Eastern Medicine theory suggests that diet has a direct and profound influence on the health and well being of an individual. The principles were developed over 2000 years ago and are still relevant to today’s patient. When the digestive system is not working correctly we see more imbalances in a person’s health. In Eastern medicine we diagnose individual conditions in terms of deficiency, excess, obstruction, outside sources and the influences on yin, yang, qi, blood as well as what channel is being affected for why the condition may exist.
Examples of dietary influences on diagnosis can include:
- Not eating leads to general deficiency of Qi and blood;
- Overeating obstructs Stomach qi and weakens the spleen;
- Consumption of hot energy foods can lead to Liver-fire and or stomach heat.
- Excessive consumption of damp producing foods affects spleen and leads to dampens;
- Too much salt may cause kidney deficiency;
- Sour foods affect the liver.
Also, the manner in which food is consumed can affect a person’s health. Eating too quickly or while discussing work leads to retention of food in stomach. Eating irregularly or too late at night induces a deficiency of stomach yin.
Some easy guidelines to follow are:
- Keep diet energetically warm. Remember that foods that are considered “Cold” are harder to digest. The further from the earth food is grown or the shorter amount of time it takes for something to grow, the “colder” it’s energy;
- Eat foods that are in season;
- Eat food that is natural, organic and not processed;
- Get your protein from animal and plant sources not bottled drinks or bars.
- Pay attention to how you feel when you eat – if you are tired then re-evaluate your diet.
Remember there is no one diet that is the best for everyone. Everyone has a unique constitution and dietary needs. Listen to your body and if necessary document your diet and monitor bowel movements, energy, sleep, skin and any other symptoms you may experience.