Nutrition and Dietary center

The development of the food industry has deeply affected human's dietary habit such as the increased consumption of food with a greater amount of fat and sugar. Along with a more sedentary work and lifestyle, chronic diseases such as obesity and cardiovascular diseases are becoming the main cause of disability and death all over the world.

In the view of Traditional Chinese Medicine, diet is considered to be the first line of defense to any health problems and diseases. A balanced diet should include all essential nutrients and the lack of any in the long run could lead to deficiency disease. Every food and herbs have one of the following nature: hot, cold, warm, cool and neutral. Besides, the taste of the food is usually associated with certain healing properties. For instance, bitter food has the nature of drying and cold, which help with damp heat conditions. Many of the bitter food or herbs also have properties similar to antibiotics. Both the nature and taste affect bodies' physiological system and the functioning of internal organs.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, diet should also be adjusted in accordance with individual's condition. For example a person who has Yang Deficiency symptoms, such as cold limbs and pale urine, should consume more nourishing and warming food (Yang). On the other hand, a person with Yin Deficiency symptoms such as dry mouth and eyes and insomnia, should avoid consumer food which may over stimulate the Yang energy. The balance in the diet should eventually help balance the Yin and Yang of the body, which works the same when applying herbal medicines in treatment diseases.

In addition, different tastes have affinities with certain organs of the body in accordance with five elements theory. For example, a person with Kidney deficiency may take a little salt along with herbal medicine to tonify the Kidney. On the other hand, internal organs also have inverse relationship with each other. A patient with Liver disease is restricted on spicy food because spicy has an affinity with the Lung and stronger Lung could further weaken the Liver.

Spleen is often considered in the diagnosis and treatment in majority of disorders. As the foundation of digesting system, Spleen is the primary organ in the production of Qi and Blood. Any food which benefits the Spleen would benefit the overall health regardless of the condition.

At the Nutrition and Dietary Centre, we help patients with various health problems through dietary advice and essential Chinese herbal medicine. At the college clinic, individuality is largely considered and emphasized. From health strengthening and maintenance, to chronic conditions and diseases, we always have treatment plans tailored to each patient's specific needs.

Dr. Colton Oswald, Director, Department of Nutrition and Diet

Dr. Colton OswaldDr. Oswald received his certificate of clinical practice in Chinese Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine from WHO Acupuncture Training Center in Nanjing, China, in 1999 and became a registered acupuncturist in Alberta upon his return. Dr. Oswald graduated from the International College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Victoria, BC in 1999. He also received B.A. degree from the University of Calgary in 1995.


Dr. Oswald began teaching at the Alberta College of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in 2001. His passion for all facets of Oriental medicine keeps him studying and researching to improve his skills and understanding. This interest has lead him to pursue advanced training in fields such as pulse diagnosis and auricular medicine. His areas of teaching include TCM Diagnostics, Herbology, Tui Na, External medicine, TCM Gynecology and Pediatrics and Intern Clinic Supervision.

Aside from teaching and his duties at the college, Dr. Oswald maintains a private practice and enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, and studying Asian martial arts, of which he has been a lifelong practitioner.