Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) divides the year into five seasons – fall, winter, spring, summer and late summer. Summer and late summer offers a special time of abundance. The natural growth of green and growing things surrounds everything; fresh foods are readily available nearby everywhere.
During summer when the natural world bursts into full bloom the universal energy is at its highest point. A plant's highest Qi or vital energy occurs when it flowers, according to TCM principles.
TCM views all foods from an energy perspective. Behind the food … beyond nutrition, beyond vitamins, beyond calories – is energy. Each food vibrates at a specific energy frequency that corresponds to a specific organ or meridian. Foods grow in variable weather, at diverse locations within distinct energy fields. A fruit or vegetable carries energy patterns relating to these various influences. In other words, the energy or 'intelligence' of a plant or 'food' knows how to thrive in a given situation. It is this energy (not caloriefunction) which refers to different organs. The essence and the organ or meridian have a matching energy frequency. One gains the other – in fact, they seek each other out much like a magnet.
This understanding of Qi and essences is a result of thousands of years of observation of how vital energy works. These insights were usually achieved through deep meditation and experiencing Universal energy. The knowledge has been passed down through generations. Depending on how they are used, foods can act as herbs. They can help increase or decrease vital energy. For example, using the flower of a plant like the sunflower causes energy to rise, while using the root of a plant channels energy down through the body's meridians or internal energy network. Each flower part can play a role in helping the knowledgeable TCM practitioner attain the goal of balancing a person's energy towards prevention and wellness.
TCM principals regard food as medicine; it is energy that is the real healing tool. If certain issues need herbs, the skillful use of a particular food's Qi can help dramatically. While Western medicine focuses on calories or nutritional content, it is easy to see from the way foods and herbs are used in TCM that something is going on behind these things that can help restore health. For example, many food and herbs are often mixed together and cooked for hours – so the nutritional value has long been processed out – the mixture can still be very effective in treating various conditions. It is the essence or remaining energy that is of value.
TCM principles believe foods can influence something extraordinarily important in the body – and that is energy. With TCM, allergy sufferers are made to understand that the offending food is not the problem, it usually means that the food carries a special energy or is vibrating at a specific frequency that the body can not handle. The solution: – bringing the affected organ back into harmony or balance with the rest of the body. TCM offers very effective ways to accomplish this.
The Universe has provided a powerful, yet natural way to maintain good health and help when good health fails. Experiencing TCM in your daily life is connected to an understanding of the critical role food plays in strengthening the house we have chosen for the spirit.
TCM uses the knowledge in its ancient organized system to examine the various factors that contribute to a condition of disharmony. The goal of TCM is to seek a permanent solution to the issue, rather than just treating the symptoms. That is why you will not hear a TCM practitioner say, "Just take this prescription for ten days and call for another appointment if you need a refill."