There is truth to the old saying: “Food is the medicine you take every day.”
Food Energetics Therapy in TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers a holistic approach to health and well-being, not only for humans but also for our beloved pets. TCM theory focuses on balancing Yin and Yang for good health. One way to apply TCM principles to your dog’s diet is through food energy therapy, also called Eastern diet therapy. By understanding what types of foods are cool, warm, and neutral, you can tailor your dog’s diet to address imbalances and bring your pet’s body back into balance, improving overall well-being.
TCM theory – The Yin and Yang of foods
TCM theory is based on the belief that energy or QI, flows through the body, and having a balance between Yin and Yang is essential for good health.
Yin typically refers to cooling, hydrating, moistening, recovery, and relaxing behaviors and body functions. While Yang stands for warmth, dryness, and energy! When Yin and Yang are in harmony, the body is in good health.
TCM aims to restore balance and harmony when there is imbalance or absence. Understanding these concepts can be helpful for your dog’s health when using food energy.
Let me give you some examples that make it easier to understand the Yin and Yang spectrum. Take cayenne or chili pepper, for instance. When you eat it or touch it, you’ll feel a warm/hot sensation. That’s because it has strong Yang properties. On the other hand, think about cucumber or watermelon. It is a great example of the Yin quality due to its cooling and moisturizing properties.
So, based on their energy content, foods can be classified as Yin or Yang characteristics. Identifying these imbalances is important to maintaining a healthy diet for your dog.
Using food energetics to heal your pet
The following classifications act as a guide to help balance your pet’s energy through their diet. You can achieve this balance by reducing foods with similar energy and increasing foods with different energy.
But remember this doesn’t mean your pet should only eat foods that have the opposite effect. The key is to find a balance in order to produce neutral energy.
It’s important to have variety in their diet, even if your dog seems fine, adjusting their diet to be more cooling or warming can help maintain balance at any time. Just like we enjoy a warm and comforting meal on a cold day, you can customize your pet’s diet to suit their needs and the environment, ensuring their well-being is at its best.
Is your dog hot or cold?!
The Yin Deficient Dog
- Seeking out cool places to rest, rather than a bed or crate
- Panting even when it’s not warm
- Red, itchy eyes or skin irritation like rashes or hot spots, or other allergy issues
- They may be anxious, easily aroused, or seem generally restless
- Drink excessively and needed to go outside more than usual
Cooling (Yin) Foods
These foods will cool pets with hot properties, providing allergies and skin irritations relief:
The Yang Deficient Dog
- Joint or other inflammation issues like arthritis
- Asthma or breathing difficulties
- Poor appetite, and slow metabolism
- Excess drooling, and lack of energy
- Urinary or digestive issues like IBD
Warming (Yang) Foods
The Neutral State
In a neutral state, dogs generally have balanced energies and no obvious signs of Yin or Yang imbalance.
Generally, these foods are considered to have a balancing effect on the body. Neutral foods neither create excessive heat nor provide excessive cooling effects in the body. They help regulate energy flow and promote stability. Including these foods in a dog’s diet, it can contribute to a well-rounded and harmonious nutritional approach to maintain a balanced state for optimal health and vitality.
Getting Started with Food Energetic Therapy
Using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and food energetics is more than just feeding warming or cooling foods; it’s a great way to improve your dog’s well-being.
If you feed your dog a raw diet, you can begin by including more foods from the appropriate category and feed fewer foods that don’t suit their needs.
For kibble-fed dogs, adding fresh food is always beneficial! Kibble is very dry and lacks nutrients because of the high heat of the extrusion process. Fresh foods are full of nutrients, adding much-needed moisture to their diet. So if a fully raw diet isn’t possible right now, you can use fresh raw meat, veggies, and occasional fruits as food toppers and treats. HMPets treats and chews are single-ingredient and lightly air-dried, making them easy to add as part of your dog’s daily meals. They provide fresh, energy-appropriate food hassle-free.