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Support TCM Pracitioners_Final

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>> Hello again and welcome back. In this lecture, we're going to talk about how you can apply some basic principles of traditional Chinese medicine to help your clients improve their gut health. We'll also take a look at how you can work in conjunction with TCM practitioners. The reality of being a Health Coach is that your clients may see other practitioners with their own specialties. This is totally okay. Many Health Coaches mistakenly view this as competition or threat, but this simply is not the case. Your ultimate goal for all of your clients should be to help them achieve optimal health, and as the saying goes, it takes a village. So now, let's take a look at some ways that you can support clients from a TCM perspective from within your scope of practice as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. With any form of Chinese medicine, the main goal is to help a person create overall harmony and wholeness within. As Health Coaches, we want the same for our clients, right? Chinese medicine views the body as a complex energetic system that's continually seeking to maintain balance. TCM teaches that qi, our life force, flows through the meridians of the body creating health and vigor. When qi gets blocked or imbalanced, illness and disease will arise. So from this perspective, we should help all our clients build and balance their qi or life force. Proper nourishment is fundamental to healthy qi, which means there's room for you as a Health Coach to contribute here. To help you understand how, I'm going to share with you five recommendations from traditional Chinese medicine that can benefit just about any client. Are you ready? Here we go. Limit eating cold foods and ice. Stop eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. Chew your food completely. Eat foods that promote spleen and stomach health. And nourish the earth element with routine and structure. Let's take a look at each of these in detail. Limit eating cold foods and ice. Digestive issues are often viewed by TCM as a result of coldness or dampness in the gut. This indicates a lack of fire in digestion. To create balance, a TCM practitioner will help their client warm things up internally. Remember, this is based on tradition, not scientific research. But clients who are interested in taking a TCM approach may turn to you as their Health Coach to help them incorporate warm heat-building foods. This may include dietary modifications like switching them from juices and smoothies to cooked veggies and soups. Or it may include cooking with ginger or spices that can also help build heat. As a Health Coach, you can help your clients apply these guidelines and provide recipes and cooking tips to support the transition. This might be challenging for a client who's a raw foodie or vegan. You can help them get creative. Speaking of raw foods, it can be initially confusing to learn that TCM is very adamant about eating warm and hot foods and limiting raw foods. As you've learned in the Health Coach Training Program, raw foods have many benefits due to their digestive enzymes, so why the contradiction? Keep in mind that all systems are developed in a social and political context. TCM is a very ancient practice developed at a time when sanitation was poor. Heating food kills pathogens. In modern day practice, there's still merit in building heat, but it's not necessary to avoid raw foods altogether. The key, like with most things, is balance. On the other side of the coin, it's also possible to have too much digestive heat. For example, the stomach can have too much or too little acid resulting in heartburn. In the case of excess digestive fire, cooling foods such as celery, cucumber, mint, melon, and green tea are helpful. If the liver is involved, bitter greens might be suggested. In either case, your client's practitioner will make the recommendation, your job as a Health Coach is to help your client implement that recommendation. Stop eating at least two to three hours before bedtime. This is good advice across any modality, but TCM advocates this practice because sleep is the time when qi is replenished. Since qi is our life force, it's really important to get a good night's sleep. TCM practitioners believe that the liver and gall bladder start to repair themselves around 11pm, and therefore, you want to be done digesting by this time. That way, the body can focus on restorative tasks. TCM also advises that foods eaten in the evening should be yin, high in moisture and cooling qualities, to prepare the body for sleep. Chew your food completely. You've heard us stress the importance of this before, and TCM considers proper chewing very important too. Think of how a high-powered blender heats up the liquid, a similar process occurs in the body. Proper chewing doesn't just break down the food, it also helps warm it up. Chewing is also believed to activate the meridians. Many Chinese practitioners view juicing as problematic because there's no chewing involved. Juice packs in a lot of nutrients but at the expense of missing out on enzyme activation. A TCM practitioner will make the recommendations for your client, and you can help by providing your support and empowering clients to get creative and adapt treatments to suit their bio-individuality. Imagine you're seeing a client who's an avid juicer, but her TCM practitioner discourages juicing. You can support her by providing the space to share how she feels about this and how she'd like to proceed. Maybe you could help your client work with her practitioner to find a middle ground, perhaps by chewing while drinking her juice or maybe you could share a smoothie bowl recipe as an alternative to juicing several times a week. Whatever you do, the aim of your work should be to work in conjunction with the practitioner's guidelines and to work cooperatively toward the same goals. You want to avoid a mismatch of partial protocols and diluted ideas. When in doubt, encourage your client to contact their TCM practitioner with questions before trying something new. Eat foods that promote spleen and stomach health. Let's go over few ways to support a healthy spleen and stomach. Cook with heating spices like raw ginger, black cardamom, pepper, and cinnamon. Add a slight natural sweetness to meals. The best way to do this is to eat starchy vegetables that add fiber to the diet. We're talking about root vegetables like sweet potato, squash, pumpkin, turnips, carrots, and parsnip. The idea is that, in moderate amounts, a sweet taste will nourish the spleen and stomach. Grains such as oats and rice are also advised to add a mildly sweet flavor to meals, but TCM doesn't promote the consumption of grains that contain gluten. Licorice and molasses can also offer sweetness, however, too much sweetness is said to damage the stomach and the spleen. In Chinese tradition, it's a goal to balance flavors and tastes. An addiction to any one flavor or a persistent craving is viewed as a sign of imbalance. Consume small amounts of protein. Clients who eat a plant-based diet may be disappointed to discover that Chinese medicine practitioners are often taught to advocate for animal protein in the diet. However, beans, preferably sprouted beans, can be used as a main protein source instead. TCM cautions to avoid dairy which can be damp and cooling. If a client is interested in crowding out or eliminating dairy for a period of time, you could support them with this and see how it makes them feel. Make vegetables and fruits the center of your meals. Vegetables like root veggies we just mentioned and fruits like figs, grapes, and longan are nourishing to stomach qi. Yellow and orange foods, that is foods harvested in the late summer and root vegetables that grow directly in the ground are also believed to support the spleen and stomach. And lastly, cooking and steaming food is said to be gentler on the digestion, and therefore, also supportive of the spleen and stomach. Nourish the earth element with routine and structure. TCM is based on a philosophy that there are five elements of qi, wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. A balance of these elements promotes good health. Each element is associated with specific meridians and organs. The stomach and spleen are represented by the earth element. Therefore, supporting the balance of one's earth element can support digestion and gut health. How can we do this? Simply put, the earth element is nourished by structure and routine. You can help your clients support their earth element by helping them implement more structure or routine into their eating. This is especially helpful for clients who are always on the run or who have chaotic schedules. Let's go over a few ideas on how to do this. Help your clients eat meals on schedule. This doesn't have to be rigid, but you'll find that many of your clients eat erratically, when they have time, or when they remember, or maybe they pick at food all day long. Creating a structure, a set time of day to stop and eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner can nourish the earth element. You can help your clients find a system that works for them. Planning ahead, meal prepping, sticky notes, and calendar reminders are all great ways to bring more structure to meals. Encourage small portion sizes. The earth element likes balance. It doesn't want all or nothing. To nourish the earth element, you should encourage your clients to eat until they're just satisfied, not full. If your client is also working toward eating regularly-scheduled meals, they can eat mindfully with a confidence of knowing when they'll have their next meal, so they don't have to load up on food to tie themselves over for a long period of time. Create a calm environment for meals. The earth element is nourished when meals are treated as sacred rituals. Eating while driving, working, watching TV, or running errands, for example, all work against the earth element. And how often are we guilty of doing this? When it's time to eat, the focus should be on the food and nothing else. This is something we all know, yet it can be so hard to implement. Your clients will value your support with this. As you've likely noticed by now, a lot of the recommendations from TCM are in line with what we know from modern medicine to help support healthy digestion and a strong microbiome. The rationales behind them may differ, but many of the recommendations for healthy digestion are the same. To recap what we've covered so far, the five principles of TCM you can share with your clients to support gut health are avoid eating cold foods and ice, stop eating at least two to three hours before bedtime, chew your food completely, eat foods that promote spleen and stomach health, and nourish the earth element with routine and structure. Remember, Health Coaches are not qualified to recommend or prescribe Chinese herbs. Many herbs are already poorly regulated and can have contraindications with certain medications or conditions. Given the risks, it is always best left to a TCM practitioner or a certified herbalist. Many practitioners struggle with patient compliance. They make a recommendation or they write a prescription, but it isn't always followed. Is your client following his or her doctor's protocol 100% or just 50% of the time? If they're not sticking to it, why not? How can you encourage them to stay on track? As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can help your clients achieve success by establishing accountability and support for the protocols they're given. Help your clients incorporate action steps into their daily lives. Here's another thing worth mentioning, if your client is using any herbs, make sure they're communicating with their primary doctor and coordinating any treatment between practitioners. Herbs that are cleansing or detoxifying are taxing on the spleen and stomach and may kill off healthy bacteria with prolonged use. It's important that anyone who's prescribing medications to your client is aware of all the supplements they're taking. Since Chinese herbs and supplements are available to anyone, many people mistakenly believe they are okay to take without a doctor's approval. However, not all supplements are safe for everyone, especially if someone is already taking medication or if a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding. Educate your clients about the importance of communication regarding herbs and supplements to avoid any undesirable interactions or misuse. Lastly, keep in mind that Chinese medicine often uses herbs that are antiviral and antibacterial. If a client is taking any Chinese herbs, encourage them to ask their practitioner if any of them are antiviral or antibacterial. If so, they may want to ask their doctor about taking probiotics during and after the herbal treatment to support their microbiome. TCM is a multimodal practice that includes the use of herbs, acupuncture, massage, exercise, and diet to promote health, healing, and balance in the body. This ancient form of medicine is only recently gaining acceptance in Western culture, but many of your clients may already have an interest in adapting principles of Chinese medicine into their journey to optimal and balanced health. Bio-individuality supports your clients picking and choosing from different philosophies and treatment modalities to find what works best for them as unique individuals. As a Health Coach, you now have a variety of ways to support clients from a TCM perspective from within your scope of practice. By paying attention to what and how your clients eat, they can adopt principles of Chinese medicine to strengthen their digestion and gut health. Reflecting on the recommendations we shared in this lecture, what are you already doing in your life that promotes a healthy gut from a TCM perspective? What's one action step you can take with this information and apply to your life this week? Share your thoughts in the Facebook group, and then check in again later this week to share your results. Thank you so much for joining me, and I look forward to seeing you next time.

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Duration: 13 minutes and 50 seconds
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Language: English
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Apr 4, 2018

Support TCM Pracitioners_Final

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