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More Food For Thought
Posted: August 17, 2009, from the September 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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TCM and its food healing principles are all about yin-yang balance, teaching that a subtle interference of energy gains momentum and that any type of stress on one area of the body can over time affect the balance and well-being of the entire body.
Emotional stress or consuming the wrong foods, or a combination of both, can have a negative effect on health. Combinations of physical stress, emotional stress and a bad diet create multilayered imbalances, often requiring radical lifestyle changes in order for the body to shift towards health again.
Many people function at a lower level of health and consider this to be normal. They may have symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, digestive issues, skin problems, allergies or a lowered immune system, yet a visit to the doctor or a series of tests may not necessarily disclose anything abnormal. From a TCM standpoint, there is an imbalance causing these symptoms. Left unchecked, this can easily manifest into something more serious.
Each person is distinctly unique in their yin-yang balance, strengths, weaknesses and propensity towards different illnesses. Some people need to move stagnated qi, and others reduce excessive qi, in order to maintain optimal health. Two people can both experience the symptom of low energy; yet one may have yin deficiency and the other yang excess.
If a person with low energy and excessive fire—yang excess—uses heat-producing stimulants or foods and beverages, such as caffeine, energy drinks, or fried and spicy foods, this will continue to overstimulate the already excess fire energy and deplete the yin. That person needs foods that nourish the yin, disperse heat and support more balanced energy.