The more that I study Chinese dietetics the more I come to realize that the discipline, like so many of the healing arts, boils down to self-cultivation. This means that every meal we eat provides us with an opportunity for some internal improvement or transformation. While this may seem a food lover’s dream come true, the medicine finds little therapeutic value in fancy dining, sauces, and trends. The focus instead is on how the energetics of specific foods affects our well-being on a cellular, visceral, and spiritual level. Before one can establish an individual dietary plan (in accordance to constitution, heritage, geography, etc.), some thought must be given to exactly why we eat the way we do. So often it is simply out of habit. And habit, though tangled up with memories and emotion, is a stagnant state. It has neither function, taste, nor chi and really, honestly, should not be the thing we allow to stimulate our appetite.
Frances Boswell is a licensed acupuncturist at her practice, Qi Sera Sera Acupuncture, in New York City. She focuses on a lesser-known branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which identifies poor diet as a common cause of disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that the importance of food goes beyond ingredients' vitamins, mineral, nutrient and caloric content—food has its own energetic and spiritual role in our health. Frances' aim is to teach this ancient wisdom, apply it to everyday cooking, and work with patients to modify their diets, in addition to acupuncture, to help them live, eat, and be well. Contact Frances here.