We know from basic anatomy & physiology, how the left side of the body is completely different from the right side. According to Eastern philosophies, including Indian, Chinese, Tibetan or Thai, the left side of the body is totally different from the right side. Some Buddhist monastic traditions include within their tenets for monks to sleep on their left side.
Although it may sound strange, resting and sleeping on your left side does have many health benefits.
The Lymphatic system drains to the left.
We already know how the left side of the body is the dominant side in the lymphatic system. Most of the lymph drains into the chest duct located on the left side. In it’s path the lymph transports proteins, glucose metabolites and waste products that are purified by the lymph nodes to be drained left side.
Derived from this knowledge, it is commonly established in Eastern medicine that conditions occurring on the left side of the body may be due to chronic congestion of the lymphatic system.
According to ayurvedic philosophy, congestion happens in the body by following certain priorities. If the lymphatic system is not working to its full potential, subsequently the liver and blood saturate with toxic substances. Primary symptoms of congestion appear on the left side of the body before moving to the right side where they appear later.
Tired after a meal?
Indian lifestyle suggestion is that if you take a break after eating, you should do this by lying on your left side. Break time should not exceed 10 minutes and is very different from the afternoon rest which is typically 20 minutes or more.
Stomach and pancreas are on the left side. When you lie down on your left side both descend naturally, allowing for optimal and efficient digestion.
Food is driven to move naturally through the stomach and pancreatic enzymes secreted gradually, which happens if you lie down on the right side.
When you lie on your left side your liver and gallbladder naturally descend from your right side. Resting on the left side allows them to secret their precious enzymes into the digestive tract more efficiently, emulsifying fats and neutralizing stomach acids.
When the digestive system is stimulated this way your digestive cycle is more effective because it’s shorter and doesn’t leave you sluggish for the rest of the afternoon. Just try resting 10 minutes on your left side after eating and see how you feel.
Feel energized and not tired after eating.
Try to eat in a relaxed way at midday and don’t forget to rest on your left side and check that you will feel more energetic and with better digestion.
The magic of sleeping on the left.
The small intestine flushes toxins through the ileocecal valve (VIC) on the right side of the body at the onset of the large intestine. The large intestine travels down the right side of your body, crosses your abdomen and descends down the left side.
Through VIC, sleeping on the left side allows gravity to stimulate bodily waste into the large intestine from the small intestine more easily.
By going through the night and continuing to sleep on your left side the debris moves more easily toward the descending colon and morning disposal will be easier.
Optimum heart function.
More than 80% of the heart is located on the left side of the body. If you sleep on the left side the lymph drained toward the heart will be driven by gravity by removing work from your heart while you sleep.
The aorta, which is the body’s largest artery, exits from the upper part of the heart and arches left before going down to the abdomen. When sleeping on the left side, the heart more easily pumps blood into the descending aorta.
Sleeping on the left side allows the intestines to move away from the cava vein that carries blood back to the heart. Remarkably the cava vein rests on the right side of the spine, so when you lie on the left side the viscera move away from the cava veen.
Again gravity makes heart work easier.
The Spleen is on the left.
The spleen is part of the lymphatic system and is also on the left side of the body. Its function is that of a large lymph node that filters the lymph and additionally filters the blood. When you lie down on the left side the fluid return to the spleen is easier and occurs more easily by gravity.
The lymphatic system drains all cells in the body through contractions and muscle movement and not through the heart pumping. Helping the lymph drain into the spleen and heart with gravity is a simple way to purify your body
Give it a go!
And while there are no scientific protocols to it, sleeping on the left side makes a lot of sense! Understanding ancestral wisdom based on knowledge of modern anatomy clears up many doubts about the reasons one has in the east to sleep a certain way.
BUT ABOVE ALL… “BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE”… Breathe Life and Healthy