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Food Therapy

Healing properties of food therapyIn TCM, food is used therapeutically for its healing properties. In ancient China , dieticians (Shi yi) were considered the most significant healers, even above internists and surgeons. Their primary task was the prevention of disease, along with the therapeutic use of foods for both acute and chronic diseases. 

Myriad foods, most of which you are already familiar with, have healing properties that can assist in regulating your body's function for maximum health and wellness. Each food has a specific thermal nature and flavor which can assist in healing specific symptoms.

As you change your diet to include healing foods and eliminate foods which are unhealthy and taxing to your digestive system, you will begin to reawaken your body's innate ability to desire foods which are not only healthy, but which are delicious and satisfying.

A good example which illustrates how food is used therapeutically in Chinese medicine, is the food recommendations made for someone who is very weak or has lost a lot of blood, such as after surgery or after giving birth. Raw foods and foods with a cold nature such as mushrooms, bean sprouts, banana, grapefruit and watermelon (just to name a few) might be avoided. Instead, foods with a warm thermal nature might be recommended such as cherries, yams, beets, salmon and garlic. According to the tenants of TCM, foods with a warm thermal nature help to build up the body's over all energy and strength.

Keep in mind, there are many other factors to consider besides temperature and there are no hard fast rules about any particular food regardless of its characteristics. Recommendations are made only after a complete health history is obtained and a patient's unique situation is taken into account. So just because you recently gave birth doesn't necessarily mean that you should definitely eat salmon!

 

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