stay on.  I use Intermittent fasting together with the Qi Gong exercises in Chi Flow with Jo to get fit and healthy not necessarily to get skinny, and it works

At the beginning of every year everybody in Chi Flow with Jo practices intermittent fasting/digestive resting for 6 weeks. (Chi Flow doors open on January 2nd in preparation for fasting the night of Sunday 7th January // Doors will close Monday 8th of January to begin the 6 week Programme)

It’s super easy and supper effective – I use my knowledge of Chinese medicine to do it safely and easily so that following the fasting period I don’t rebound back, end up craving the sweet stuff and piling on more of the pounds I lost.  I am also careful not to stress the body by excessive dietary changes or intensive cardio training.  This combination can often exacerbate symptoms or sore joints, brain fog and hot flushes.

Our main goal in Chinese Medicine and Chi Flow with Jo is to move, often stagnant, Liver energy (akin to Non Alcoholic Liver Fatty Disease) and support the Spleen meridian system by clearing dampness from the body. Which if left unchecked can be the cause of many conditions such as joint pain, inflammation, hot flushes, brain fog, anger, irritation, sugar addiction, heavy limbs and a slow metabolism

I have found my weight has been stable and within my healthy range, my energy levels are clear and consistent throughout every day, I don’t suffer any dietary issues or inflammation and I have not experienced prolonged brain fog associated with menopause and age bracket. I enjoy consistently high mental energy and clarity. 

One menopause symptom I have to watch is Insomnia and after overindulgence at Christmas I can find my sleep patterns all over the place.  Intermittent fasting helps get my circadian rhythm and sleep cycles back to normal.

I am not alone: This method of watching when you eat rather than what you eat has become very popular. In 2019, it was the most Googled diet on the planet.  But Traditional Chinese Medical wisdom has long recommended eating during daylight and resting the digestive organs at night.  This is part of living in harmony with the circadian cycles and following the energy of nature.

The Liver is the organ in charge of metabolism.  After a meal, the fat is stored by the liver around the belly. Between meals, stored fat is slowly released, keeping body cells supplied with energy. However if the liver is congested through over-eating, eating at the wrong time, or toxic overload from medication, excess hormones, alcohol and fats, the liver is not able to metabolise the energy already stored so we can’t shift the belly weight, feel exhausted, suffer sore joints, disturbed sleep, even our nails and hair begin to thin.

Traditional Chinese Medicine always recognised the early meal as the most beneficial to health. If you eat during earlier hours it gives your body more time to incorporate food and repair itself.

According to the TCM meridian clock (a chronological map of the strength of the organs at different times of the day), the digestive organs of the Spleen and Stomach are most active in the morning (Stomach time being 7-9am and Spleen time 9-11am). So it makes sense to load up your calories earlier in the day, when the digestive fires are strongest.

Ensuring there is no food intake in the evening and night allows the Liver to rest and detoxify the body.

 

“I know what I should be doing to lose weight, but I need a way to do it that fits into MY life.”

“I have been thinking about weight loss for a while, but life is so busy I find myself putting convenience first.”

Is that you? Then we are on the same page and this Chi Flow with Jo intermittent fasting programme is perfect for you. When a diet lays down the law, it can be frustrating. Everything ends up being harder than it should be. Welcome to something different. this is so easy. You feel in control of your eating, you feel light and free, pain reduces and sleep becomes easier.

PLUS – You are not alone, there are almost 400 of us, all ready to begin in January.  This is the game changer … acting independently but still being part of a group and therefore accountable

Once you experience this Chinese Medicine method of fasting, you will will be able to use it. This is not a “one-diet-fits-all” plan. You will gain control over your food and you will notice the difference.  Having the support and the accountability of the group is essential to help you stay on track and to help you when you go off track.

This method with Chi Flow with Jo is not about Yo-Yo dieting – it’s about creating new habits and that doesn’t happen overnight which is why it’s a 6 week programme

  • A fasting schedule that increases gently and slowly – not eating from 8pm to 8am – could you do that?
  • 30 min Daily Qi Gong exercises working on the Spleen and Liver (recordings also sent daily)
  • Daily Live Check in – for Q&A and support
  • Daily nutrition advice and recipes
  • Free access to Live Boost metabolism Talk and join me LIVE in my kitchen for easy simple healthy recipes
  • Closed facebook group for sharing and support

Chi Flow doors open to join on the January 2nd in preparation for fasting to begin on the night of Sunday 7th January

Doors will close Monday 8th of January to begin the 6 week Intermittent Fasting programme

Have a look at what others say about the practice:

A recent review article in the “New England Journal of Medicine”, titled “Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Health, Ageing and Disease”1 reviews the scientific research currently available on intermittent fasting, and comes to some very positive conclusions about the practice. It states that, ‘preclinical studies and clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting has broad-spectrum benefits for many health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders.”

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There are some people that this fasting practice does not suit so I would ask that if you are diabetic/adolescent/pregnant/have chronic illness/kidney issues/recently recovered from illness or surgery/hospital it is best that you do not intermittent fast. 

Also, if you have a food disorder or have had one in the past it is best that you chat with me before taking part. If anyone is unsure about joining in, please contact me and we can have a chat – or ask me anything at my free Qi Gong class at the end of December 

Bone building exercises

Bone building exercises

In my last post about improving bone health and slowing the effects of ageing, I shared what to eat following the 5 element diet in Chinese Medicine.
In this blog post I will share what we can do to strengthen the whole skeleton and prevent bone thinning,

Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone. This affects men and women, but women who are just past menopause, are at highest risk.

Studies show that the right type of activity and movement is critical to maintain bone density and strength. What works best is load bearing exercises such as squats, leg presses and lifting weights. These are standard practices in gym’s, where people use equipment to build body mass, muscle and bone strength. However as a 53 year old menopausal woman, that wouldn’t be my kind of thing at all. I don’t want the fuss and bother of going to gym, working out how to use special equipment and perhaps even injuring myself in the process. So I use my own body weight and gravity as resistance training to improve muscle and bone strength. This can be as effective as training in a gym with weights or weight machine.

Why not try it?

Every morning in Chi Flow with Jo, over 400 of us practice simple, effective exercises, just like the one in the video, to build healthy bones, muscle mass and core strength. All that is required is concentration on coordinated movements and breathing. No special equipment, no special expertise and no previous experience. (sign up for free class at the end of this post)

YouTube player

Tiger what tiger?

The deeply focused and relaxed states we attain in Chi Flow with Jo also help regulate the nervous system. When the body is under stress or fearful situations such as running away from tigers, the body flushes out calcium and magnesium because these chemicals are not needed in the flight of fight response. 

Every so often, this is no problem, as how many tigers do we generally encounter! but if the body is responding to every day events such as project deadlines or dinner on the table as if it were being chased by a tiger, then this is a serious problem.


As I discussed in my last blog about food for strong bones, calcium and magnesium are the two minerals essential for bone strength.
5% of calcium and magnesium is transported around the body in the blood, the rest is stored in the bones. If the flight or fight response is constantly being triggered, and the calcium and magnesium being flushed from our system, eventually the body will have to go looking to the bones for the calcium and magnesium to restore the body to balance.  This is just one of the bone weakening effects stress can have on our body.

To prevent this mineral loss and bone thinning, we must maintain our emotional, mental and physical balance, learn how to self soothe and return to calm after stressful anxious times. Chi Flow with Jo with breath and movement coordination, activates the naturally occurring emotional and physical mechanisms of self-repair and health recovery.

In postmenopausal women, studies show moderate exercise helps preserve bone mass in the spine and prevents fractures, plus it shows increasing physical activity can improve your mood and stop the loss of minerals at times of stress.

Add to this that women who are not physically active are more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also have chronic back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, and depression.


Happy hormones

Endorphins which are morphine-like substances found naturally within the body, account for moods of well-being or euphoria such as we experience after enjoyable workouts or even eating chocolate.  These happy hormones, are released in the brain and this improved mood can last for several hours which in turn helps the body fight stress.  Qi Gong and Chi Flow with Jo will boost these happy hormones to improve your mood and your mental strength. Research conducted by Harvard Medical School indicates that regular Qi/Chi gong practice is a safe and effective way to maintain bone density, relieve pain, improve balance and the ability to do daily activities.

Here’s what some members of Chi Flow had to say

“I can’t recommend this highly enough, a great way to support your body and just in half an hour – go on you deserve it. Best thing I’ve signed up for in years!” Solway Shiatsu

“Totally recommend Chi Flow with Jo. I started the practice last October and my body feels well and flexible.” Maighread

“I do them 3+ times a week and it makes a HUGE difference to my energy levels and general health & coping skills.
Give it a go for a month and see the difference.”  Helen

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