Nourish Your Body
The Ultimate Nourishment
Holistic Healthy Living Blog
By Rachelle Tetreault, L,Ac
When the body becomes depleted, Eastern Medicine relies on both acupuncture therapy and herbal medicine to fully bring it back to balance. This can be from various causes such as high academic performance, high level of sports and training, or any major increase in mental and/or physical functions. This is also seen in patients with chronic fatigue, chronic illnesses, and in post recovery situations. Eastern Medicine also treats the body as a whole looking at both specific deficiencies and general constitutional deficiencies that may be present. These can be seen as yin, yang, qi (energy), and blood deficiencies.
The yin energy of our body represents moisture, body fluid, and internal organs. Yin also relates to our parasympathetic nervous system whereas it regulates both our rest and digestion. Sufficient yin energy in our bodies generate fluids, proper nutrient absorption, and rejuvenates our lungs. The yin organs of our body are solid and refer to the heart, spleen, lungs, kidney, and liver.
The yang energy of our body, in contrast, represents the metabolism, heat, actual organ functions, activity, and the outer part of our body including the skin. Yang energy is responsible for the warming and the activating the body’s many functions. Eating too many cold or raw foods can deplete the body’s yang over time. This is primarily due to the requirement of yang energy to warm up food for digestion and the spleen and pancreas work more optimally with warmer foods.
When life-force energy is fully balanced between these two forces of yin and yang this in return creates true health and harmony through the body. This will harmonize both physical and emotional health promoting an optimal state of health. Whereas negative stress can create havoc on our flow of energy and ultimately damage our health over time.
When the body is extremely depleted, herbal therapies are given in correlation with acupoints on the body to help restore balance and properly nourish these deficiencies. Herbal formulas may serve as an adaptogenic to improve overall mental and physical ability to handle stress. They are used to help regulate and improve metabolic rate and overall energy levels both physically and mentally. Certain herbal remedies are used to regulate the immune system, improving both white blood cell and red blood cell function. Also, certain imperial tonics prescribed by an herbalist can promote anti-aging effects which aid in longevity and general wellness.
Research has shown huang qi greatly improves the immune system. This has been used as a component in many eastern herbals in synergy with other herbal components to enhance outcome and long-term health. Xi yang shen has been known for improving the yuan source energy of the body. Tonics are great for chronic deficiency issues and in cases of postpartum and surgery where the body is more depleted. These tonics help replenish, blood, energy, and yin. Often used a couple weeks after giving birth to prevent depletion . It is important to first clear residual blood stagnation with sheng hua tang beforehand. Your herbal practitioner will decide if best to place you on an herbal tonic for about a month following delivery. Wu wei zi has a binding effect and helps prevent leakage of essence or jing which is our innate energy of blood and qi. Gui xin nourishes kidney yang of the body. Herbs such as sheng jiang, zhi gan cao, and da zao are used to harmonize the gastrointestinal system and enhance digestion. Shu di huang nourishes kidney yin of the body. Bai zhu and fu ling both nourish the spleen energy which ultimately enhances what is called qi. This increases the nutrients and absorption of food in the body. Therefore, it improves the immune system. Shan yao nourishes spleen, lungs, and kidney yin. These are some of the major herbals used in imperial tonics to greatly restore the losses of energy, blood, yin, and yang which can come about through great emotional or physical trauma. Blood nourishing and blood invigorating herbals are often used such as dang gui, bai shao, and chuan xiang.
Most often in these cases, the patient presents with chronic fatigue, low energy, poor appetite, dizziness, and/or mentally and physically compromised. Food therapy is often used in conjunction with treatment. Yang deficiency would be benefited with warm porridges, slow roasted foods, soups, stews, and warm spices. Other yang enriched foods consist of nuts such as chestnuts, peanuts, walnuts, and pistachios. Yang herb spices include garlic, peppermint, thyme, dill, fennel, garlic, and turmeric.
Yin foods include coconut milk, sesame seeds, walnuts, certain meats like duck, port, rabbit, and even beef. Blood nourishing foods include dark leafy greens, apricots, watercress, and goji berries. For overall fatigue, foods like yam, sweet potato, pepitas, winter melon, barley, and figs will all help nourish the energy of the body.
Please call today to begin your journey to nourish, balance and harmonize your body for optimal health! Call or text 772-353-1397