Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) answers.
‘Lady’ Colleen Heller CHT
So, why is obesity now a becoming an epidemic in developed countries?
The problem is that it’s against our nature to limit calories. We instinctively eat more than we need to. This ‘gift’ has been passed down from our hunter-gatherer ancestors, from a time when there wasn’t a drive-thru window available. We also tend to eat in excess due to our modern lifestyles, chronic stress, and other psychological ‘triggers’.
Going to Extremes ~ Drastic Measures!
Fad diets ask you to eat an unnatural and unhealthy diet, such as a meal plan of cabbage soup or pineapples or rice or no carbs. They may work the short term because of the low caloric intake, but there is absolutely no way you can keep it up. Your body and mind will rebel and take revenge for putting it on such a restrictive regimen rather than providing whole food and a whole diet with proper nutrients. Instinctively, your body will crave food and gorge, filling up, terrified of and preparing for the next starvation by packing on the fat for stored energy.
Eating an unnatural and highly restrictive diet can cause yo-yo dieting with drastic ups and downs in body weight. Improper diet practices can also cause malnutrition, organ damage, slow metabolic rate, and imbalances within the body.
Weight Loss According to TCM
The root of excess weight is an imbalance within the body caused by malfunctioning of the spleen and liver organ systems.
In five-element theory, the spleen is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive system, ensuring that the food we eat is transformed into Qi (pronounced Chi) the vital substance of life. Disharmony of the spleen will have symptoms such as fatigue, slow metabolism, water retention, loose stool, and a feeling of heaviness.
The liver’s job is to keep the flow of your body’s Qi and blood (as well as your emotions) running smoothly. Our modern, fast-past life style and chronic stress can negatively impact the liver’s ability to function properly and smoothly, which in turn can cause the spleen and the whole digestive system to function poorly and decrease your metabolism. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the ‘triggers’ that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.
A comprehensive therapy for weight issues rooted in TCM promotes better digestion, addresses the psychological and physiological aspects of weight loss, smoothes emotions, reduces appetite, improves metabolism and eliminates food cravings.
Backed by research
From a Western perspective, TCM has been shown to a have an effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings, and metabolism. All of these influences can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.
Acupuncture/ acupressure are powerful tools for healthy weight loss, by itself or as a supportive treatment in conjunction with other weight management programs. In the struggle to eat less and expend more energy, you may find that this is just what was needed to overcome cravings, boost energy, enhance your metabolism, and increase your willpower to succeed!