Structure and Use of this Book

Natural Synergy

Traditional Chinese Medicine

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The first chapter of this book, "Introduction to the Basic Principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Dietetics," introduces Chinese nutrition theory using practical examples. Chapters 2 and 3 introduce Chinese dietetics in practice. Chapter 2 covers key dietary concepts such as healthy eating habits and eating in harmony with seasonal and constitutional factors. Chapter 3 outlines nutritional therapy for the most important pathological processes and provides an overview and orientation framework for symptoms and diagnosis.

Chapter 4, "Food Classification," is based on a variety of source texts and applies their concepts to the most common "Western" foods. Here you will find detailed information about the nature and use of foods and food groups in nutritional therapy. In case of contradictions between the authors regarding classification, I endeavored to classify foods according to my own clinical experience. The clinical examples in Chapter 5, "Analogy of Western Diagnoses with Syndromes in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)," intend to establish a bridge to Chinese syndrome diagnosis. By their very nature, these offer abridged and incomplete introductions to a very large field of knowledge. They are designed to encourage Western practitioners to combine Western with Eastern thinking. Lay readers are advised that for disorders such as hypertension, asthma, Crohn disease, etc., any therapeutic measure should always be discussed with the treating physician and should be harmonized with Western methods of treatment. My practice, however, has proven to me repeatedly that Chinese nutrition is an excellent complement to Western treatments and also offers outstanding synergies with other naturopathic therapies. In this book, I have consciously avoided the use of Chinese medicinal plants in recipes. While commonly used in China, Chinese herbal therapy requires many years of experience and a high level of education on the part of the practitioner, as well as reliable quality control of the preparations used. For the reader in a hurry, Chapter 6 provides charts of the most commonly used foods grouped by organ network. "Foods from A to Z" offers a quick guide to the key characteristics of the most common foods.

The glossary in Chapter 7 provides definitions of the English terms most frequently used in this book and lists their Chinese translations. The terminology used in this book is based on "A Practical Dictionary of Chinese Medicine" by Nigel Wiseman and Feng Ye (Paradigm Publications, 1998,2nd edition). Thieme International, in choosing this dictionary as its standard, recognizes the monumental contributions that Nigel Wiseman and Feng Ye have made to the standardization of TCM terminology in the English-speaking world. For more information on terminology, see Chapter 7.

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