|Traditional Chinese Medicine is about achieving balance between the yin & the yang.
One of the ways that Chinese physicians diagnose is by feeling the different pulses in the body and seeing how deep, fast & strong they are. They will also look at your tongue, and ask lots of questions about how your body is functioning. Some of the questions may seem to have no relevance to the problem you’re consulting them about.
Imbalances can be treated with acupuncture, herbs, food & Tai Chi like exercises. All foods are either heating (stimulating), cooling (calming) or neutral, & have other special properties. Some experts differ on the properties of some specific foods, but a general rule of thumb is the darker the food, the warmer it is. (see update below the chart)
Without the guidance of an experienced Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, you couldn’t use this as a form of medicine. But it can be useful for fine tuning your eating on occasions. If you are feeling cold within yourself, increase the warming foods you are eating and decrease the cooling foods. Vice versa, if you are feeling overheated.
UPDATE – I received the following in an email from Dan “Cooling foods can be calming, but if you eat too many of them, they can make one extremely tense, agitated, and anxious, even fearful and paranoid.” Remember that Traditional Chinese Medicine is all about balance. If you are overheated, you are aiming to cool your system to bring you back into balance. It is definitely not recommended to keep eating yin foods till your system becomes cold. Also remember that this page is a very brief overview. I recommend seeing an experienced practitioner if you feel you can be helped this way. Or there are many good books on the subject. Dan suggests The Chinese System of Food Cures: Prevention and Remedies by Henry C. Lu.