Weight Loss with Tradition Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture can help you lose weight by curbing your appetite, boosting your metabolism, detoxifying, burning fat, and strengthening your digestive system. It also greatly reduces stress by relaxing the body and calming the mind. It is important to note that acupuncture is not a quick fix to weight loss but, instead, a safe long term treatment aimed at addressing the underlying cause of your weight gain. Once your body’s imbalances are improved, you will be healthier and able to lose weight and keep it off more easily.
Acupuncture enhances your efforts to lose weight. It is an important piece of your regime which must also include healthy dietary changes and exercise. Many people say that they eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise yet they still are gaining weight and/or cannot lose weight. Acupuncture is particularly beneficial for these people since it addresses the underlying imbalances causing the slow down in metabolism.
How Does it Work?
Decreases appetite and cravings: Acupuncture stimulates endorphin release and promotes a relaxing a calming effect on the body. A specific ear acupuncture point is proven effective to decrease appetite and cravings.
Regulates metabolism: Endocrine and thyroid glands are stimulated with acupuncture to boost the metabolism, as well as increase in blood circulation.
Detoxification: The elimination of metabolic toxins is stimulated by acupuncture through increased blood circulation and with the use Chinese herbs.
Strengthens digestive system: Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are superior treatments for any digestive system imbalance. A proper functioning digestive system is crucial for the absorption of vital nutrients and for the proper elimination of waste. Healthy weight can only be achieved when one’s digestive system is completely harmonized.
Increases energy: Acupuncture unblocks and moves stuck, congested, and stagnant energy. When this energy is released, it gives the body more vitality and a heightened sense of well being.
Burns fat: Specific Acupuncture points and Chinese herbs, Zao Jiao (Fructus Gleditsiae), Lu Cha (Folium Camellia Sinensis), and Ji Xue Cao (Herba Centellae) are used to speed up the breakdown of fatty tissues.
TCM Theory on Obesity
There are physiological and psychological reasons that affect the body’s metabolic functions. Certain genetic and endocrine disorders, medications, or psychiatric disorders also influence weight gain. In Chinese Medicine, being overweight is due to an accumulation of dampness and phlegm. This can occur due to declining functions of the spleen and kidney energy networks caused by stress, lack of exercise, and poor dietary habits.
Increasing physical activity cannot be overstated since the number one reason for obesity is inactivity. The human body was not designed to be sedentary. It was designed for physical activity as our ancestors were hunters and gatherers.
Emotions and stress also play an important role in weight management. During stressful events, our hormonal systems release certain hormones which slow down the metabolism and promote the storage of fat. This mechanism worked out perfectly for our hunter and gatherer ancestors, while being chase by prey, to have their digestive functions slow or shut down. This fight or flight response enabled them to conserve energy as well protect their bodies from harm. Presently our stressful lifestyles are contributing to an epidemic of obesity. Weight gain is promoted when we experience a constant state of stress and anxiety.
In the beginning, to initiate the re-balancing process, 2 treatments per week are recommended for the first 2 weeks. Treatments can then be decreased to 1x per week until you begin to lose weight and are on track to achieving your weight loss goals. Once you are comfortable with your progress, treatments are decreased to 1-2 treatments per month. After your weight loss goals are achieved, regular maintenance treatments either monthly or quarterly (every 3 months with the change of the seasons) are important in order to keep your metabolism boosted and to keep your body healthy and balanced. These maintenance treatments greatly reduce to chances of rebound weight gain if a return to your former lifestyle, which led them to gain weight, occurs.
Commonly used acupuncture points used for weight loss:
Decrease appetite point: located on the tragus of the ear
Liv 3: Moves liver energy
SJ5: Promotes a free flow of bodily fluids
SP 9: Drains excess dampness from the body
LI4: Increases circulation, benefits the large intestine, boosts immunity
ST 40: Resolves phlegm and dampness