Dietary considerations have always held central importance in Chinese medicine. Sun Si Miao, the great Tang dynasty physician, advised doctors to tend first to their patient's diet  and lifestyle  before considering other forms of intervention. He considered diet a precious opportunity for safeguarding good health and preventing disease. Diet has held center stage in Chinese medicine ever since.
By adjusting a patient's diet, it is possible to influence the dynamics of yin and yang. This allows the Traditional Chinese Medicine  practitioner to use foods and other substances to help a patient maintain health and prevent disease, as well as to treat disharmonies when they occur.
It is very common for a practitioner to educate patients on how to use food. Dietary advice is always individualized according to the patient's age, sex, and constitution, pattern diagnosis, activity level, environment, and the season of the year.