Saturday, June 10, 2017

This One's for You Mando!

You are a technical sorta of guy, Mando, yet I know you are interested in your health and wellness, too. I pondered for far too long about how to share my knowledge about food choices and their impact on you, personally.

Here it is in a roundabout way that will cover a lot of bases.

The assessment of tongues used to treat disease goes back to the Shang Dynasty (c. 16th CENTURY B.C.-1066 B.C, according to Beijing: People's Medical Publishing House, 1963, 'Classic of the Spiritual Axis (Ling Shu Jing)).

Check out my colleague, Giovanni Maciocia's book for more about the history of tongue assessments. While in graduate school, a professor recounted a story he had read in an old Tibetan book about the mountain roads of the Himalayas and its travelers. It was said to have been a habit to show one's tongue to others met upon the road, similarly to how a handshake is a method of greeting and also forming trust with a stranger. We may wonder why the tongue and not the hand?

In China, there are textbooks with hundreds, if not thousands of people's tongues and the diagnosis associated with each photo. Perhaps sharing a view of your tongue was a way of offering the condition of your health for another to accept or reject your company.

Mando, I have included the picture above of a tongue diagram with areas circled and bordered with specific colors. These colors are: red, the area surround by grey was to be white however on the white background it would not have been evident, green, orange/yellow, and purple.

These five colors and the region on the tongue they represent, correlate to the five primary organ systems of the body:
  • Red = Heart
  • White = Lungs (this area is circled in grey, yet is intended to be white)
  • Green = Liver
  • Orange/Yellow = Spleen/pancreas
  • Purple = Kidneys (purple ranges from blue to indigo)

These same colors can be matched to foods in order for their energy to be delivered to that associated organ system.
  • Red foods affect the Heart
  • White foods affect the Lungs
  • Green foods affect the Liver
  • Orange/Yellow foods affect the Spleen/Pancreas
  • Purple, blue, black foods affect the Kidneys

Now lets discuss the flavor of foods and their role in directing nutrients in the body:
  • Bitter flavor acts on the Heart, cools, and moves downward and inward
  • Pungent, Spicy flavor acts on the Lungs, warming and moving upward and outward
  • Sour flavor acts on the Liver to cool and collect inward, astringe
  • Sweet flavor acts on the Spleen/Pancreas, warming and moving upward and outward
  • Salty flavor acts on the Kidneys, cooling while drawing water downward
Today, when forming a diagnosis for a patient in an acupuncturist office, you will be asked to show your tongue, respond to The 10 Questions, your pulses will be felt, and your body will be observed, and if necessary touched.

Here in the world of the internet, we do well to use a webcam and microphone to cover much of the assessment and form a plan of care.

Here are a couple of simplified examples of what we may see and what may be recommended to change the pattern of behavior or body functions.
  1. You have hiccups.
    • Reduce the upward flow of air and possibly food by adding a bitter flavored item on your tongue. This could be green tea, coffee, asparagus. 
      • As you will note, each one of these foods and beverages have a distinct bitter flavor, which moves downward and inward
  2. You have heart palpitations and feel warm.
    • Your heart can be cooled with red tomatoes [lycopene] 
      • Color=Red / Flavor=Sour, bitter, sweet, cooling
    • Or by eating beet roots 
      • Color=Red / Flavor Bitter, sweet, neutral temp-not warm or cold
    • Or watermelon
      • Color=Red / Sweet
      • You can see we are using color to target the heart and temperature to cool it
Now you know the major principles, Mando. They may seem very simple and yet the overlay of each can and do depend on each individual constitution, the foods they currently consume, activity level and then there is the geographic climate where a person lives.

Any questions? Send Sofi@TheSpiritofFood.com your thoughts and she will directly respond. Think you would like to host a Tongue Talk at your workplace? 

We will bring our cameras and charts to help you discover your own unique body's needs, and we will show you how the help it function well to support your happy life. Be Happy.

It will be interesting to watch the changes in people's choices of healthy foods to maintain a sense of wellness as the planet gets warmer and the waters rise. What do you think?

FOOD PHYSICS AND BODY DYNAMICS®
BITTER MOVES DOWNWARD AND INWARD, COOLING ACTS ON THE HEART
SALTY MOVES DOWNWARD, COOLS, DRAWS WATER, ACTS ON THE KIDNEY
SOUR COLLECTS INWARD, ASTRINGES, COOLING, ACTS ON THE LIVER
SWEET MOVES UPWARD AND OUTWARD, WARMING, ACTS ON THE SPLEEN
ACRID MOVES UPWARD AND OUTWARD, WARMING, ACTS ON THE LUNG

LAURA L. DAWSON, Dipl. Ac., L.Ac. Nutrition Therapy Specialist

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