Acupuncture For Weight Loss

Weight Loss With An "Ancient Chinese Twist"

Acupuncture Weight Loss Solutions

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 herbs…

And then something amazing happened...I felt full!

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 used to.

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) treatments

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 West .

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 number is.

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