The Three Free Therapies

Despite its inherent challenges, the current world health situation presents a great opportunity to enhance our state of personal health and wellbeing.  Most of us have needed to shuffle our schedules to adapt to the new social distancing regulations. Many of us are spending more time in our homes.  Slight adjustments or additions to our self-care at home can help us develop some great habits going forward. Each of these three free therapies addresses body, mind, and spirit from the holistic approach of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

1. Exercise

  • While prioritizing social distancing protocols, getting some regular exercise is essential in maintaining health by helping our Liver Energy system do its job: maintain proper flow of Energy, Blood and Emotions in the body.  Chinese medicine generally recommends a moderate amount of exercise: 30 minutes, 3 times per week. The rest is negotiable and varies, as does everything else, according to individual constitution. It is also important to note that excessive exercise consumes Lung and Heart Qi, so moderation is the key.
  • If you have access to a home cardio machine, please do your exercise inside. If not, find a venue where you are able to maintain proper social distance while getting in your much needed, blood-pumping, sweat inducing exercise. Many personal trainers are offering virtual training sessions that can be done from the comfort and safety of our homes. Does yours?

2. Relaxation

What a great time to solidify / develop / begin your meditation practice!!  Here’s an easy way to begin:

  • A fundamental practice in maintaining health and balance is a good but simple meditative technique: breathing. The goal is to get into one’s breath – don’t try to alter it, or change it, just visualize and feel it going in and out of the lungs – for 20 minutes per day.  This takes us out of our heads and into our bodies, helping mitigate the harmful effects of stress.
  • In TCM, a healthy body relies on a relaxed Liver, which regulates the flow of Qi, Blood and Emotions in the body. Stress impacts the Liver’s ability to maintain good flow of Qi, leading to imbalances in all Organs’ energetic systems. Putting one’s awareness into the breath allows the Lung Energy system to help restore the Liver’s rhythm, and proper flow is restored.
  • Start out by setting aside 5 minutes every day. If the mind wanders away from the breath after only 10 seconds, notice it and bring it back. Remember, it’s called a ‘practice’ for a reason. Do this for 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, working your way to 20 minutes.
  • 20 minutes may seem like a long time that you can’t afford. Consider that you can’t afford not to practice.  
  • More advanced meditation techniques involve developing the awareness of the movement of Qi in the Channels and Chakras. A relatively simple technique is to imagine what is termed the Micro-cycle Orbit of Qi. Qi pooled in the area just below the navel is pulled down around the sacrum and up the spine to the top of the head during the inhale. During the exhale, follow the Qi down the front midline of the body back to the same area just below the navel.
  • Get to 20 minutes a day for a month and you won’t recognize yourself.

3. Diet

Once again, eating more home cooked meals provides a great opportunity to let food be your medicine. Chinese medicine speaks of a ‘Clear Bland Diet’, the description of which closely resembles our common anti-candida diets. To keep it simple:

  • Consume all types of food in moderation when in a state of good health.
  • Generally, avoid the excessive consumption of greasy, deep-fried, sweet, or raw foods. These tend to hamper the Spleen’s ability to extract the pure energies and excrete the impure energies from our diet, leading to Dampness, the symptoms of which often closely resemble the effects of excessive Candida albicans and excessive weight gain.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of spicy foods and alcohol as these lead to an imbalance of the Liver energy system.
  • Avoid excessive consumption of salty foods as these lead to imbalances in the Kidney energy system.
  • New research on nutrition recommends limiting our intake of animal derived protein and increasing our intake of whole food, plant-based items. 
  • It may be necessary to adopt a more rigorous and exclusive diet when managing existing health imbalances. It is often difficult to reverse such imbalances with diet changes alone; a TCM herbal protocol is recommended.  Consult with your TCM doctor for more information.

When life gives us lemons, make lemonade! Let’s keep up the good work out there, flattening, bending, crushing the curve.

If you would like to book an appointment with Dr. Peter Wood, Dr. TCM, R.Ac., contact us at