Skip Navigation Links
 



                     


 



   
    Learn More     Subscribe    
Join Now!      Login
 
 
 
FREE HEALTH
NEWSLETTER
 
 
Medicial Mistakes Quiz
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
 
 
 
 
T
raditional Chinese Medicine
 
Diet and Lifestyle: The Basics of Good Health

© Bob Flaws, L.Ac.
 (Excerpted from Arisal of the Clear: A Simple Guide to Healthy Eating According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Blue Poppy Press, Inc., 1991)

In the Tang Dynasty, the famous doctor Sun Si-miao said that, when a person is sick, the doctor should first regulate the patient's diet and lifestyle. In most cases, these changes alone are enough to effect a cure over time. Sun Si-miao said that only if changes in diet and lifestyle are not enough should the doctor administer other interventions, such as internal medicine and acupuncture. Although most patients coming for professional TCM treatment today do need internal medicine and/or acupuncture as well as changes in their diet and lifestyle to effect a more rapid cure, it is most definitely my experience that without appropriate changes in diet and lifestyle, herbs and acupuncture do not achieve their full and lasting effect.

Form & Function
There are four basic foundations of achieving and maintaining good health. These are diet, exercise, adequate rest and relaxation, and a good mental attitude. Chinese medical theory is based on yin and yang. In terms of medicine, yin means substance and yang means function. This is similar to the Western medical dichotomy between form and function. Form and function are interdependent. Substance or form is both the material, anatomical basis of function and its fuel. Function, on the other hand, activates and motivates form and also repairs, builds, and maintains it.

We can liken the human organism to a candle. A candle's function is to burn and, therefore, shed light. The flame of the candle is dependent upon its form. At the same time, the candle's form, its wick and wax, is the fuel for the candle's function. The human organism is very similar to a candle in that our various activities and consciousness are dependent upon our form, our physical body. Our functional activities are a product of consuming and transforming or metabolizing this substance. When we are young, we generate more substance than we consume and thus we are able to grow, repair, and keep our bodies youthful in shape and appearance. However, past a certain age, due to a decline in our bodily organs' efficiency, we no longer produce an excess of fuel or substance and so we begin to consume our own form. When we have consumed all our yin substance, our organism no longer has sufficient fuel for function and so ceases or dies.

Unlike the candle which is endowed with a finite, unreplenishable form at the moment of its making, we humans are capable of taking in new form or substance. We do this by breathing, eating, and drinking. It is eating and drinking which provide us with the substance which fuels our day to day activities and which is transformed into our body's material basis. Therefore, from the point of view of morphology or yin substance, we most definitely are what we eat, drink, and breathe.

Exercise is a form of function. It is activity. In relationship to diet, exercise is yang to diet's yin. Exercise keeps function functioning at peak efficiency. However, in Chinese medicine, exercise and rest/relaxation are seen as the yin/yang aspects of a single issue. If we are too active, i.e., hyperfunctional, we consume too much fuel or substance. Therefore, rest and relaxation are the flip side of the coin of activity. Functional activities should be moderate -- not too much and not too little. If there is too little exercise, form or material substance is not adequately consumed and transformed and starts to accumulate and gunk up the works. If there is too little rest, hyperactivity, be that physical, mental, or emotional, consumes too much substance and overheats the organism leading to burnout. This means that diet on the one hand must be balanced by adequate activity and rest/relaxation on the other.

Add your comment   CONTINUED    1  2  3  4  Next   
About The Author
Bob Flaws, L.Ac. is one of the best known Western teachers and authors of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the West. Bob has written, edited, or translated over 60 books and scores of articles on Chinese medicine over the last 17 years. He has taught at acupuncture and TCM schools and colleges all over the world and his books have been translated into several other languages.......more
 
Share   Facebook   Buzz   Delicious   Digg   Twitter  
 
 
 
 
 
 
From Our Sponsor
 
 
 
 
 
 
Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Wellness, Sensing, dimension!

Search   
Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us

Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.