In this article we are going to discuss Chinese Dietary Therapy and how it can used to improve and maintain our health.
The Neijing Classic of Internal Medicine compiled over 2000 years ago sets out the relationship between health and the energies of foods. In this traditional system of dietary cures, foods have been organized into categories based on their innate temperature, energetics, the direction in which they move qi (internal energy) and how they affect qi and blood flow, and the organs they affect.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), foods are Yin or Yang in nature and to maintain a healthy body and mind we have to maintain a balance between Yin and Yang. Foods with a Yang nature are believed to increase the body’s heat, which increases metabolism, whilst foods with a Yin nature are cooling. There are also foods which are considered to be neutral. For example, a person who has a wind cold condition, (in western medicine that is a head cold), with excessive clear mucus might be told to consume hot soup made from onions and mustard greens. The onions are warming, expel cold, and sedate excess yin. The mustard greens have similar properties, and they also help expel mucus and relieve chest congestion. Flavouring the soup with ginger and black pepper enhances the warming, expectorant action.
Food is also categorised by Taste and Colour e.g. Green Foods are cleansing in nature, Red food types can help prevent cancers, Yellow foods have lots of vitamins, White foods promote energy and Black foods promote growth and development.
In TCM it is believed that we are influenced by climatic changes and should live in harmony with the seasons and eat accordingly. Each season has a flavour and energy associated with it and by eating foods with a similar dynamic you are taking advantage of the natural ebb and flow of yin and yang, and this benefits your health and energy levels.
As we come into the Spring, it is a time when Yang activities commence, new life begins. It is a good time to detox our bodies. Springtime equates to the Liver and the colour green. The Liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body. We should be eating fresh young plants and greens to improve Liver function and also carrots and parsnips, leeks, citrus fruits, and pickles, yogurt, wheat, barley, beef, chicken and duck. Avoiding salty foods and processed meats.
So where can I find a licenced Acupuncturist in the Meath Coast area?
Chinese Food Therapy comes as standard in all of our treatments as necessary. If you have any questions about how TCM can help you, or someone you know, please feel free to contact Sharon, Niamh or Sabine
the Meath Coaster Magazine, April 2013 issue, Page 38, written by Sharon McGinty, Niamh Muldowney & Sabine le Boulicaut