Lose Weight The Healthy Way

Kick Start The New Year With a Healthier Slimmer You

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 is the solution to shedding the pounds and although this helps, it is not the full solution.

According to the theory of Acupuncture, 14 main channels called meridians run through your body and link u with organs and limbs. Along these channels are hundreds of acupoints - points which when activated with small disposable needles, stimulate you bodies natural healing system. For the problem of weight gain we will concentrate on four main channels - The Spleen - The Stomach - The Liver and The Heart Channel.

Firstly lets look at the Spleen Channel. If this is blocked meaning that vital qi energy cannot flow freely, then the result will be 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. To release this blockage and allow the body to heal and naturally dispense with the excess weight a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner would use a combination of acupuncture needles inserted into acupoints on the channel, acupressure which is a form of Chinese massage and Moxibustion to warm up the body system. These actions encourage the body to free up the blocked Qi energy which in turn speeds up the metabolism. This in turn stimulates the digestive system to easily transport food and reduce the build up of undigested food that was the primary cause of the initial weight gain.

A second cause of weight gain can come from blockages in the Stomach Channel. Problems with this channel can result in bloating from a build up of toxic energy. The toxins are ingested from eating chemically treated foods and can also be built up by too much stress in the body. The stomach is the seat of the emotional body so an overflow of negative emotion can cause the channel to become blocked in the same way that a water pipe can become blocked if too much dirt falls into it. Unless this blockage is cleared all kinds of  weight problems can occur. Acupuncture can help the body flush out the toxics, revamp the digestive systems and cope with the negative emotion blocking up the stomach. This in turn stimulates a natural shedding of excess weight and trapped qi energy.

In Chinese Medicine, herbs can also be used to flush out the 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 body.

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 your 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 combined with Chinese herbs 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. 

So make this New Year about balancing the channel which is causing your weight gain and start to enjoy the benefits of a healthy body and 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, Dun Laoghaire and Longford. Call 091-539996/086-2158292 for further details.  www.carecure.ie 


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