PRC Elective: Chinese Dietary Therapy
Learn how to individualize diet plans according to body constitution, energetics, and seasonality.
Need to know
*Please note that many of the associations listed under ‘CEUs/PDAs’ do not formally pre-approve online courses for credits, and thus require the student to track their own online course hours to submit for approval for their annual CEU/PDA requirements.
Meet your course instructor
Gillian Marsollier | RAc, CCII
Gillian Marsollier has been a Registered Acupuncturist in British Columbia since 2001, and an instructor of acupuncture for more than 15 years. After completing a 4-year Masters Program in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, she began her teaching career in Newfoundland. There she wrote the bulk of the curriculum for a 3-year acupuncture program and served as the Acupuncture Program Director. Gillian was then transferred to Halifax, where she successfully gained approval by the Board of Education in Nova Scotia for an acupuncture program. In addition to teaching, she practiced at a very successful multi-faceted alternative treatment centre while residing on the East Coast. In 2008 Gillian went to Nepal to teach acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine modalities at a medical facility. They are still using the modalities to this day to treat the locals from the Himalayan hills. For the last 5 years, Gillian has been pursuing the media side of acupuncture and natural healing through the creation of LIFT Education Academy. Through this online education platform, she has created many popular courses including bootcamps that have become the national gold standard for preparation for TCM registration exams.
*This is a PRC-Approved credit course for on-campus students only. Please note that online PRC Electives taken through Pacific Rim College Online do not qualify for Student Loans.
Have you ever heard that it’s good for you to eat in moderation? Or that food can be cooling, or warming? Foods and food groups have their own specific temperature, flavour, and action, as well as affinities for certain organs. Chinese Dietary Therapy is a branch of Chinese Medicine that uses food as preventative and curative therapy. With a contemporary lens this course, led by Gillian Marsollier, explores the ancient foundational theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Chinese Dietary Therapy. Once the qualities of different foods are understood, dietary therapy can be applied to very specific disorders.
Food is medicine, and an integral part of most natural therapies is nutrition—also referred to as ‘food cures’. Since food is one of our primary sources of energy, it has a great potential to influence our health. To most effectively utilize the power of food, we must understand its nature and function.
Gillian Marsollier has been a Registered Acupuncturist in British Columbia since 2001 and an instructor of acupuncture for more than 15 years.
By the end of the course, you will be able to:
- Understand the basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
- Apply the TCM base knowledge to anyone
- Understand how to strengthen digestive energy in TCM and why it is so important
- Recognize which food groups will help various constitutions, and apply Chinese nutritional concepts
- Apply dietary advice to match thermal and energetic imbalances, and commonly seen conditions
- Learn how to create balanced and healing recipes
- Listen to actual clinical case studies to understand how to apply this knowledge therapeutically
- Welcome To The Course
This is where you’ll meet Gillian. She is your instructor for your Chinese Dietary course and she has 20+ years of experience with helping heal patients with diet. Here she will do an overview of what you will learn in this course.
- Chinese Dietary Guidebook
We aren’t messing around here. This guidebook is over 90-pages and will be dog-eared in no time! It’s an invaluable resource!
- Course Outline
From TCM foundations to understanding the digestive system and its needs, to recipes and case studies. These are just a few topics that we will cover, and this unit will fill you in on the whole deal.
- Foundations Introduction
This unit is the cornerstone of anyone looking to understand not only the energetics of the body, but also the energetics of everything. Gillian covers some fascinating groundwork to get you going in the course.
This isn’t just a symbol that you wear as jewellery! This is the root of duality and the reason that we see imbalances in the first place. Some deep thoughts will be discussed in this unit.
- Qi, Blood, Body Fluids
This is a necessary unit to understand if you are going to choose the correct foods for healing. Here Gillian will begin to teach you how the body can be in, and out of balance.
- The 8 Principles = Part I
What are these principles and why are they so key to choosing the correct foods for healing? This is what Gillian explores in this section.
- The 8 Principles = Part II
- You Jade Screen
A beautiful name for a common aspect of our well being. We’re sure you’ve heard of it, but here we’ll examine a different viewpoint.
- Thermal Natures Of Food
Did you know that lamb is considered hot and that spinach is very cold? Here Gillian will walk you through cold, cool, neutral, warm and hot foods. By this she doesn’t mean actual temperature; but rather the energetics of the food. This is a key aspect in TCM Dietary and is what helps to make this style of nutrition so powerful.
- The 5 Flavours – Introduction
Why does it matter if the nature of the food is bitter, pungent, salty, sweet or sour? Gillian explores the reasons and teaches you how to apply these concepts to individual constitution.
- The 5 Flavours – Part I
Did you know that the spicy flavour moves phlegm? Or that salty moistens? Learn the reasons in this unit.
- The 5 Flavours – Part II
Here you’ll learn how the most over-used flavour creates imbalance, and how the most under-used flavour can treat common conditions.
- Seasonal Eating – Part I
Did you know that salad in winter is not always beneficial, and sometimes a hot soup in summer is? These aren’t hard and fast rules, but here you’ll learn the key point to understand.
- Seasonal Eating – Part II
- Eating To Support Your Daily Rhythm
Certain times of day call for different kinds of food if you want to stay healthy. Here, Gillian will go over what these are.
- Diet For Each Generation
Each generation has their own nutritional needs. Gillian covers this in terms of food energetics.
- The 5 Elements
You may have heard about these, but do you know how they relate to your body energetics?
- Understanding The Healing Crisis
It sounds like an oxymoron, but it is a common happening that you must be able to recognize in yourself or others.
- Food Diary Challenge
Gillian calls on you to challenge yourself by writing down your diet for a week with your symptoms. After you complete the course, you can analyze your diet and you’ll know how to change it to find higher health!
- Spleen And Stomach Function
The spleen seems like a funny word until you hear about how powerful it is in TCM. This unit covers how TCM examines these two organs.
- How To Recognize Digestive Imbalance
In TCM, they say that there is no point in adjusting food for a patient if the digestion isn’t strong. Otherwise, the ‘perfect’ diet will not be absorbed.
- Balancing The Digestive System With Food
Gillian helps you to begin your investigation here. First, strengthen the digestion (if needed) using diet; second, match the diet to their individual constitution to improve their overall health.
- General TCM Patterns
In TCM, we see everyone as in a dynamic state of being. Different energies in different amounts. In this section, Gillian explores all the main energies so you can see where you fit in.
Here you will learn about how TCM views common sweeteners. We will also analyze the energetics in detail.
The same can be applied to salt. Here Gillian covers how TCM views salt, including a deeper look at the energetics of it.
- Common Condiments and Caffeine
Uh-oh. The Caffeine word. How does TCM view it? And what about ketchup?
Here you’ll learn why these are so important in a daily diet, who they benefit most, and the different types that you need to balance.
You’ve all heard about these foods by now. Here Gillian dives into the facts of gluten and wheat.
- Dairy And Dairy Products
Dairy is incredibly good for some, and incredibly detrimental to others. We’ll talk about dairy types and why there’s a difference.
- Energetic Properties Of General Food Groups
Knowing your food group energetics will get you 90% of the way there because individual foods within a group don’t have huge differences. Once you learn this, you can make big changes.
- Introduction + Root Vegetables
For this and the next 9 units, Gillian will be at the grocery store so you can get a visual lesson on how to shop and understand the energetics of your most common foods at the grocery.
- Cooler Vegetables
- Cold Vegetables + Peppers
- Common Chinese Vegetables
- Nuts And Seeds
- The Anatomy Of A Recipe
Here you will learn about the structure of using a recipe therapeutically. Amazingly, it’s very similar to creating an herbal formula.
- Creating Your Own Recipes
It is time to build your own recipes for healing and test yourself.
- Creating Your Own Recipes – Answer Key
How did you do? Did you see the imbalances in the previous unit?
- Diet For Common Conditions – Part I
A mix of classical and modern recipes, these 4 units will take you through common ailments from A-Z including high blood pressure, skin issues, diabetes and many more. These are useful and easy recipes, so listen closely.
- Diet For Common Conditions – Part II
- Diet For Common Conditions – Part III
- Diet For Common Conditions – Part IV
There is a way to unleash the energy in your food in a powerful way, and that is through fermentation. Learn how to make some common fermented products from many different cultures.
- Cultured Dairy Products
If you cannot eat dairy, there is a possibility that you can eat cultured dairy. Have a closer look in this unit.
- Soaking Pulses And Grains
Similar to fermentation, this is a great way to start unleashing the energetic properties of these foods.
- What Diet Therapy Really Looks Like
Once you’ve learned all this information, you’re probably very excited to help others. Here we’ll look at the reality of using diet as therapy.
- Modifying Diets In The Clinic
Not all patients are going to be happy about a diet change! Learn some hints and tricks to helping patients with compliancy.
- Modifying Diets At Home
So, how do you cook for a few people and individualize diet? Is it possible?
- Case 1: Diabetes, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure
These next few units are a deep analysis of actual clinical patient situations, diet changes, and results. This is where you’ll see all the knowledge come into play!
- Case 2: Severe Allergies
- Case 3: Edema And Exhaustion
- Case 4: Common Cold
- Case 5: Fatigue, Depression, Dry Skin
- Case 6: Post-Surgery Vomiting
- Case 7: Fruitarian
- 2 Key Charts To Laminate
These charts will be your greatest reference tools once you’ve completed this course!
- Shi Liao Overview (Advanced Chinese Nutrition)
Your next step in diet therapy will be to analyze each individual food as you would an herb. Remember that understanding the food group is most of the work, but here we’ll take a look at what part II has in store.
Students are saying…
“Really enjoyed this course. It covered the basics and was well-taught and presented in a way one could easily understand and apply in their practice or everyday life.”
“Excellent, will give anyone with an interest in TCM dietary therapy a good basis to build on. As a TCM practitioner, I think this information should be part of the general TCM course and not only an elective study. This information is important not only from a therapist’s point of view but can also help the layperson understand how they can help maintain their own health.”
“Excellent. Loved it, really engaging and informative.”
“Excellent course, loved it, highly recommended! Gillian is amazing at explaining concepts.”
“I thought the teachings were of good quality. I enjoyed the class, especially learning how to apply the knowledge to different cases.”
“Very high quality, I thought it was very nice and informative. The instructor, Gillian, was well-read and an excellent and engaging teacher. I could tell she is passionate about whole food healing! The list of foods on the temperature chart, the grocery store video guide, and the book recommendation at the beginning were some very helpful tools, and the information on the flavours of food was also indispensable!”
“Very informative, very clear. Highly recommend!”
“I really liked it! Lots of useful information. I really enjoyed the format and information presented with the videos and printed material combo and sharing case studies.”
“I think [this course] is perfect. I wanted to broaden my TCM knowledge in all possible ways, and the courses at PRCO is a very nice place to do this. Very concentrated, informative and motivating.”
“Top-notch. The material was detailed yet easy to digest, which allowed me to build a foundation in TCM diet therapy that I will explore and apply in a clinical setting.”
“This is a solid introduction to Chinese food therapy; it is well constructed and presented, high-quality teaching. The guidebook and video/audio are very helpful.”
“What a fantastic course! Extremely well organized and presented, with useful reference materials and an excellent textbook. As an RHN without acupuncture/other TCM training this was an exciting new way of looking at how foods heal.”
“Best online course I have ever taken! I am a former chef and am very passionate about the healing powers of food. It was very informative, easy to understand and provided information I can definitely use in my practice.”
“Very well presented, wonderful presenter/teacher! Everything was useful, but the 10 case examples really put it into practice.”
“I’m interested in nutrition and have found TCM useful for myself when I’ve had health problems, so I thought it would be interesting to learn for my own personal benefit. It was informative and really interesting, I like that I can go back to re-listen to lessons because I know I haven’t quite grasped the concepts yet.”
“Brilliant work! The course materials surpassed my expectations. Great audio and videos to follow along with. Very easy to understand and follow. Well done, Gillian! Continue sharing your wisdom throughout the world—all the best to you, your students and current/future clients.”
“I found the course to be extremely helpful in clarifying what a healthy diet is for specific cases and individuals, giving explanation to why one man’s meat is another man’s poison.”
“It was great! Thank you for offering this course; I have been looking for a while to learn more about TCM diet therapy and was very happy that I found this class online.”
“Excellent especially for someone who doesn’t know much on the matter including non-TCM participants as it gives a great overview of TCM. A knowledgeable professor who is generous with the information she has gathered over 20 years.”
“Really impressed with this course, it was my first course taken from PRCO! Most useful was how to approach treatment of patients and the in depth detail of each food property.”
“A very Comprehensive Dietary Therapy course. Online delivery, flexible time frame useful. I’m a mum of two little kids & a practitioner. After maternity leave I wanted to revisit, refresh and review my existing knowledge of TCM Dietary Therapy with the intention to focus on prescribing more dietary therapy in clinic. Very impressed.”
“I loved this course! It make complete sense to me! I’ve been journaling what I’m eating & writing down how I am feeling, mood, energy, etc. It’s been a very eye opening experience for me. My boyfriend and sister are showing big interest in what I am learning and both would like to take it too.”
“Life-altering. Loved it! Gillian is amazing! This course has already helped me so much in my own life, and I plan on going through every part multiple times.”
“Everyone should take this course. It’s a wonderful view of a healthy way to eat.”
“I am very interested in diet therapy, and currently completing my Diploma of Acupuncture and it was not included in my coursework. Very impressed with the material and very useful to go through the different health conditions.”
“As a Nurse, I found this course great for my continuing education! Loved the instructors attitude and energy. This course gives tons of practical and applicable knowledge.”
“I appreciated how enthusiastic Gillian was and knowledgeable. Her clinical insights and examples made the material easier to assimilate. Grateful for the program, the ease of the online learning platform and the quality of the videos/recordings and materials “
“Highest quality, excellent material and informatively delivered. Met my expectations and exceed them.”
“I really enjoyed this course and Gillian’s teaching style. It’s clear she is incredibly knowledgeable and I found the course very engaging. I felt it was a good mix of being very useful for an acupuncturist and it also for the average person who doesn’t have TCM training. I appreciate the guidebook, as well as having lifetime access”
“Gillian is smart, articulate, and I particularly appreciate her compassion for people who may be in wildly different headspaces depending on their health status. Many instructors love to impress with their knowledge of hard-to-find ingredients, so I appreciated the fact that this course is based on food in my grocery store.”
“Excellent. Loved it! I’ve been practicing acupuncture for almost a decade, and this is one of my favourite courses; I can’t wait for the next one.”
“I really enjoyed this course! It provides in-depth information on how to heal patients via food and TCM. Gillian explains very well, so that you don’t even feel you’re studying.”
“I am very happy with this course and positively surprised by the quantity and quality of the materials. It is a very extensive, interestingly explained and well-arranged course.”
Please note, this elective course is for PRC Campus students only.