Losing weight should not be done solely for vanity purposes, but for health and the prevention of diseases. Not only does obesity affect your appearance, but it also increases the risk of developing certain conditions such as diabetes, hyperlipidaemia, hypertension, arteriosclerosis (heart disease), fatty liver, infertility etc.
From TCM’s perspective, excess fats are mostly due to ‘dampness’ and ‘phlegm’ in the body. Our spleen oversees the transportation and transformation of food and our body fluids. Over time, due to inactivity and excessive intake of sweet, fried and greasy food, or even stress can result in stagnation of ‘qi’ and the spleen becomes less efficient in its function. As a result, ‘dampness’ and ‘phlegm’ accumulate and turn into fatty tissues.
The Common Body Types Prone to Weight Gain/ Obesity
1. DAMPNESS 痰湿体质
Signs & Symptoms: Abdomen bloating, water retention (more on lower limbs), lethargy, watery or sticky stools, prone to hyperlipidaemia
2. STAGNATION OF ‘QI’ 气滞体质
Signs & Symptoms: Stressed, easily frustrated or anxious, mood swings, dry mouth, disturbed sleep, body aches, a higher chance of developing hypertension
3. SPLEEN & KIDNEY DEFICIENCY 脾肾虚体质
Signs & Symptoms: Fatigue, cold hands and feet, water retention, abdomen bloating, backache, watery stools/ diarrhoea, prone to flu
How can TCM Help?
ACUPUNCTURE FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
• Helps in the circulation of ‘Qi’ and ‘Blood’ (stagnation of qi result in slow metabolism and excess fats)
• Reduces anxiety which helps curb emotional/ binge eating
• Releases dopamine to help reduce alcohol and calorie intake (low levels of dopamine tend to cause people to overindulge their hunger cravings)
• Increases metabolism with stimulation of acupressure points
• Reduces body aches and pain to allow regular exercise
• Improves digestion, reducing bloatedness
Self-help Tip: In addition to acupuncture, we can also use acupressure on the ears to suppress appetite and facilitate body metabolism daily.
CUPPING FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
• Gradually disintegrates saturated lipids
• Removes damp stagnation from body
• Improves circulation of ‘Qi’ and ‘Blood’
Depending on body types and individual condition, a customised herbal prescription can be given on a weekly basis in addition to TCM treatments.
Acupuncture and cupping work gradually most effective together with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy weight requires life-long effort and commitment. Self-motivation and patience are crucial to kick-start and sustain weight loss.