Diet and Nutrition Therapy : 食疗

Shi Liao 食疗 precisely means food that heals an illness. And in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is often the most resourceful tool to helping a patient heal from a disease and disharmony. It is often forgotten and even more often misunderstood how the food that we eat affects our lives, especially our health.

In TCM terms, elements of food, much like TCM formula medicinals, have a temperature quality, flavor qualities, seasonal qualities or when a certain food should or shouldn’t be consumed, energetic nature or how that food nourishes our body, and the interactions between food elements within the body. All of these qualities of food are considered when modifying the diet of a patient in order to reach nutritional balance and physiological and emotional harmony. It is no mystery that the food we consume directly correlates with our physical and emotional state. One very clear and easy example is the reaction a person has when they eat something they are allergic or sensative to. The allergic reaction is often instantaneous and obvious. However many people are not able to notice the not-so-obvious reactions their body has when eating something spicy, or something sweet, or something out of season. The physician’s job is to help bring awareness to the patient about what dietary adjustments they can make in order to help prevent disease or rectify a disharmony. The patient may not even know that what is causing their recent bout of diarrhea, or their ongoing insomnia, or their annoying headaches, or their inability to maintain a healthy body weight, is completely related to their diet. With the trusted guidance of a TCM practitioner, nutritional therapy can be provided to help patients improve and maintain their health.