|In this newsletter:
- Food for thought
- Waterloo summer: 20% off block bookings at Breathe London *
- Zhanzhuang: standing like a tree
- Taiji fan: Weds 13 & 20 June 6-9pm at Morley College
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) considers diet to be an integral part of healthcare, with its own classification system for foods based on flavour and nature
Food for thought
According to TCM food is a keyst
one for wellness and the prevention of ill health. It is also considered the first choice in case of health imbalances or illness.” 1
There is no good food/bad food dichotomy. In the Chinese system foods can be categorised into yin and yang, which element/organ they support and their effect/direction on the body’s functions. For example, ‘bananas are healthy’ is not true for all. They are fine in a tropical climate, but not if a patient is suffering from phelgm and a weak Spleen and lives in a damp climate. 2
The five flavours related to the five elements and internal organs are:
• Sour - Wood - Liver
• Bitter - Fire - Heart
• Sweet - Earth - Spleen
• Pungent - Metal - Lung
• Salty - Water - Kidney
Foods also have a heating or cooling effect on the body enabling them to stimulate or slow down the function or flow of fluids:
• Hot and warm - Yang - promote movement and warming
• Cool and cold - Yin - inhibit movement, refresh or clear heat
• Neutral - no special change
For proper healthcare, appropriate flavours and natures need to be chosen and consumption of food should be fair and moderate. In keeping with the Chinese diagnosis and treatment of the individual, the doctor will prescribe foods adapted to personal circumstances, jobs or activities, to seasons and climate, with a regular rhythm throughout the day. In this way foods help not only to maintain and preserve physical health, but also mental and emotional wellbeing.
1 Lorite Ayan N. (2016). Foods According to Traditional Chinese Medicine. The European Journal of Oriental Medicine, 2016 Vol 8 (4), 8–13.
2 Leggett D & Trenshaw K (2014) Helping Ourselves: a guide to traditional Chinese food energetics. Meridian Press.
20% off block of 5 treatments in June and July*
Acupuncture, tuina and qigong/taiji 1-2-1 classes are available at Breathe Waterloo on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Laura Ichajapanich MSc, MBAcC
To book click here
* Quote breathe16, Full-cost treatments at Breathe only. Offer must be redeemed by 31 July 2015 and last treatment in block by 31st August. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.
An exercise in clearing the meridians and the mind, improving posture and dantian development. This fundamental aspect of martial arts training is ‘movement in stillness’, the yin to the yang ‘stillness in movement’ of taiji
Zhanzhuang: standing like a tree
I first became aware of the importance of zhanzhuang (translated as standing pole) when I began studying taiji with Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang. The power in his tiger-like fa jing
(explosive energy) movements derive from this internal training and his advice was to practice standing 40min-1hr a day.
The practice looks easy, simple to remember. Just stand with arms up ahead of you and breathe. However, it is advisable to start training for 5-10mins with a taiji or qigong teacher and slowly build up the duration.
• refines central equilibrium
• increases awareness
• deepens relaxation
• heightens perception and dissolves tension
• internal and external body awareness
• whole body awareness
• growth in internal energy and power
‘As we continue our training, we begin to repair and improve old injuries, latent disrupted energetics and other health problems. Eventually we are able to harmonize and balance the primary energies of the body. We do this by bringing more and more of our consciousness to bear in the dantian until we are able to activate the body’s own self-healing mechanisms. When these systems are brought online, one of the main ways by which healing occurs is through a major improvement in circulation of both Qi and blood.’1
When most of the blockages have been removed from the body’s channels there becomes a more abundant free-flow of qi coursing through all the meridians. This increased flow not only improves the practitioner’s health, but also plays a major role in the ability to transmit martial power.
1 Zhan Zhuang - the hidden essential of tai chi training by Mark Cohen
Taiji fan course
Laura will be teaching taiji shan (fan) at Morley summer school on 13 & 20 July
Elegant, dramatic and fun, the Chinese fan form is both a martial art and dance form. This short introduction will show you how to use your Qi (energy) in the flowing Taiji movements and improve your co-ordination, flexibility and balance. Students should either have experience of dance or Taiji/Qigong.
Info and booking here