What is Dietary Therapy?
Sun Simiao, a famous 6th Century Chinese Medicine physician, viewed diet as central to the improvement of health as illustrated in the following quotes:
“Doctors should first understand the cause of disease, then treat it with diet. Medicine should only be used if diet fails” ~ Sun Simiao
“First, modify the patient’s diet and lifestyle and only then, if these do not effect a cure, treat with medicinals and acupuncture.” ~ Sun Simiao
Another Chinese proverb illustrates this concept further:
“He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the skills of the physician.” – Chinese Proverb
The Chinese have always known that foods and herbs that have a particular taste tend to have specific properties that can treat people with certain ailments. This is built into the culture of the people. Dietary Therapy is thus considered to be an important branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The Chinese diet includes all five flavors – pungent, sour, bitter, sweet and salty. Each flavor will support the organ for which it corresponds – sweet for Spleen, bitter for Heart, salty for Kidney, sour for Liver and pungent for Lung. These flavors have specific actions, namely to: disperse, gather, strengthen, soften or retard. An action can also be seen in the form of a direction, such as outward, upward, downward or inward.
What Are The Benefits Of TCM Dietary Therapy?
- Effective in the treatment of both acute and chronic conditions
- Because it is holistic (treats the whole body) by nature, food therapy helps to eliminate the underlying cause of the condition in addition to merely treating the symptoms
- Helps bring the body, mind and emotions back into a healthy balance, so is useful in the treatment of a wide range of physical, mental and emotional complaints
- Assists in the prevention of disease and the maintenance of general well-being