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Weight Loss with An Acient Chinese Twist
Acupuncture solution for weight loss
I remember the first time I took Chinese herbs. One of my patients said to me, “You look really tired – take these herbs” and handed me a bag of different colored packets. It hurt to say it so bluntly but it was true, I was building a business, working long hours and feeling a bit drained so I listened and took them home to use that night. One was a peachy green tea that tasted like Snapple that I drank earlier in the day, one was an “interesting tasting” dark green liquid that I downed with an OJ chaser, and the third was a powder that I mixed with OJ, water . and soy milk to make a citrus smoothie. Not bad, I thought, for Chinese herbs… And then something amazing happened. I felt full! Little did I know at the time that I had been given the key to natural weight loss that I have been maintaining 15 years later.
I loved it! I have never felt so full before in my life. I have struggled with being thin since childhood. I learned when to stop eating so I wouldn’t gain weight; I knew all sorts of tricks like drinking water before meals and getting up and leaving the table. I looked at every new “diet trend” and cut all the “bad carbs” out of my diet and lived in the gym – and ended up always skinny and tired. I even tried dexatrim (maybe I’m dating myself – does any body out there remember that?) and ended up a yo-yo dieter. It was like I was in a constant battle with my body and my weight.
In this process of trying everything, I have never felt that sense of satisfaction before. I loved it! So I took the herbs for a few weeks and then talked myself out of taking the herbs – too expensive etc… and immediately got tired and sick, went back on them – stopped and got sick and tired again, repeated it was the third time and then I got word that these herbs were doing something really good for my body.
To my surprise, six months later I lost 20 pounds without changing anything in my life. I even started eating more without gaining as much weight as before. I have had a lifelong struggle with my weight and was amazed at how these “herb packs” changed my life. I never expected these nutritious herbs to help me lose weight. I was so intrigued that I ended up going to an acupuncture and oriental medicine school to learn more. That was my door to the world of Chinese medicine and acupuncture weight loss and I have never looked back.
Losing weight is a rather difficult complex problem for some of us and not even a problem for others. Just recently, language was removed from the Medicare Coverage Issues Manual stating that obesity is not a disease…. Medical science will now determine whether we provide coverage for treatments that reduce complications and improve the quality of life for millions of Medicare physicians. beneficiaries of obesity”. Being overweight is now officially a disease. “And as a first step, we expect to convene our Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee in the fall to evaluate the evidence for various surgical interventions used in the treatment of obesity.” There must be other alternatives besides surgery.
Acupuncture for weight loss made headlines in 2003 when Reuters, CNN and others reported on successful acupuncture weight loss clinics in China. Traditional Chinese medicine theory holds that overweight people have an unbalanced digestive system. By stimulating the digestive system with acupuncture and herbs, it becomes more balanced and efficient, making nutrition more bioavailable and one feeling fuller. This is what happened to me when my metabolism got into better balance. Other theories claim that acupuncture mainly helps to reduce appetite and improve metabolism.
The slow increase in obesity in China has led to this new specialty – acupuncture weight loss. A professor at the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China states that weight reduction treatments have been practiced, studied and perfected over the past 5 years. While exact comparisons between the US and China are difficult, in China the numbers may be closer to 10-13% of adults overweight compared to 64% in the US, but with their lifestyle and economic changes, this number is starting to rise. In Beijing, the capital, students eagerly enjoy Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and pop cookies. These dishes have slowly replaced the previous favorites with traditional Chinese delicacies found at places like Grandma’s Dumpling. The obesity rate among elementary and middle school students has risen to 18%, up from 10% in 1991, state news agency Xinhua reported recently, citing a survey by the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention.!
So what acupuncture weight loss treatments do these clinics in China offer? Acupuncture, body and/or ear, herbal supplements and exercise that is not overly strenuous. These are the primary treatment modalities used, but acupuncture is the mainstay of their weight loss strategy. How successful are they in losing weight? There are currently no research studies published in peer-reviewed journals, only clinical success stories. One source states, “On this modest program — patients reportedly lose 22 to 33 pounds per month.” It boasts a massive weight loss of up to 242 pounds. In China they say 4 out of 5 patients lose weight.
I was lucky enough to be trained by a colleague who studied in China and learned these acupuncture treatments for weight loss. We are now proud and excited to offer the Chinese herbal nutritional program that I used, as well as these procedures and other supportive weight loss treatments at our Oriental Medicine clinic in Los Angeles. I am continuing my studies and looking into working with researchers at a major university to evaluate the effectiveness of these protocols. Imagine finding solid evidence that there is a treatment for obesity that has relatively few side effects. It’s exciting to see where it can go.
The unique acupuncture weight loss program we offer here in Los Angeles at Oriental Med Spa is a synergy based on a treatment protocol currently used in China, Chinese diet therapy including nutritional supplements and weight loss nutrition taught by doctors. It is a step-down method and includes oriental medicine diagnostics, a series of eight acupuncture points for weight loss, auricular acupuncture (ear seeds) and pharmaceutical grade herbal Chinese nutritional supplements. Acupuncture and nutritional herbs are primarily used to strengthen the digestive system to make it more efficient. The food you eat is better absorbed and you feel full faster with smaller cravings. We regularly hear from patients, “I noticed that my cravings were much smaller”.
Breathing exercises are also an important part of our program. For additional support, we also provide Chinese nutrition analysis, meal plans, lifestyle change support, RejuvaQi Qi Gong exercises, Slim & Toned IR BodyWrap and AromaWraps for weight loss. Treatments range from active to pampering. Each program is tailored and individualized for the patient’s unique situation. In China they say 4 out of 5 patients lose weight. Time will tell here in the West.
Research in the medical literature shows that all of the following are important, lifestyle choices like daily exercise, smart dieting, dealing with your “inner eating demons.” Others are important but haven’t gotten as much press – proper breathing, balance and flexibility of the body and constitution. Let’s face it, we all come as unique individuals with our own DNA, personality profile and favorite foods. The first is the decision to lose weight, the next is the right support.
This is where I believe Chinese medicine and acupuncture for weight loss are powerful support tools to help us find our own individual paths to healthy living. It is a slow tapering method. It takes time for the body to recover. It has worked for me, it has worked for others, and if you are seriously looking for support in your weight loss, come for a treatment. We are happy to share it with you.
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