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Yao Shan and The Healing Tradition Known As Chinese Nutritional Therapy

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An extremely important part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) in Bellingham is the ancient healing tradition known as Chinese nutritional therapy. It nourishes and restores the body, helps promote healing, and maintains the general well-being of a person.

In the Chinese language, Chinese Food Therapy is known as Yao Shan. Some folks refer to it as Food as Medicine.

Being part of TCM, Yao Shan has gradually evolved through a long history of exploring numerous benefits from plants, particularly herbs, and natural foods. Chinese medical physicians working inside the Palace at the start of the Shou dynasty (1000 BC) serving the elite and royalty were classified based on four specialties. Yao Shan therapy was one of these specialties, which was customized to foster the well being of the Emperor, to encourage a long healthy life, and to prevent disease.

In Chinese medical history, the earliest book to mention foods and herbs as medicine is the Inner Classic (2600 B.C). According to this book, specific tastes of food have their own specific medicinal nutrients that restore or maintain balance to specific organs.

Yao in English means medicinal spices and herbs, while Shan loosely translates to food and the manner it is prepared. Yao Shan is a component of TCM that detoxifies, boosts circulation, increases energy, strengthens immunity, and supplies therapeutic nutrition to the body. A person’s health weakens and deteriorates if he does not consume the right kind of food appropriate for his physical condition. Yao Shan is not merely the mixing of herbs into foods.

The following are ways in which Yao Shan helps promote and restore well being and whole body immunity.

1. Yao Shan considers the body as a whole entity and treats it as such: Chinese medicine practitioners are required to understand each patient’s age, lifestyle, physical condition, the stage of his illness, and the patient’s constitution before formulating a Yao Shan plan of treatment for the patient. If the patient has, for example, chronic gastritis of a cold nature, he should be eating congee or grain soup (congee) filled with warm herbs like cinnamon bark and dry ginger. If a woman suffers from symptoms of menopause related to heat deficiency (hot flashes), she should take in cooling herbs like Chrysanthemum flowers in tea or wolfberry (goji) or eat soups laced with grains that nourish and cooling herbs that boost kidney yin energy and avoid spicy hot foods.

2. Yao Shan promotes well being, boosts energy, and enhances the immunity of the body. For a person suffering from chronic fatigue, low blood count a weak immune system, especially, after undergoing chemotherapy, Chinese medicine practitioners would often suggest eating a special kind of chicken soup of shitake mushrooms and a variety of herbs. A lot of Chinese families are familiar with the “Eight Treasure Congee” of the Ching Dynasty’s which they eat on a regular basis. Ingredients contained in the Eight Treasure Congee include red Chinese dates, hawthorn fruit, Lotus seeds, and wild Chinese yams.

3. Yao Shan helps you enjoy food far more than medicines. A lot of the recipes of Yao Shan are tasty, easily digested, possess therapeutic effects, and have no side effects. They are served in the form of main dishes, desserts, or soups.

4. Yao Shan is a healing art form. Coming up with a Yao Shan plan of treatment can be a work of art. It incorporates a wide range of herbs, plants, grains and sometimes meats selected by their taste, color, and property. According to some Chinese medicine healers, a specific flavor of food has a positive effect on specific organs. A sour taste, for example, directly affects the liver organ. Different color foods affect different energy channels. Red color foods, for example, nourish the heart energy channel (meridian), while the kidney meridian is nourished by foods that are black in color.

Generally speaking, foods that help raise the immunity of the body and promote well being are deemed as anti-aging foods. They include pearl barley, ginger, lily bulbs, grapes, Chinese red dates, Chinese yam, black walnut, Logan fruit, wolfberry, mulberry and black sesame seeds.

Written by Valerie

November 28th, 2017 at 3:09 am