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Western lifestyle-related diseases are reaching epidemic proportions throughout the world, including China.
According to both modern research and traditional Chinese knowledge, diet is an essential factor in the
development of these diseases. This paper puts forward the view that TCM theory, in combination with scientific
knowledge, can give basic, individually-tailored advice regarding food choices that can be crucial for health. In
the West during recent years there has been an increasing amount written about what to eat to cure disease,
lose weight and enjoy optimal health. There are many different dietary methods, such as the Atkins, Montignac,
Scarsdale, South Beach, Mediterranean, G.I. and living food diets. Even though some of these diets seem
diametrically opposed in theory and practice, their proponents are often convinced that their method represents
the healthiest choice. In the experience of the author, all of the well-known dietary methods have advantages
and disadvantages, and Chinese medical theory and diagnosis can be used to ascertain which particular dietary
system ’fits’ a specific patient. Based on awareness of three different models of food proportion, it is possible to
use diet to regulate yin and yang and thus improve health. For practitioners using acupuncture, tuina or herbal
medicine who wish to improve their clinical success, the author strongly recommends application of the models
outlined in this paper.
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