1. Boosting Vitality Plan
Purpose: Helping Qi Deficiency
In Chinese medicine a very common condition is what is called Qi Deficiency. So what is meant by Qi and how can we be deficient in it? Qi is usually translated as “energy”. Another word to use to grasp the sense is “Vitality”. Oriental philosophy sees Energy flowing through and filling the universe, permeating matter and allowing movement to occur. In the human being this energy enters via food and air to allow the body to function. If we lack this energy or Qi it is only a relative lack, because if we were to become really “empty” of this substance then we would no longer be alive.
This same Energy is thought to permeate and spiral through the body, filling the organs and moving through the extremities via the system of channels or meridians that are used in acupuncture and shiatsu. It also enters the blood and circulates though the body by the way of the blood vessels.
Treatment with acupuncture is, at a simple level, is involved with moving this energy around the body and taking it from where there is too much to where there is not enough, however in order to supplement the basic level of energy one has to look at increasing our intake of Energy.
This intake can be done with improved breathing, and this topic is explored fully with the discipline of Qi Gung, among many systems. The other way of increasing the body’s Qi is via the Diet. Put very simply specific foods that improve the level of Energy are easy to digest and are somewhat sweet in their nature (like a carrot is naturally sweet). General dietary steps are to simply ensure simple balanced diet with a leaning towards wholegrains and vegetables, and a leaning away from processed or overly sweet foods. So the classic natural wholefood diet is in fact an ideal base level from which to work with in terms of diet. To this standard we could add certain foods and herbs listed below that are traditionally thought of as enhancing the level of Qi in the Diet: Beef, Butternut Squash, Carrot, Chicken, Corn, Date, Ginseng, Fig, Ham, Herring, Lentil, Liquorice (herb), Mackerel, Pumpkin, Oats, Rice, Royal Jelly, Sage, Tofu, Thyme
Generally it is better to cook foods (i.e. not eat them raw) to increase their usefulness to the body. More on this subject in the next nutrition note.
Adding these foods into your diet is an easy way to make changes that may also improve the quality of Blood and so help with general symptoms of Blood deficiency. For more about that please see plan 4 "Deep Vitality". If one wishes to make changes as a therapeutic measure it is recommended to make changes for a month and then see if an improvement has been felt.