In Chinese medicine there is no clear distinction between food and medicine. They are considered to be one and the same. As the saying goes you are what you eat. We believe you can eat to promote health or you can eat to promote disease. A well-planned diet can reverse illness and heal the body from disease. As we seek to bring balance to our meals we promote balance in our bodies.
We prescribe foods like we prescribe Chinese herbs, related to your Chinese medical diagnosis and aligned with your overall treatment plan. For example, a female in her mid-20s with no period, headaches, and anemia should be eating warming foods like soups and stews, not cold foods like salads and raw veggies. Or a male in his mid 40s who feels hot often, sweats all the time, and has trouble sleeping might be eating too many warming foods and might need to swap for more neutral foods, or neutral food combinations. A patient who is sick with a cold should eat more acrid or potentially spicy food to break up the phlegm and congestion. These are just a few examples of how we prescribe food as medicine.
Eastern nutrition works wonderfully when paired with acupuncture treatment and Chinese herbal formulas as they work in unison to harmonize the body, support healing and restore wellness. However similar to all of the Chinese medicine modalities it also works well as a stand alone treatment.
Nothing Tastes as Good as Being Healthy Feels
The biggest difference between Eastern and Western views of nutrition is we do not talk in terms of calories, carbs, fats, or proteins. We instead talk in terms of properties of food, the temperatures, the flavors, combinations, the time of year, the patient’s condition, age, lifestyle, and environment. We do not demonize any specific food or group of foods. There are no fad diets here. The diets we prescribe are based on an over 3,500-year-old medical paradigm. We promote whole foods and believe that all foods, flavors, colors, and temperatures have a time and place in our diets. The key is to know when that the time and place is. A growing child cannot eat exactly like a middle aged adult, a post-partum mother, or a post operative recovery patient. There are no one size fits all diet, like there are no one size fits all treatments of any kind in Chinese medicine.