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Internal Medicine

Weight Loss with TCM

Struggling to keep to a healthy weight? Perhaps there is a more fundamental issue that needs to be addressed. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long been used to support weight loss by taking a holistic approach and looking at excess weight as a symptom of a greater health problem.

TCM Views Fat as Excess Dampness

In TCM, fats are viewed as dampness or phlegm. This dampness is believed to accumulate due to overconsumption of sweet, greasy and processed food which in turn damages the Spleen function. Spleen plays an important role in turning food into energy and getting rid of excess body fluids. However, when Spleen function is compromised, it fails to move and transform waste fluids and foods. Instead, these excess wastes will gather, collect and transform into dampness which will congeal into phlegm and become “fat”.

3 Body Types Responsible for Weight Gain

  1. Spleen Weakness and Stomach Heat
    Over consumption of heavy, greasy and spicy foods or alcohol causes heat to accumulate in the stomach. The heat digests food faster and causes you to eat more, however at the same time the Spleen is overloaded and unable to function properly. As a result, excess metabolic products turn into dampness and phlegm which take up as extra weight on your body.
  2. Liver Qi Stagnation
    For those who are under emotional stress, the Liver fails to regulate Qi (energy) flow. When this smooth flow of Qi is obstructed, blood flow is affected too. This sluggish flow of Qi can block organ meridians, block blood flow and impede damp clearance which result in weight gain. Managing stress and letting go of unnecessary emotion is also crucial when it comes to weight management.
  3. Kidney Yang Deficiency
    Kidney is the fundamental root of all Yin and Yang. Yang is the warmth and the energy that keep the metabolism active. When Kidney Yang is deficient, fluids are not metabolized efficiently and fluid retention may occur. Body metabolism slows down and makes it difficult to lose weight.

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

It is a common misconception that acupuncture is used to “poke” fats away. Acupuncture works in a holistic way and does not work as a spot reduction treatment. It has a cumulative effect on your whole body to reduce cravings and appetite and curve your hunger hormones. By addressing the different underlying patterns, the treatment aims to restore the body’s natural balance and improve metabolism to shed excess weight.

It is never too late to kick start your weight loss journey. Losing weight can improve your blood lipid levels, decrease internal inflammation, improve gut health and boost your confidence too. At Thomson Chinese Medicine, our physicians are committed to work together and support you in succeeding at weight loss.

What to Expect

The session will start with a detailed consultation and checking of the tongue and pulse. Based on your body type, acupuncture points will be selected on the stomach area, arms and legs and left for 30 minutes. The stimulation will help to boost your metabolism, get rid of fluid retention and improve your digestive functions that will support weight loss. Other ear acupuncture such as the “Hunger Point” helps to suppress appetite and “Shen Men” to calm the mind, can also be added to enhance the effect. The treatment time is 60 minutes.

Weight loss acupuncture is generally safe and effective for most people. This treatment is not suitable for those who have just given birth or are having heavy menses.

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