Introduction to Shi Liao - Chinese Diet Therapy
Most of us know that “eating right” is important for our health and that “eating the right food” is a big part of that, but yet we all struggle from time-to-time with our own personal eating challenges. These days nutrition and diet has become a very complicated science which can be confusing to navigate due to incomplete studies, wacky correlations and the general lack of quality studies available. Thankfully when we find ourselves forgetting how to do it, we can turn to those who ate before us. Through the holistic lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we can find simple, intuitive ways to connect our minds, mouths, and bodies to our food.
Modern nutritionists understand that there is no one ideal diet that can be applied for everyone. Shi Liao, or Chinese Diet therapy, has long since recognized the same, relating our unique needs as individuals and our requirements based on their body type, metabolic requirements, and environmental demands. By using the traditionally described properties of foods, and our understanding of the holistic nature of our body, we can learn how to encourage efficient digestion and assimilation of nutrients, which is foundational for the functioning of healthy bodies and to overcome and prevent illness.
Clinically in my practice it is common to see digestive complaints contributing to pathogenesis or complicating existing illness patterns, and many people still aren’t aware of the fact that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are equipped to treat internal disorders effectively. Sometimes even a simple change can have a profound affect on someone's well being, so although at times uncomfortable to approach such a personal subject, working with diet can be very encouraging and empowering for my patients.
Because Acupuncture strives to re-balance the physical, chemical and emotional homeostasis of the body, making sure we are setting the stage for that greater balance with our diet and nutritional choices becomes an important aspect of a holistic treatment.
In a coming series of Blog posts stay tuned as I reveal some of the dietary wisdom of Chinese Medicine as we explore together the theories, recipes, and research that has contributed to the richness and efficacy of Shi Liao.