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The Importance Of Nutritional Therapy In Chinese Medicine

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One of the foundations of Chinese medicine is Nutritional or Dietary therapy. Chinese medicine has been focusing on foods that have been curing illnesses for thousands of years.

With regard to nutritional therapy, Western medicine and Chinese medicine have at least one major difference. In Western medicine, nutritional therapy is seldom used to treat symptoms but it’s widely used for treating obesity and excess weight problems; in Chinese medicine, it is used to cure lots of diseases.

Another difference is that Chinese medicine not only takes into account the energies, flavors, and the movements of foods as it relates to various body organs but also the nutritional content of foods such as minerals, vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates.

There are five food flavors in Chinese medicine: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter. These flavors have an impact on the internal organs and not just give you the taste.

1. Sweet tasting foods can include watermelon, chestnut, beef, banana, and, of course, sugar. They all can affect your spleen and stomach. They can help address toxicity from other foods and slow down acute symptoms. Sweet foods, in Western medicine, tend to increase your weight due to the fact that they are loaded with “empty calories.” Practitioners of Chinese medicine believe that sweet foods can negatively affect your spleen and stomach and impair your digestive functions, which cause you to eat more and thus, increase your weight.

2. Sour tasting foods like plum, pear, lemon, and mango can impact your gallbladder and liver and block movements. They are ideal for controlling excessive sweating and for treating diarrhea.

3. Your bladder and kidneys can be affected if you regularly eat salty foods such as seaweed, kelp, and salt. These types of food can soften hardness, and therefore can be used for symptomatic treatment related to muscle tension and stiffness.

4. Foods that have a pungent flavor tend to affect the large intestine and lungs. They include peppermint, parsley, ginger, coriander, clove, and chive and they all impact the large intestine and lungs. Pungent tasting foods can boost energy circulation and induce perspiration.

5. You small intestine and heart can be affected by bitter tasting foods such as radish, lettuce, and bitter melon. These foods can dry body fluids and increase body heat. This may explain why herbs utilized to treat diarrhea and fever always have a bitter taste because of their “drying” properties.

One should note that there are foods that possess more than one flavor, which is quite common (i.e., pork is both sweet and salty).

Foods, according to Chinese medicine, are also considered for their energies because they can produce cold or heat; this means they generate sensation of cold or heat to the human body. Drinking a glass of water, for example, will make your body feel cold but only for a short while, the sensations from foods, on the other hand, lasts significantly longer.

Regardless if they’re cold or hot, foods tend to produce a more enduring sensation on the body. They have five energies: neutral, cool, warm, cold, or hot. Interestingly, even when served in hot water, tea generates cold energy. Even if it is chilled, pepper gives out hot energy. While corn has neutral energy, chicken provides warm energy that is neither cold nor hot. Correspondingly, if you tend to suffer from acute and severe arthritis pain in cold winter days, then, to lessen the cold in your joints, you need to eat more foods that generate warm or hot energy.

Foods also have four movements: the downward movement that resolves asthma or vomiting, the upward movement that treats diarrhea, the inward movement that treats bowel movements, and the outward movement that relieves pain and induces perspiration.

The basis of Chinese medicine is harmony and balance. Nutritional therapy in Vancouver can contribute greatly to good health through its movements, energies, and flavors. This type of therapy has been used by the Chinese in curing imbalances within the body for thousands of years.

Written by Valerie

August 1st, 2017 at 7:57 am

Posted in Acupuncture