dietary therapy & lifestyle medicine

lifestyleTraditional Chinese dietary therapy and Lifestyle medicine forms the cornerstone of the preventative branch of Chinese medicine.   One of the great Classic texts of Chinese medicine, the Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal medicine (300BCE) advocated dietary therapy and lifestyle care as the most important practices in preventative health care.

Chinese dietary therapy is concerned with the qualitative effects of food on the body.  It regards foods as having therapeutic properties that can be utilized to maintain health and to promote the ideal internal balance.  According to Chinese dietary theory, the properties of all foods and drinks can be classified by a number of categories, including:

  • Thermal properties: Heating / Warming / Neutral / Cooling / Cold
  • Flavour: Sweet / Sour / Bitter / Salty / Pungent
  • Energetic Action to move Qi: Outward / Upward / Inward / Downward
  • Organ and Channel network most affected
  • Cooking method

Once the qualitative aspects of food and cooking methods are known and understood, they can be applied to benefit your individual constitution and to address specific areas of physiological deficiency, excess, hyper- or hypo- function.  Environmental and seasonal factors are also considered and incorporated into dietary therapy.

As your Chinese medicine practitioner, Karen can assess your dietary requirements as part of a standard consultation.  If you choose to incorporate aspects of Chinese dietary therapy into your treatment, some simple guidelines can be prepared to meet your individual needs and clinical presentation.  These will emphasize the various foods you can enjoy regularly, the foods to eat a little of and the foods that are best avoided.

Lifestyle Medicine

“Health and wellbeing can be achieved by remaining centred in spirit, guarding against the squandering of energy, promoting the constant flow of Qi and Blood, maintaining harmonious balance of Yin And Yang, adapting to seasonal change…. and nourishing one’s self preventatively.”

Maoshing Ni (1995)
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine

For the most part, we are well aware of the lifestyle factors that promote good health and the ones that adversely affect our wellbeing.  In Chinese medicine, the aspects of Lifestyle medicine that are most emphasized include the theories of moderation and of living in balance and harmony with our environment.

According to Chinese medicine principles, it is important to:

  • eat regular, balanced meals at the correct time
  • enjoy moderate physical exercise
  • have quality rest / sleep at the correct time
  • avoid over-work and over-strain
  • practice meditation and avoid excess mental stress