Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • it is believed that each organ functions at its optimum capacity at certain times of the day.
  • The clock can be used to help determine organs involved in pathology presentation
  • Time is an important tool and can direct you towards a possible cause.
  • The Chinese Body Clock used in TCM is a valuable tool when exploring the timing of symptoms; symptoms at specific times may relate to either the time or the opposite time on the Chinese clock.
  • By using the Chinese Body Clock what two options do you have for: – A headache getting worse between 1pm and 3pm – Always waking up at around 3am to 4am – Having less energy around 6pm to 8pm – Nappy rash worse around 7am
  • The Chinese Body Clock is a guideline only. A practitioner needs additional information to make such a clinical judgement.
  • Based on centuries of clinical observation
  • Individualised (patient centered)
  • Emphasises stimulating the body's self healing mechanisms
  • holistics - looks at the person as a whole
  • primary aim to maintain health
  • The Yin and Yang concept is the core of Chinese medicine.
    • A healthy meal should achieve a balance of yin and yang. • Yin and Yang are opposites, but not in absolute terms. Nothing is entirely Yin or Yang. E.g. raw foods are yin when compared to warm stews, but yang compared to ice cream.
    • Generally, foods are either more:
    • YIN (cool, contracting, cooling in property) or YANG (warm, expanding, warming in property).
  • The following are considered ‘Yin foods’: Cold and cooling foods. • Plant foods in general. Foods with low calorific value such as fruit, green vegetables, seaweed. • Wet or sweet foods are more yin. • Refined foods are more yin, whilst also having less Qi. • Raw food is generally more yin and better tolerated in the summer. • Foods that grow in the spring & summer are generally cooling (yin) in quality and, therefore, should be eaten in season. The nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, aubergines, bell peppers) and sweet tropical fruit are particularly yin.
  • The following are consider ‘Yang foods’: • Warm and warming foods. • Foods with a higher calorific value including red meats. Meats, in general, are more yang than plant foods. • Chocolate, tea, coffee and alcohol. • Black pepper, ginger, chilli, onion, garlic. • Most root vegetables are warming (yang) in quality and good to be eaten during autumn and winter. • Fresh food has more yang energy, which also enhances the Qi, whereas processed or stale food has more yin energy (and weakens the Qi).
  • There are some Yin / Yang food considerations: • Noodles can sit in either category, according to whether they are made from rice or wheat. • Rice grows in water - so it is more yin; wheat ripens in the sun - so it is more yang than rice. • As a general rule of thumb - foods which are cool or naturally sweet are more yin.
  • ‘Relativity’ is an important concept with Yin & Yang foods: • Although fish is generally considered ‘yin’, it is not yin in relation to more ‘yin’ foods like raw vegetables. • In comparison to raw vegetables, fish is ‘yang’. • Foods in the same family (e.g. fruit) can be more or less yang/yin – sweeter is usually more yin. Bitter fruit can be less yin. • Different texts can give you different groupings of yin/yang for particular foods/drinks. Wine is considered yin by some and yang by others. The initial effects of wine can be warming/heating ‘yang’ but excessive use can create problems associated with excessive yin – depression, numbness, lethargy, phlegm.
  • The following are examples of Yin and Yang Conditions: Yang conditions: • Caused by excess of animal products, hot spices or alcohol; • e.g. acne, high-blood pressure, migraines. Yin conditions: • Caused by excess of sugar, raw foods or not enough food; • e.g. lethargy, anaemia, feeling cold
  • Cooking methods will alter the yin or yang nature of produce. • Water has a cooling influence. So heating foods by steaming or boiling will not add ‘yang’ properties to foods as much as cooking by fire, baking or roasting, which will make foods hotter or more ‘yang’. • Fish is generally considered cold (yin) as it spends much time in water. So it is usually cooked with ginger (yang) to warm up the dish & give it balance. • Juicing, blending, grinding and other processing generally increases the yin of foods.
  • The Macrobiotic diet is based on the Chinese principles of Yin and Yang. - This postulates that health can be achieved by balancing your diet with foods that are closest to the balance point (neither extreme yin nor yang). - The macrobiotic diet also emphasises chewing food completely and avoiding the use of a microwave
  • The constitution of a person can be of a more yin or yang; this determines how susceptible the person is to these effects of foods. • A yang-type person usually can eat all yin type food with no ill effect, but may easily get a nose bleed with a small amount of yang-type food. • A yin-type person needs boosting or nourishing types of food (more yang). • A neutral person is generally healthy and will have strong reactions only after overconsumption of certain foods.
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