Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of one’s health. In many cases, improper diet is the primary cause of imbalance, and treatment cannot be successful without dietary change. The key question in Chinese Nutrition is not “what is the best diet?” but “what is the best diet for you?”

Oriental medicine diet and nutrition includes five tastes – spicy, sweet, sour, bitter and salty – and considers the energetic (post-digestive) temperature of each food. Particular tastes tend to have particular properties. For example, bitter foods and herbs tend to be drying and Cold in nature, which makes them ideal for treating Damp Heat conditions (for example a cough with copious phlegm and fever).

Certain tastes are drawn to particular organ systems. As a basic and not absolute nutrition guide, salty tends toward the Kidneys and Bladder; sour to the Liver and Gall Bladder; bitter to the Heart and Small Intestine; spicy to the Lungs and Large Intestine; and sweet to the Spleen and Stomach.

The principles of yin and yang also apply to foods. Meats tend to be yang in energy, while vegetables are yin. As a very general nutrition guide, one can achieve balance by eating yang (warming) foods during winter and yin (cooling) foods in the summer.

But always bear in mind that each individual requires different flavours, properties and temperatures in their diet to achieve balance. Thus, depending on your constitution and specific disorder at the time of the treatment, Sara will be able to give you dietary advice either on its own or in conjunction with the acupuncture treatments in order to improve your condition.

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