Acupuncture For Weight Loss
Weight Loss With An "Ancient Chinese Twist"
I remember the first time I took Chinese
herbs. One of my patients told me “You look really tired
– Here take these herbs” and handed me a bagful of
different colored packages.
It hurt to have it put 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 peach green tea that tasted like the Snapple
I had been drinking earlier that day, one was an “interesting
tasting” dark green liquid which I took with an OJ chaser
and the third was a powder that I mixed up with OJ, water and
soy milk to make a citrus smoothie. Not bad I thought, for Chinese
And then something amazing happened...I
Little did I know at that time I had been
given the key to my natural weight loss that
I still maintain 15 years later.
I loved it! I had never felt full before
in my life.
I had been struggling with being thin since
childhood. I had learned when to stop eating in order to avoid
weight gain; I knew all kinds of tricks for weight management
and weight loss like drinking water before a meal and getting
up and walking away from the table. I looked at each new “diet
trend” and I had eliminated all those “bad carbohydrates”
from my diet and lived at the gym – and I ended up thin
and tired all the time. I even tried dexatrim (I may be dating
myself – does any body else 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 to
manage my weight, I had never before felt this feeling of being
satisfied. I loved it! So I used the herbs for a few weeks and
then I proceeded to talk myself out of taking the herbs for a
variety of reasons – too expensive, etc – and and
promptly got tired and sick, went back on the herbs – stopped
– got sick and tired again, and finally repeated it a third
time before I truly got the message that these herbs were doing
something really good for my body.
Then to my surprise, six months later I
dropped 20 pounds without changing anything else in my life.
I even began to eat more without gaining weight like I
I had a lifetime of experience struggling
with my weight management and I was amazed at how these “little
packages of herbs” were changing my life. I would never
have expected that these nutritional herbs would help me lose
weight so easily. I was so intrigued that I ended up going to
Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine School to learn more. That was
my door into the world of Chinese Medicine and acupuncture weight
loss and I’ve never looked back.
Weight loss is quite a difficult complex
problem for some of us, and not even an issue for others.
Just recently “Language has been
removed from the Medicare Coverage Issues Manual stating that
obesity is not an illness…. The medical science will now
determine whether we provide coverage for the treatments that
reduce complications and improve quality of life for the millions
of Medicare beneficiaries with 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 on the various surgical procedures used
in treating obesity.” There has to be other alternatives
for treating obesity besides surgery.
Acupuncture for Weight Loss hit the press
in 2003 when Reuters, CNN and others reported of successful acupuncture
weight loss clinics in China. Chinese Medicine theory, traditionally
hold that overweight or obese people have imbalanced digestive
systems. By stimulating the digestive system through acupuncture
and herbs, the digestive system becomes more balanced and efficient,
thus nutrition is more bio-available and the person feels fuller.
This is what happened to me when my metabolism came into a better
balance. Other theories are that acupuncture mainly helps reduce
appetite and improve metabolism to help people lose weight.
A slow increase in Obesity in China had
led to this new specialty – acupuncture weight loss. A professor
at a Traditional Chinese Medicine College in China states that
treatments for weight reduction have been practiced, studied and
refined over the past 5 years. While an exact comparison between
the US and China is difficult, in China the numbers may be close
to 10-13% overweight adults, as compared to 64% for the US, but
with their lifestyles and economic changes this number is beginning
to rise . In the capital city of Beijing, students eagerly enjoy
their Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and
pop tarts. These foods have slowly replaced the previous hot spots
with traditional Chinese snacks found in places like Grandma’s
Dumpling House . The obesity rate among primary and middle school
students has risen to 18 %, from 10% in 1991, the state Xinhua
news agency said recently, citing a survey from the Beijing Center
for Disease Control and Prevention.
So what kind of acupuncture weight loss
treatments do they offer in these clinics in China?
Acupuncture, on the body and/or the ear,
herbal supplements and exercise that’s not overly taxing.
These are the primary treatment modalities that are used, but
Acupuncture is the pillar of their weight loss strategy.
How successful are they in losing weight?
Currently there are no published research
studies in peer – reviewed journals, only success stories
emanating from the clinics. One source states “On
this modest program – patients are said to lose between
22 and 33 pounds per month.” Huge weight losses
of up to 242 pounds are boasted. In China, they say that 4 of
5 patients lose weight with acupuncture and auricular (ear acupressure)
I was fortunate to have been trained by
a colleague that studied in China learning these acupuncture weight
loss treatments. We are now proud and excited to offer the Chinese
nutritional herbal program that I used as well as other supporting
treatments for weight loss at our Oriental Medicine spa-clinic
in Los Angeles, Californa.
The unique acupuncture weight loss program
we are offering here in Los Angeles at the Oriental Med Spa is
a synergy based on the treatment protocol currently used in China.
Acupuncture for weight loss is combined with Chinese Dietary therapy
that includes nutrient packed supplements and nutrition for weight
loss. It is a gradual weight reduction method and includes
an Oriental Medicine Diagnosis, a series of eight Acupuncture
for Weight Loss Treatments, Auricular acupuncture (ear seeds)
and herbal pharmaceutical grade Chinese nutrition supplements.
Acupuncture and nutritional herbs are used primarily to strengthen
the digestive system so it becomes more efficient. The food you
eat is better assimilated and you feel full more quickly with
less cravings. We hear “I noticed that my cravings were
much less” on a regular basis from weight loss patients.
Breathing exercises are also a vital part
of our weight reduction program. For additional weight loss support
we also provide Chinese Nutrition diet analysis, Eating plans,
Lifestyle Changes 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 that 4 of 5 patients lose weight from these acupuncture
and herbal treatments. Only time will tell here in the
Searches of medical literature show that
all of the following are important for weight loss: lifestyle
choices such as daily exercise, smart diet choices, dealing with
your “inner eating demons”. Others are important but
haven’t gotten quite as much press – proper breathing,
body balance & flexibility, and constitution. Let’s
face it we all come in as a unique individual with our own DNA,
personality profile and favorite foods. First is the decision
to lose weight, next is the right support for losing weight.
This is where I believe Chinese
Medicine and acupuncture for weight loss are powerful supporting
tools to help us find our own individual paths to healthy living.
It is a slow, gradual weight reduction method. It takes time for
the body to rebalance itself.
It worked well for me and it has worked
for others. If you are seriously looking for support for your
weight loss, come in for a treatment. We’d love to share
it with you.
Debra Clydesdale LAc DNBAO is President
of the Oriental Med SPA. She has been helping people improve their
inner and outer beauty and lead healthier lives for over 15 years
offering specialized anti-aging, acupuncture facial renewal, and
orthopoedic treatments, products and services with roots in Oriental
Medicine and Chinese Nutrition. She can be reached at 310-663-9822,
Our waistlines are increasing. Fact. Adult men and women are
roughly an inch taller than they were in 1960, but nearly 25 pounds
heavier . We are becoming a nation of “the overweight”.
So what is “overweight” anyway? Obesity is defined
as an excess of adipose tissue (body fat). The National Institutes
of Health (NIH) defines overweight in terms of Body Mass Index
(BMI). BMI is currently the primary indicator of obesity. Obesity
is calculated by dividing measured body weight in Kg by height
in m2. There is controversy over the exactness of this method
but for simplicity’s sake, it’s a good approximation.
Back to the NIH definition of overweight having a BMI of 25-29.9
Kg/m2, Class 1 obesity having a BMI of 30-34.9 Kg/m2, Class 2
obesity having a BMI of 35-39.9 Kg/m2, Class 3 obesity having
a BMI of over 40Kg/m2. Increased abdominal circumference and waist
hip ratios are important. Get a current assessment at your physician’s
office, at your acupuncturist if they specialize in weight loss
or at a health care screening if you’re not sure what your