Chi, also known as Qi, is the term for Energy in Chinese medicine. We need energy to move energy, and in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we need Chi to move Chi! There are different types of energy, and in this instance, we’ll focus on food energy, called Gu Chi…not to be confused with the Gucci fashion brand.
Gucci aside, one way to build Chi is to build Gu (food) Chi (energy) by making quality food choices. We all know food is energy and the body needs it, but TCM provides us with a guiding philosophy on how this helps the body maintain health and wellness. Gu Chi nourishes our body’s organs. But knowing which foods will best nourish your body and therefore build Chi is not always an easy decision since it can depend on the individual needs of your body. In clinic, we look at the tongue and monitor the pulse as tools to pinpoint (pun intended) weaknesses on which to base diet recommendations and tailor treatments to specific needs.
At home, you can try a variety of nourishing foods to build your Chi. Here are some to get you started for common cold-weather challenges:
It can also help your Chi to limit dairy during the colder seasons, since dairy can increase phlegm, a condition referred to as dampness. And remember, the quality of chi you put in your body is the quality of energy you get out of life!
by Heather Roderick and Julie Taylor