Shi Liao – diet
Creating logical adjustment of food intake in accordance with the prevailing seasonal influences and personal health condition. The first level of common knowledge in the old time was concerning the use of food as a means to maintain the balance of Yin and Yang. Apart from the maintenance of general health, adjustment of diet is employed in the early stage of any sickness. The first approach was to adjust lifestyle and diet and eat foods that would balance the condition and to cut out foods detrimental to the condition. This approach was more often than not enough to restore health. If this were not enough, only then would the stronger remedies of herbal medicine and acupuncture be employed. As the common people were mostly dependant upon prevention for health, this knowledge became highly refined and a fully integrated part of Chinese culture.
From these, and other foundation principles addressing natural human life and the way of nature and change, we transpose and apply them to medical theory and the treatment of people, always aware that each era creates its own unique problems. The study of elemental change, social, cultural and emotional environments within the framework of ancient and well understood knowledge, will lead the practitioner to a deeper understanding of the patient and to a more effective result.
I have now practiced and researched TCM for over sixty years. Because of what I have learned from my studies and experience, and supported by the classic writings, I have been practicing a holistic method combining the five main therapies into an integrated form of treatment, termed Wu Da Liao Fa. TCM should not be limited to only one or two disciplines. It is best to combine the disciplines, applying the appropriate method to exactly match the patient’s presentation. I have found the combination of methods to be the best way to quickly and effectively help the patient gain a dynamic result.
- If the problem stems from the internal material substance of the body, organs etc. herbs become the main treatment for balancing a person.
- If the problem stems from a meridian, we use the meridian Qi to correct the balance. I.e. acupuncture.
- If the problem stems from a tightening, or twisting of the muscles and tendons at a superficial level, we use massage and the specialised methods of Wu Yi to help.
- If a person’s diet is either too weak (Yin) or too strong (Yang), for example, due to excess of rich foods, wrong food at the wrong time, poor appetite, or if a person is recovering from sickness. We utilise dietary therapy - Shi Liao, as a tool. If the body is run down then a person should not only rely on herbs, an appropriate diet is required to build up or balance the body again.
- If a person’s lifestyle or work practices always require overuse of one side of the body, the body will show one side is overdeveloped and the other side under developed in comparison. Or, if a person has poor postural habits in their lifestyle. We need to offer physical exercise therapy - Ti Liao in order for the appropriate exercise to balance the Qi and blood circulation of the body. This will release the pressure on those parts of the body accepting the daily stress from strained postural equilibrium.