Food Therapy: The forgotten branch of Chinese Medicine

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food."-----Hippocrates

Do you know what I love about the medicine I practice? That I have so many "tricks up my sleeve" available to me when it comes to solving your health problems. It's not just about the needles, although those are amazing. I have botanical medicine, gua sha, cupping, Asian bodywork, and FOOD THERAPY available to me. Food therapy recommendations will always be made after your first couple of treatments, and it is included in your treatment fee.

A board-certified (read: spent 4 years in an accredited acupuncture school as opposed to a weekend of training) acupuncturist learns how to treat the whole person in many ways. We learn to adjust treatments for the seasons as well as for age and even the temperature of the place you were born in! We also study Chinese nutritional therapy so that we can empower patients to help themselves.

We all like to eat, right? Why not learn the things that you can add or subtract from your usual eating pattern that can actually HEAL YOU? Exciting! Yes, some things we could do are unusual to our American palate, as the Chinese have a very different palate, but most suggestions are foods that we eat on a regular basis and available now at your grocery store.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, foods have different properties and temperatures. For instance, chicken is a warm food whereas beef is neutral. These are an example of temperatures of food. Fresh ginger is pungent whereas turnips are considered bitter. Those are properties or "tastes" or "flavors". Some foods have a downward movement and some upwards. Foods affect specific organs and channels.

How this helps you: The different temperature, movements, and properties of food makes them medicine and I use them as such. Say you have dry nails, hair and skin; poor vision, heart palpitations, poor concentration, and anxiety. These symptoms, along with your tongue, pulse and a full history lead me to a diagnosis of Blood Deficiency in TCM terms. In this case, I will give you a list of foods that you can incorporate into your daily diet, such as dark leafy green salads with avocado and grated beetroot, and scrambled eggs with parsley. I may ask you to cut back on salt a bit, as too much salt weakens the Blood.

In general, taking Chinese botanical medicine and following food therapy recommendations speeds up your healing immensely. If you are not interested in acupuncture, please feel free to come in for an herbal consultation and we will discuss food therapy in conjunction to botanical medicine so that we can get you on the path to wellness!

To learn more about your digestive organs and how they work, go to:

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