Nutritional Counseling and Food Therapy

Tao of Healthy Eating: An Introduction to Chinese Food Therapy

Diet plays a very important role in Chinese medicine. Although Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal therapy are much more widely known in the West, the support of proper dietary therapy can go a long way in bringing about more satisfactory and long-lasting effects.

By combining Chinese dietary therapy with acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy, Lorraine Harris, provides a holistic approach toward better health. For her patients, understanding diet can help provide a fuller comprehension of the philosophic principles of Chinese medicine. It allows them to take a more active and responsible role in their therapy and will help to prevent imbalance before it arises.

Tao Healthy EatingIn the media and in health food stores, we are bombarded with all sorts of diets and supplements. These are almost all used to treat symptoms only. However, Chinese medicine provides a clinically proven method for determining what specifically the individual needs. Dietary therapy is designed to treat the individual imbalance that is causing the symptom rather than simply treating the symptom. By treating the cause, the symptom is less likely to reoccur.

Dietary therapy is divided into three levels: Yogic or Alchemical, Preventive, and Remedial. While the first two are important, for the most part, Lorraine is dealing with helping a sick person become well through dietary management.

The basic premise of the yogic diet is to gradually give up eating material food while progressively eating more ethereal food. This is done in coordination with meditation, yogic exercise, and strict disciplines.

Chinese Medicine EatingOriental dietary theory and therapy is based on a few basic principles as a means of preventing disease and maximizing longevity. According to Chinese medicine, health and longevity are a product of our inherent constitution and our interaction with the universe. The more harmoniously we can live with change in the universe the healthier we will be. Sometimes an analogy of a stream is given; life will carry us like a boat rather than exhaust us as we try to swim upstream against the current.

A remedial diet is designed to help bring a sick person back to health. There is a fine line between herbs and foods in Chinese medicine. The medical qualities of both are described in the same manner. Each food or herb is described according to its temperature, taste, meridian route(s), direction in the body, therapeutic principles of action, specific symptomatic actions, common clinical use and contraindications. It is with this information that Lorraine can prescribe what foods her patient should or should not eat according to the imbalance(s) she has diagnosed.

Chinese Medicine HerbsLorraine identifies the pattern or combination of patterns of imbalance manifesting in her patient. It is this identification of patterns that comprises a classical Chinese diagnosis. With this diagnosis of patterns of imbalance, Lorraine can then look to the foods that best restore balance either because of their energetic qualities and/or the method of preparation. And each food that is contraindicated or forbidden because it will exacerbate the imbalance is removed from the diet.

Lorraine’s passion for using foods to heal goes back a long time before she started practicing Chinese medicine.  This passion is one reason for Lorraine’s interest in pursuing a healing practice in Chinese medicine specifically.  An essential part of her in-depth, individualized Health Programs is nutritional counseling (incorporating Western nutritional knowledge as well) and food therapy.