CONSTITUTION AND FOOD ENERGETICS
If you can identify your pet’s energetic constitution and energetic imbalance, you can then select foods to maintain or restore balance, which may manipulate his or her health.
This is where the use of food energetics begins.
In oriental philosophical terms, Qi (chi) is a form of energy. Gu Qi is the energy possessed and transferred via food.
A blockage of Qi in your body’s energy flow is called stagnant Qi. This blockage, or stagnant Qi, causes pain.
Yin And Yang
The proper movement of Qi energy is important to the balance of Yin and Yang. Thermal energy and light energy can influence Yin and Yang.
A healthy puppy is full of Yang. He bounces upward toward the sun with loud, warm energy! His mature mother is relatively more Yin. She is grounded, quiet, calm and cool.
A balance of Yin and Yang energy is desirable. An excess or deficiency of either can lead to disease.
FIVE ELEMENT THEORY
The Chinese Five Element theory assigns one of five major constitutions to all individual pets or people. Most individuals are a combination, however.
A pup may begin life as a Fire or Wood constitution, but progress through the Five Elements as he matures, while still maintaining some strong characteristics of his initial predisposition.
The Five Elements in clockwise order are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. There are attributes, attitudes, a season of influence, a temperature, a taste and specific body parts associated with each Element.
These are not arbitrary. The scheme is based on thousands of years of observation and recording. This is simply a system used to describe, explain and correlate natural phenomena, which can then form the basis for disease prediction, diagnoses, and food and herbal remedy formulation.
HEAT SEEKER OR COOL SEEKER?
One of the major questions we ask to determine if pets are balanced is whether or not they are heat seekers or cool seekers.
Does your dog prefer to lie on the cool tile floor or would he rather sleep under the covers all night?
If your pet is a cool seeker, then he runs a bit hot. Perhaps he is a Fire constitution and running warm is normal for him. If he is repeatedly fed hot foods, however, this could lead to over-heating and what we call Heat signs
Circulation of blood at the body surface cools the blood. A hot dog might have a superficial and rapid pulse. A cold pet might have a deep pulse in the attempt to keep heat at the core.
WHAT IS DAMP HEAT?
Damp is a third energetic. Congealed Damp is called Phlegm; mucus is a sign of Damp. Lipomas are also a sign of Congealed Damp.
If you add Heat to Damp and the Damp Heat is in the bladder, you will have crystals; if the Damp Heat is in a joint, you will have arthritis. This Damp Heat condition causes inflammation, which is red and warm, and the Qi flow is stagnant. Urine flow is scant and bloody; joints become stiff and painful.
WHY ANTIBIOTICS MAY NOT CURE
Medications have energetic properties as well. You can use the knowledge of how a particular medication works in your pet to help you choose a food or herb.
Typically, antibiotics are cooling. They remove heat and can lower a fever, for example. However, if the imbalance is Damp Heat, such as a chronic urinary tract infection, the antibiotics remove the Heat, but not the Damp.
This explains why, when an antibiotic is used for a bladder infection, for example, there is usually some improvement, but the infection does not resolve completely and often resurfaces. This also explains why holistic care is so much more effective than conventional drugs in treating stubborn, chronic disorders.
HERBS TO DRAIN DAMP
Dandelion is a common herb that’s easily obtainable (even from your own back yard!) with a reputation for treating urinary tract health. This is because it’s Damp draining. Dandelion is contained in many herbal urinary tract formulas. Western studies have shown that it has a natural diuretic effect.
WHAT’S YOUR PET’S CONSTITUTION?
Here are some of the characteristics of the Five Elements. To illustrate, let’s stereotype some dog breeds!
Confident and assertive alert and responsive, irritable, can anger easily. Often lean and athletic.
Example: a Rottweiler or German Shepherd who is stoic and feels the need to be in charge but has a short fuse, is a Wood constitution.
Outgoing, sociable, bright, expressive, excitable, strong, fast.
Example: Vizslas and German Short Haired Pointers.
These breeds are often like Tigger in Winnie the Pooh books: bouncy-bouncy, wild party animals, full of Yang well into their late years.
Good natured, relaxed, slow and steady eager to please, may be submissive, worries about others, may be clingy, heavily built with tendency to gain weight.
Example: The opposite of Fire constitution, many typical Golden Retrievers are Earth constitution, like Pooh’s friend Eeyore: always worried or concerned, slow and heavy-bodied.
Aloof, self sufficient, intelligent, analytical, consistent, well disciplined clean and well groomed.
Example: An obsessive-compulsive Border Collie with a perfect, smooth hair coat is a nice illustration of a Metal constitution.
Introverted or quiet, watchful, perhaps fearful, strongly driven, dislike of cold, heat-seeking.
Example: The Shih Tzu or Dachshund with large, intent eyes, hiding behind mom’s legs during a vet visit and then snapping due to fear, is demonstrating Water attributes.
Foods or herbs can be hot, warming, cold or cooling, dampening or damp draining. Many food energy charts have been devised, primarily based on oriental observation of humans.
Here are some examples of the various food types that might be suitable for each of the Five Elements.
Harmonizing foods – liver, green vegetables, cabbage, carrots, citrus fruits
Cooling and calming foods – heart, fish, broccoli, celery, mushrooms, turkey
Warming and drYing foods – tripe, lamb, chicken, ginger, sweet potato
Moistening and cooling foods – lung, duck, eggs, barley, tofu
Cooling and draining foods – quail, asparagus, lemon, celery; foods that nourish and warm the kidney – kidney, eggs, sweet potato
You may have seen foods categorized differently in other charts. Authors of these charts point out that there are many discrepancies and contradictions among charts.
They explain that this is due to lack of clarity in references with respect to the parts of plants being used, the environmental origin of plants, cultural differences in the preparation of vegetables and fruits, and today, changes and damage to plants due to the effects of pesticides, over-production and genetic modification.
That being said, the charts provide a very useful guideline. Remember, these are not black and white rules to follow; they’re merely suggestions to aid in the over-whelming options for food selection.
For example, my experience and success with manipulation of health utilizing my own resources has made me feel comfortable that the success will be repeatable, even though it may not agree with what another practitioner asserts.
If you have success with your own pet with a particular diet combination, kudos!
If it’s not helping, re-examine the signs. Don’t view it as a failure, but rather as a change from which to learn. Go back to the chart and choose some new foods. It is an ongoing journey to balance your pet’s Yin and Yang.