Basic knowledge of Chinese nutrition enables anyone to manage their health by choosing the right foods and developing healthy eating habits. This primarily requires a knowledge of the thermal nature of foods (see the tables at the back of this book, p. 220) to respond appropriately to seasonal changes, climate factors such as cold, dampness, and summer heat, or extreme physical or emotional strain.
However, people new to TCM, even when in good health, quickly start asking questions about their own constitution, individual food choices, different interactions, dietary habits, etc. People interested in prevention through diet can benefit from consulting a qualified TCM practitioner who can give specific advice. The confidence a practitioner can instill for the individualized application of Chinese nutrition at home makes such a consultation a worthwhile investment. Important: Nutritional therapy designed to heal illness must always be based on an informed diagnosis by a qualified TCM practitioner. Therapy must consider both the possibilities and the limitations of nutritional healing. Dietary therapy is commonly used in conjunction with other methods of Chinese medicine. Experienced TCM practitioners can also achieve excellent results by combining TCM with the diagnosis and therapy of Western medicine and naturopathy—all to the patient's advantage.
The following tips help you achieve compliance in your patients, which is so crucial to the success of dietary advice!
When prescribing a preventive diet, acknowledge your patients' individual preferences to achieve the greatest possible compliance.
In cases where a healing diet is appropriate, a patient's distinct preferences can provide valuable therapeutic clues to patterns of disharmony. A patient's constitution should be at the center of any decisions made about dietary prescriptions. Dietary recommendations always need to be adapted to the seasons and bioclimatic factors. Chinese nutrition requires more time than other treatments and thus a little patience. Let your patients know that tangible results might not be felt or seen for weeks or months, but that, once achieved, these results can last a lifetime. Inform your patients that dietary therapy is a great opportunity for developing healthy and beneficial eating habits that will keep them in good health for years to come.
This makes your own work easier, takes less time, and enables patients to explore the information at their own pace at home.
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