Tai Chi and healthy eating? At first you might ask, “What in the world does Tai Chi have to do with healthy eating?” Most people think of Tai Chi as nothing more than the slow-motion Solo Form exercise which they may have seen on TV, observed a friend practicing, or even done themselves.
But Tai Chi is actually a Principle of universal activity, and as such can be applied to numerous areas of life, as I described in my post “Yin, Yang, and Total Tai Chi” (Oct 5, 2009).
One of the most fascinating and functional uses of the Tai Chi principle of Yin and Yang is its application to “diet” and nutrition. Since the ancient Chinese physicians did not have modern scientific facts about foods, such as vitamin, mineral, or protein content, fat grams, etc., they relied instead on the energetic properties of foods to determine the best dietary regimens for their patients.
That is, they considered whether any given food was warming or cooling to the body, and whether it was building or cleansing. Their analysis of the energetic properties of foods was based on centuries of direct observation in real life. Overall, the goal was not so much curing of acute symptoms (which would be addressed by Acupuncture or Herbs), but the cultivation of long-term health, stamina, and longevity.
The ancient doctors had good reason to ensure the health of their clients, for in many periods of Chinese history they were not paid if their clients became ill! It was thought that a good doctor’s duty was to keep patients healthy and teach them the principles of healthy living. Moreover, the Chinese revered and respected old age. So if a doctor could keep clients healthy and cultivate their longevity, this would tremendously enhance the doctor’s own reputation.
The Chinese science of nutrition, called Yang Sheng “Nurturing of life” is very simple to understand and apply. First it analyzes an individual’s body and energy type and only then provides specific direction about whether a given individual requires warming or cooling; building or cleansing. There is no “one size fits all” type of dietary recommendation, since every person is absolutely unique.
I am always amazed by the many dietary fads and fancies we see touted every day which totally neglect to consider a person’s body and energetic type, as well as their age, amount of physical activity, and even spiritual aspiration. These were all taken into account in the ancient Chinese science of Yang Sheng—or the “Tai Chi Master Key to Healthy Eating,” using the Yin/Yang Principle.
If you would like to learn more about the Tai Chi way of healthy eating, it is all summarized in a 55 page E-book which distills my 30 plus years of research and observation.
You can find out all about it at:
Meanwhile, we in the Northern Hemisphere have just gone into the period of Li Dong “Establishment of Winter QI.” So be sure to keep warm, avoid ice-cold drinks, sleep a bit more, and preserve your QI. (Below the Equator, you can do just the opposite).
© Copyright Paul B. Gallagher, all rights reserved