I am often asked the question by prospective patients if Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) will work for weight loss. My response often is that the wrong question has been asked… It is not a question so much as will TCM work for weight loss as whether the patient is willing to work along with TCM to resolve the imbalances.
Chinese Medicine has so much to offer to restore imbalances and to address poor lifestyle habits, which may have caused improper weight gain.
A search of most TCM textbooks will only reveal very scant reference to obesity. This is not because the Chinese people do not have this problem; they do, although in far less proportion to those reading in Western cultures. TCM take the view that obesity is a symptom and exterior result of internal imbalances and any treatment is aimed at proper diagnosis and forming the correct treatment pattern, rather than an illness with itself.
Through careful questioning, observations, pulse taking, adherence to time honoured principles as well as the taking into account of the Five elements (Fire, Wood, Earth, Metal and Water) the doctor of Chinese Medicine will arrive at a diagnosis as to the internal imbalances and the possible causes of these imbalances and will structure a treatment programme. Often cravings for certain foods or beverages can be indicators of the body as well as the emotions craving to replace certain deficits - ie proteins, minerals, love and reassurance.
Acupuncture, herbal medicine and physical exercise often in the form of Qi Gong exercises are common prescriptions. Acupuncture opens the internal energy pathways to assist the functioning of the herbal formulas in order to correct imbalances and stimulated the metabolic system for elimination of waste materials, assisting in the breaking down of fats. Fortunately herbal medicine is now available today in specially formulated patent formula herbal tablets or in water soluble granules, eradication the inconvenience of cooking raw herbs - not to mention the smell and the taste.
Qi Gong exercises are soft exercises of particular movements and stances in coordination with up to eleven different types of breathing and mental concentration to facilitate the flow of Qi (vital energy) throughout the body. Assisted by a qualified and experienced Qi Gong practitioner the patient soon experiences a sense of well-being, energy, increased self-esteem and normalisation of body weight.
A patient who had been practising Qi Gong for three months remarked recently, I just did not feel the need for chocolates or junk food any more. I did not have to try hard to give them up...I just kept my daily Qi Gong life-style. Work at it and it will work for you!