Lose Weight The Healthy Way

To talk about weight loss we first need to talk about weight gain. Too often we are told that less calorie intake and more exercise are the solution to shedding the pounds and although this helps, it is not the full solution.



According to the theory of Acupuncture, cravings and mood play a huge part in the reasons behind weight gain. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) we work to reduce your cravings and eliminate destructive habits by re-balancing your body system. Once this is done, you have the motivation to chose a healthier diet and the extra  energy required to do the necessary exercise.

To explain further - there are 14 main channels (meridians) running through your body and each of these channels link with an inner organ with limbs and trunks where hundreds of acupoints are located. If you are experiencing weight gain then you have a blockage in either the Spleen, Stomach, Liver or Heart Channel. To explain further I will discuss each of these channels and the effect they have on weight gain in the body.

First I will discuss the Spleen Channel. Blockages in this channel can result in a slow metabolism. This in turn causes bloating, water retention, constipation, etc. Also problems with the spleen channel can result in a craving for sweet tastes. For this problem an acupuncturist would insert painless disposable needles on points of the spleen channel which would stimulate the body's own healing code. By doing this we encourage the body to free up the blocked Qi energy which in turn speeds up the metabolism. This allows the digestive system to easily transport food and reduce the build up of undigested food that caused the weight gain.

The second is the Stomach Channel. Blockages here can result in bloating from a build up of toxic energy. These toxins come from sensitivity to chemicals in food and stressful situations. The stomach is the seat of the emotional body so too much worry or stress will cause the channel to become blocked in the same way a water pipe can become blocked with dirt. Unless this energy is cleared all kinds of digestive problems can occur. Acupuncture can free the blockage by stimulating points on the stomach channel which in turn stimulates the body's own healing code and frees up the trapped energy.

Herbs can also be used to flush out the build up of toxins in the stomach. A TCM practitioner can diagnose how the stomach channel is effected or if toxins are present by looking at your tongue. What he or she sees there will tell what is happening inside your body. The herbs they then prescribe would be a blend specially chosen to cool down your system and restore balance to the stomach channel.

The third channel affecting weight gain is the Liver Channel. This is the channel that controls craving and habit. It is not the food you eat that you need to worry about, it is why you eat, times you eat and whether or  not you are eating to suppress emotion. If you eat when you feel angry, bored, depressed, lonely or because you are in a bad mood, it is extremely likely that you are experiencing a blockage of the liver channel.

Acupuncture can work to break these eating patterns by choosing points which will improve the overall mood, suppress the appetite and free up the blocked energy that is causing the emotional eating. 

The results of acupuncture for controlling food or other cravings can sometimes amaze as people find that the taste of their favourite food no longer appeals to them. Your acupuncturist can check the health of your Liver Channel by examining points on your pulse and then use their needles to restore balance and free the trapped Qi energy.

The fourth channel is the Heart Channel. A lot of people express alarm  when the heart is mentioned but in Chinese medicine the heart means something very different - in Chinese Medicine we say that the heart is the seat of the soul. 

Tragedy, stress, fear, anxiety and loneliness can all be signs of a blocked Heart Channel. The Heart in Chinese Medicine represents your spiritual health. When the heart channel is blocked there can be signs of severe depression, anxiety and a need to find comfort in food - all of which makes the weight creep up faster. But don't worry acupuncture can help the Heart Channel center itself back into balance.

For example when the circulation (blood supply to your heart) is improved by acupuncture and the blockage cleared, people find that they can once again appreciate the little things of life like paddling in the sea, walking barefoot on the lawn, watching the buds growing on the trees or simply having coffee with an old friend.

Chinese Medicine therefore approaches weight loss with the aim of balancing your body, mind and spirit.  When this is achieved your organs  function in harmony, and your body works at its optimum level. This gives you an added boost of energy and more importantly you will have the motivation needed to take regular exercise and make healthy eating choices. 

To conclude I will say that when the Spleen, Stomach, Liver and Heart Channels are balanced you will enjoy the benefits of a calm, clear mind which has lost its taste for quick fix snacks and sugary comfort foods.

Care Cure Acupuncture clinics are located in Galway City, Tuam, Loughrea, Longford and Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin. Call 091-539996/086-0695397 for further details.  www.carecure.ie 

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