The Basics of Food Therapy
Nutrition is an important part of medicine in both pets and people.
In case you missed our Open House (or perhaps are in need of a recap!), we thought we'd touch on Dr. Jennifer Regis' food therapy discussion for this month's newsletter. Handouts are also available at the clinic--and include some tasty recipes!
What is Food Therapy?
Specific herbs and food can be combined to treat health conditions, prevent disease, and promote longevity. In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), we call this food therapy. When Ancient Arts veterinarians come up with a nutrition plan for your pet, they take into account the animal's age, species, breed, home environment, personality, and any current issues going on with the body. Food therapy has the benefit of taste over herbals that alone might be less palatable.
Commercial kibble diets focus on the average dietary needs of a species based on a Western approach. From a TCVM perspective, food therapy takes into consideration food energetics and taste and addresses the individual. Employing both Eastern and Western approaches is the best way to optimize your pet's nutritional health.
Five Element Theory
Food therapy follows the TCVM Five Element Theory which assigns a natural element to nearly every experience, interaction, or predisposition, including what is referred to as an animal's "constitution." These five elements are:
The Five Energies
The energetics of food describe the food's temperature. However, this doesn't necessarily relate to the heat or measured degrees of the food. Instead, it relates to the metabolic effect the food has on the body. When we refer towarming and cooling diets for treating yin and yang deficiencies we are talking about food energetics. The five energies include:
The Five Tastes
Food can further be described based on taste:
If you're interested in food therapy for your pet, be sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Regis or Dr. Rewers! All of our Holistic Exams include a Nutritional and Herbal Consultation.