Chinese Medicine for Weight Loss

By Cheryl Blankenship, LAc. /

Chinese Medicine for Weight Loss

Finding the motivation to start or stick with a weight loss program can seem overwhelming, but using a multi-faceted program is a good approach. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine address system imbalances that can cause weight gain and create hurdles in achieving a healthy weight with effective tools to control appetite, improve digestion, knock out unhealthy food cravings, increase energy, and decrease bloating.

When the spleen cannot efficiently break down food, an excess of body fluid or mucus results. This is a condition known as dampness. Damp conditions also interfere with how well nutrients are extracted from food. Without proper nutrition, the body is unable to provide energy to its cells and in comes the onset of fatigue. Moreover, dampness causes stomach distention and interferes with digestion. If you can imagine how heavy and difficult your footsteps would be while trudging through knee-high thick mud, you can begin to see how unwieldy a debilitated digestive system can become.  

chinese medicine weight loss

The Spleen channel enjoys regularity. Aim to have meals around the same time every day. Balancing the Spleen and Stomach channels will correct energy imbalances throughout the digestive system and result in a physical shift toward more natural energy and fewer food cravings.

Each acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatment is customized to your needs and focuses on overall well-being, with the objective of correcting imbalances, increasing circulation, stimulating metabolism, and calming the nervous system. Techniques and points vary and are chosen, each session, based on the symptoms or triggers you are experiencing at that time. For instance, you may need help addressing a desire to overeat during your menstrual cycle or increased stress one week.  

Deep breathing with visualization can strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but healing foods and exercises can definitely enhance the results.

Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are powerful tools for achieving a healthy weight, by itself or as a supportive treatment for other weight management programs.

imbalances chinese medicine
Identifying Imbalances Through Cravings

It's a challenge to eat healthy when there is junk food readily available. It only takes a single glimpse or thought of a sweet treat or salty, savory snack for a ravenous craving to kick in.

Over time, these binges, if not controlled, can lead to weight gain, fatigue, muddled thinking, and moodiness, to name a few.

According Chinese medicine, a balanced meal consists of foods that represent all five tastes—sweet, sour, bitter, salty, pungent. Each taste corresponds with a specific organ channel. By understanding their connection, you can move toward maintaining a healthy appetite.

The five tastes are:

Pungent

Associated with the Lung and Large Intestine pungent tastes include the dry, hot taste found in garlic, ginger, and onions needed to help the lungs properly circulate energy throughout the whole body.

Sweet
Sweet tastes are associated with the stomach and spleen. Fruits, sweet potatoes, and some vegetables like carrots aid in digestion and reduce the toxicity of all foods.

Sour
Liver and Gall Bladder are associated with sour tastes. Sour foods, like pickles or vinegar, help your body metabolize fats better.

Bitter
The bitter taste found in dark chocolate, radish, and bitter gourd removes excess heat from the Heart and Small Intestine helping them function better and pacify negative emotions.

Salty
The salty taste associated with the Kidney and Bladder has a big impact on moistening hard bowels and regulating their movements.

Curbing your cravings takes knowing which system is out of whack. If there is an intense hankering for sweet and salty, this implicates the Spleen, Stomach, Kidney, and Urinary Bladder. The desire for rich, fatty foods can be traced back to the Liver and Gall Bladder.

Since the Spleen and Stomach are associated with obsession, which can certainly be the case in an inability to restrain oneself from devouring all cookies and chips in the kitchen, these are usually the culprit behind every craving. An acupuncture treatment typically includes points to help bolster a sluggish Spleen and other lagging organs.

If you want to learn more about Cheryl or her practice, visit her website Island Acupuncture & Massage.

Cheryl Blankenship, LAc., is a North Carolina-based acupuncturist practicing at Island Acupuncture & Massage. She received her Masters Degree of Oriental Medicine from the Florida College of Integrative Medicine in 2001. She offers patients a holistic approach to wellness, taking the best that traditional Chinese medicine has to offer and combining it with effective modern approaches.

Related Articles

Older Post Newer Post


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

My Dao Labs