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Food as Medicine: Traditional Chinese Medicine’s Best Kept Secret

Daily food choices can make the difference between sickness and health. Much can be learned from the extensive body of Chinese medicine knowledge regarding the therapeutic nature of food. Largely based on the Law of the Five Elements and Yin Yang Theory, food is classified according to its energetic quality such as flavor, taste, color, thermal nature, and vital organ it nourishes. Customized dietary recommendations are made based on this knowledge according to presenting symptoms and constitution; providing super nutrition to help re-claim and maintain maximum health and balance in life. Cooking, baking and drying food preparation methods transforms a raw food that is classified as Yin (cold and wet) into a food that is more Yang (hot and dry). A fundamental Chinese dietary rule is to consume foods closest to the center of the Yin/Yang continuum – meaning those energetically classified as not too hot, nor too cold. Rice is one such food recommended to bring balance and promote healing, especially helpful during recovery from illness when prepared along with other foods in the traditional form of congee, for which you can find many recipes online. Excessive consumption of cold raw foods impedes the circulation of Qi (vital energy) that potentially leads to pain and stagnation – exactly why this is a predominant root cause of Bi Syndrome, the Chinese medicine term for arthritis. Conversely, ingestion of more warming foods reduces pain and maximizes healing by opening and boosting Qi circulation throughout the body. Analogous to joint pain reduction…

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