Traditional Chinese Medicine, Health, and Your Weight
by Julia Saejin Cho
I find it fascinating that people talk about different diets and exercise programs for weight loss all the time, yet they rarely talk about health… even when their primary reason for wanting to lose weight is closely linked to either health problems or health benefits (e.g. threat of diabetes, rising cholesterol levels, and other issues.)
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) operates from the presumption that health problems (including the inability to lose excess weight) are caused by energetic imbalances and organs that are not operating at optimal efficiency. From this perspective, your excess weight is best addressed through stimulating your organs and energetic meridians and then through modifying your diet and exercise regime: i.e by pursuing better health.
Tailor-Made Approach to Focus on Specific Needs
Have you ever wondered why one person loses weight and feels energised on a particular program, while their friends and relatives find the same program ineffective and exhausting? Well, the reason is that each person’s weight is affected by their overall health, so you won’t lose weight unless you address the specific areas of your body that are over-stimulated or under-stimulated.
Many people decide they need to lose weight and launch into a calorie-restricted diet and exercise program. A few of those people succeed in releasing their excess kilos and keeping them off, but most don’t see much success, so they start on series of diets and exercise programs either on their own or under supervision.
All that work. All that willpower. Often for very minimal, temporary and slight results.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for Weight Loss
What’s different about the TCM approach? Firstly, we view weight loss as a part of improving overall health, where weight loss isn’t the primary goal.
We look at each client as a unique individual and develop a tailor-made strategy that usually includes electro-acupuncture to provide maximum stimulation, Chinese herbal medicine that will support, stimulate or de-stress your affected organs and digestive function, dietary guidelines for your body-type, and exercise suggestions. Common causes of excess weight in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms are inflammation of the spleen, sluggish liver function, slow metabolism and stress. Your prescription will address all of these areas.
Picture of A Typical Weight Loss Plan at Bing’s Natural Health
Your weight loss process begins with an initial consultation and health assessment, so we can determine the primary cause of your weight gain or inability to lose weight. We usually see clients once-a-week and they may typically see results after 3-4 treatments, but please bear in mind that every individual is different. Our goal is to boost your metabolism (with herbs and electro-acupuncture), reduce or eliminate fluid retention, recommend foods that you should avoid as well as ones which you should increase, and suggest an exercise regime that appeals to your interests and lifestyle.
One general recommendation is to significantly reduce your consumption of simple carbohydrates as these not only increase cravings for unhealthy food, but also cause inflammation of the gut and other organs and contribute to fluid retention. Simple carbs that are added to processed foods include refined sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, glucose, fructose, sucrose and fruit juice concentrate. So try to avoid most soft drinks, baked treats, biscuits and breakfast cereals.
If you would like to read a scientific study on the effect of acupuncture therapy on health and weight, the following link suggests that electro-acupuncture may be helpful for weight reduction. Electro-acupuncture therapy for weight loss reduces serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in obese women.
Spiritual Weight Loss