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Rest & Digest by Sondra Samos

Many years ago when I was feeling ill, my Japanese friend (who was living with me at the time), said she would make some healing food for me. She made “congee”, a thin, soupy porridge made from rice, which is very easy to digest. In many cultures this type of food is recommended during an illness, so digestion of heavy foods will not detract from the body’s healing process. The congee was so comforting and soothing to eat that I started to feel better immediately.

As I healed, the thought occurred to me that I might some day open a bed & breakfast (which I would name “Rest and Digest”) where one could receive healthy, healing foods and also get Shiatsu!

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is intended to maintain health, and prevent and cure disease, not just fill the belly. Western culture is moving slowly in this direction, but TCM has thousands of years of wisdom about nutrition as a healing force. Chinese Medicine focuses on bringing balance to the body through the bodies ability to heal itself through nutrition, herbs, bodywork and exercise. Recommendations for specific types, and manner of preparing foods, are made for certain conditions.

 As an example, for headaches due to common cold or flu, congee made with garlic and green onions is recommended. You should eat this while it is hot, then get under blankets and sweat. Other recommendations include: green tea; ginger tea boiled with green onions (drink and allow the body to sweat).

If you are interested in more information about the energetic properties of Chinese nutrition and healing, pick up a copy of “The Tao of Nutrition” by Maoshing Ni, Ph. D., O.M.D., and Cathy McNease, B.S., Dipl. C.H. It is a very readable description of the energetic and healing properties of common foods. You can also look up an ailment and find the foods (and preparation methods) helpful in restoring health.

There is something empowering about knowing there are relatively simple things you can do to heal yourself, and hopefully avoid a trip to the doctor!

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