In oriental food therapy consideration is given too many factors including the nature of the food and its relation to yin and yang, the five elements and its therapeutic action. Food is used to nourish the Ki, the blood and restore organ function. Oriental medicine requires a sense of harmony and moving with nature. Therefore consideration of eating according to the season is commonly recognised in oriental dietetics.
As a shiatsu practitioner and oriental therapist I consider food as being part of the whole treatment plan when working with my clients. I will recommend food based on the condition they present and provide food lists and even recipes they can include in their eating plan. If however you are not under the care of an Oriental Remedial therapist you might like to consider the following as important as part of your natural health plan.
Eat According to the Seasons
Next time you are shopping consider where your food has come from. If the food has been imported it is highly likely that the food is not seasonal. Find a local food grower or better yet plant your own vegetable garden. I suggest planting vegetables that grow in your local region for the season.
Eat whole food
Processed food is such a curse. It is often full of chemicals, fillers, sugars, sodium and truly all the ingredients that have association with disease. The best path to good health is to eat whole fresh fruit and vegetables. Wherever possible eat food that is organic or pesticide or spray-free. Personally I take the ‘organic’ label with a grain of salt as I have found labels can be bought by big corporations. Find a local grower who is happy for you to visit their farm so you can investigate if they are as they claim to be. I am going to go back to grow you own. At least you know what you have fertilised with.
Everything in moderation
We seem to have become a society of excesses. In oriental medicine excesses lead to disease. The intention of food in oriental therapy is balance. Look at the amount you are eating and quantities of any one food group. Seek balance.
In Oriental Therapies our body is like a clock. Each aspect of the clock corresponds to a particular organ and the action that organ has on the body. Morning, specifically 7am – 9am is dedication to Spleen. The spleen in oriental medicine is responsible for transforming food into pure or impure substance that our body absorbs or excretes. If we skip breakfast we are cause problems for the spleen energy.
Eat with Mindfulness
There is something to be said for slowing down and eating with mindful intention. When we eat with gratitude and mindful of where the meal has come from, how it has been prepared and savour it for its taste we create an internal environment that optimises getting the highest nutritional benefits from our food.
There are other considerations to oriental dietetics and if you want to learn more about mindfulness and oriental food therapy contact me or subscribe to receive my emails.