Food is medicine. So are herbs and supplements. The goal when we work together is that I help identify which foods and herbs, and/or supplements that will open the pathways so that your dog’s body starts to repair itself. And you would provide feedback as to if we are moving in the right direction because the answer ultimately lies in your dog.
Why Is This Important
Food has energetic patterns. A few of then include:
Temperature: It can warm or cool the body.
Directional: It can move blood or qi into or away from the center.
Targeted: It can target certain organs first and again, either warm or cool them or move blood into them or out of them.
Resolve stagnation: Certain ingredients are powerful enough to resolve stagnation or even dissolve phlegm.
And while in Chinese Medicine Food Therapy, we know the energetic qualities of food; we still need the feedback look to calibrate and ensure it is the right combination of ingredients for your dog.
Getting Qi or Blood Moving First
I don’t like the word “crisis”. In my mind, the correct name for this experience is that there is a “healing process”.
A step most people skip is that they fail to get things moving first. It may be that the dog’s circulation is low, or it may be they have stagnation in their belly.
Certain ingredients in food can improve blood flow or get the body to start having good bowel movements.
Oftentimes when I work with you, we work on food first.
Surprisingly the body will shift in the first months of these new recipes.
Food has energetic qualities, but they are not as powerful as herbs.
I like to get things moving with food first before herbs or supplements are introduced. This also means that this takes longer but you cannot grow a tree overnight and so you cannot heal a body overnight. We have to watch what unfolds.
What Does A Healing Crisis Look Like?
One thing to keep in mind is that a healing crisis doesn’t always have to be apparent. Some dogs do not go through this. They get better.
Some dogs will temporarily have loose stool, drink more water, or urinate more.
If the conditions/signs/symptoms worsen for longer than four days, you want to let me know or let your vet, nutritionist, or company you bought the supplements from know.
Lastly, the key thing after this temporary healing process is a period where the dog’s body seems and appears to be in a better state.
If they look worse, or act worse, or have a moodier demeanor, then it was probably the wrong healing method and the ingredients or the herbs and supplements need to be paused and re-evaluated.
Sometimes A New Condition Surfaces
Some ingredients, herbs, or supplements are directionally outward. They either move qi or blood to the surface.
This is a method used when we are trying to help move the allergic reactions out of the body.
But what if the weather patterns change, and what was thought of to be an allergy becomes hives or hot spots.
Both hives and hot spots indicate what we call in Chinese Medicine – Wind-Heat.
Any herbs, foods, or supplements that move things outwards will not help in this situation.
In this case, we need to pause the allergy herbs and then look to cool the body down and hydrate it.
The chances of us getting it wrong are quite high. Enter any Facebook group for any herbal protocol and you’ll often read people saying “my dog has been on this protocol for three months and nothing has changed”.
In those case those supplements are like having the wrong keys to open the lock. Time to put those down and try a different approach.
This is part of the process because every body is different.
Allowing The Body To Repair Itself
In Chinese Medicine we are not “treating” the symptoms we are identifying the root causes so that we can help guide the body to repair itself.
Food, herbs, and supplements either contribute to this healing journey or slow it down and sometimes may even send the body in the other direction.
As their dog parent, it is vitally important for you to develop a keen sense of observation. Ideally, you are attuned to the body’s whispers as opposed to waiting for a crisis actually to see what is going on.
The body has a remarkable ability to heal. We need to get out of the way and help to remove any obstacles in its path.
Wishing you and your dog good health.
Hannah Zulueta obtained her Certificate in Canine Nutrition from CASI Institute. She is also studying for her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.
She resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit, and Mr. Higgins.