About Dr. Charles Moss

drmossCharles A. Moss, MD, is a pioneer in the use of therapeutic nutrition in medicine. Since 1978 he has helped his patients regain health and manage their weight through dietary changes that reduce maladaptation (the long-term elevation of cortisol and other stress hormones that increases the risk for chronic disease). He has focused on nutritional therapy since his days in medical school in the late 1960s, when he embarked on a personal exploration of the effect of diet on health.

Over the past thirty years, through a combination of nutritional medical therapies, environmental medicine, and traditional acupuncture, he has successfully treated thousands of patients with the illnesses of maladaptation that include obesity, fatigue, chronic pain, headaches, allergies, digestive disorders, asthma, arthritis, anxiety, and depression.

Dr. Moss attended the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and completed a residency in preventive medicine and family practice at the University of Arizona School of Medicine in 1978. While in Tucson he developed the first holistic health course in the United States for medical students and residents.

In 1978 he established one of the first holistic health medical clinics in the United States. The Moss Center for Integrative Medicine in La Jolla, CA, is the oldest practice of its kind in San Diego. His unique approach to stress induced and chronic medical problems has attracted patients from all over the United States, Mexico, and Europe. The clinic was the subject of the book Caring and Responsibility by June Lowenberg, PhD, published in 1989. She researched the groundbreaking methods that he employed as a model for holistic health practice. This book is used as a text in several universities in departments of health policy studies.

Dr. Moss utilizes traditional Five Element acupuncture in his practice. He studied with J. R. Worsley in England in the 1970s and was the first American physician to combine the Five Element system with other areas of holistic health practices. He was an instructor at the UCLA School of Medicine Medical Acupuncture for Physicians postgraduate program, and in 1988 founded the Five Element Acupuncture Physician Training Program, which has trained physicians from throughout the United States and several foreign countries.

Dr. Moss is board certified in medical acupuncture, environmental medicine, and family medicine, and is a Fellow of both the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture. He has served on the board of directors of the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and the American Board of Medical Acupuncture. He is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American College for Advancement in Medicine.

In addition to The Adaptation Diet, Dr. Moss is the author of Power of the Five Elements; The Chinese Medicine Path to Healthy Aging and Stress Resistance, which details how to improve adaptation and maintain health through knowledge of a person’s unique Five Element adaptation type and mind body medicine.

Dr. Moss resides in San Diego County with his wife. His two sons live in Southern California. He continues to practice in La Jolla and teach physicians at medical conferences throughout the United States and abroad.

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During my thirty-five years of practice, I have seen the remarkable effects diet can have on reducing stress and regulating cortisol levels. I first became aware of the impact of diet on health when I was in medical school in the late 1960s. What I learned came not from my professors (in 1969 there was no instruction on nutrition; even today there still is little taught) but from personal research my classmates and I performed. I had been eating a standard American diet (SAD) heavy on meat, cheese, bread, and sweets. It left me a bit overweight and very sluggish. When my roommates and I decided to adopt a macrobiotic diet (a Westernized application of a traditional Asian diet popularized by Michio Kushi), my life changed. 

Our version of the macrobiotic diet included brown rice, cooked vegetables, tofu, fish, and chicken. There was no red meat, sweets, fruits, sweeteners, dairy, corn, or wheat. The results were remarkable—I lost weight effortlessly, my energy improved, I was more relaxed, and I felt mentally sharper. Aches and pains disappeared, and my digestion improved as well. It was then that my orientation toward what I was being taught in medical school changed. I realized, as Hippocrates said, that food is your best medicine, and that I would have to teach myself how best to help my patients. My practice today is consistent with that personal epiphany in 1969. 

Current research demonstrates convincingly that diet contributes to 35 percent of all cancers and the majority of heart disease. The standard American diet not only is implicated in these chronic diseases but is the biggest factor in premature aging. Not appreciated, however, is the mechanism by which diet directly causes maladaptation and cortisol dysregulation. To counteract the maladaptive effects of eating habits, I developed the Adaptation Diet, a template to regain adaptation and robust health. Every aspect of the Adaptation Diet is aimed at cortisol regulation and reduction of allostatic load, leading to weight loss, enhanced well-being, and disease prevention. 



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