Weight loss - Acupuncture can help

      Home page
Millwoods Acupuncture Center
102, 2603 Hewes Way
Edmonton AB,   Canada

Phone: (780) 466-8683



Weight loss


Why you get over weight

According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there are several major reasons for people becoming over weight. No matter what the reason, it eventually results in an accumulation of water and phlegm (e.g. the fat tissue) in the body. Check the following and find out the major reason for your over weight:

(1). You may have too much Fire in your stomach area.

Now a days, people have much more business activities, especially for business people. There are many business functions which include eating and drinking. Their diets are oil-rich and they feel stressed. This causes the accumulation of too much Fire in the body and they feel bitter in mouth, bad breath, tend to have constipation, skin itch (or loss of hair), headache, red eyes,  to have dark yellow urine, and be irritable. Their tongue looks dark-red in colour, dry, with thick tongue covering. Their stomach is large, high (when lying down) and hard to the touch. This kind of over weight is usually seen in males.

(2). You may have Phlegm accumulation.

The Phlegm here does not only mean the phlegm that comes out of the mouth when you cough. It is a very broad concept in the TCM. It can be regarded as a condensed water/liquid, or even a kind of “ice” in the body. It is caused by the weakness of the Spleen system which guides the water movement in the body. The Phlegm can accumulate in any part of the body causing trouble: in the brain, it causes strokes; in lung, the phlegm through cough; in the Heart,  madness or psychological problems; in the joints, arthritis; under the skin, fibrosis; in the ovary, cysts; and uterus,  fibromyosis; and in the stomach,  overweight.

These people are usually sensitive to physical and emotional changes in their body. They easily feel nausea/vomiting when they see unpleasant things, in an uncomfortable situation, or when they travel by car or plane (car-sick or air-sick). They tend to feel something in the throat, which forces them to clear the throat frequently. They feel bloating in the chest or stomach to feel short of breath. These are people very sensitive to their health. Their tongue does not typically show something is wrong but has much  covering, white or yellow, wet or dryness. The pulse feels strong and smooth similar to feeling a round smooth bead running under your finger. When touching their upper stomach, they may feel uncomfortable or even pain.

(3). You may have too much stress.

When people have stress, they tend to have poor appetite, but may also have a strong appetite. Eating is a way to release stress. Similarly to consume coffee, alcohol, smoking, drugs… to release stress. One may feel bloating in the both sides of upper stomach, giggling, nausea, bitter taste in the mouth, red in face, headache (side of the head). The tongue may not look abnormal but the pulse could feel like a thin string on a violin. Their stomach looks not very big and the body weight varies largely according to their emotional stress. This kind of overweight is usually seen in younger women. Menstruation, of course, is usually abnormal.

Without proper treatment, this kind of body constitution will develop more into the blood-stagnation syndrome. People will have black colour in the tongue, or pigment on the skin. They may feel hot in the body. This does not feel the same as the hot flash experienced during the menopause syndrome. The hot feeling which mostly occurs during the evening, is due to blood stagnation.

(4). You may have Qi deficiency.

For  people with Qi deficiency, they feel tired, even after a short  walk, work, thinking or talking.

They easily feel shortness of breath, have sweat, easy to have swelling on the legs with pain on the knees. Their face looks pale and movement is slow. Their stomach looks flat and feels very soft when touched.

Without proper treatment, the Qi deficiency will develop into Yang deficiency. At this time, people could feel tired and drowsy all   day and have cold hands and feet. They may have a low appetite, constipation or diarrhea. Their eyes show less spirit, tongue has purple tints and pulse feels very weak, thin or deep.  Their stomach looks big but flat and soft, as if it is filled with water or cotton.

For these people, it is said that they tend to gain body weight even if they simply drink water. This kind of overweight is usually seen in elderly woman.

(5). You may have Yin deficiency.

Yin is the material part of the body and the Yang Qi, the power part of the body. When the body Yin, which includes blood or the liquid part of the body, is not enough, people feel dry mouth, weakness in the lower back and knees, have poor sleep with frequent dreams. People may also feel hot in the hands and feet (mostly from late night to noon) with less patience. They may also have more sweat, with more at night. The tongue is dark red and dry with less tongue covering. The pulse feels thin, soft and fast. Their stomach is bigger mostly in the lower tummy. This kind of overweight is seen mostly in elderly women.

Yang Qi is transformed from the Yin. When the Yin is not enough in the body, there will be a shortage of Yang Qi also. Therefore, after some time, the Yin deficiency is usually combined with the Yang deficiency. 

In clinic, it is not so easy to identify where the overweight belongs. The reasons for a given person being overweight are usually combined.  However, the Yang deficiency is usually the most important and basic reason for being overweight.

There are too many factors in our modern life that could damage our body Yang Qi. Stress in school and/or work environments damage the Yang Qi in the Heart-Lung system. Sometimes, feeling very hungry, sometimes eating too much, drinking cold water and eating too much ice cream in summer… damages the Yang Qi in the Stomach-Spleen system. Too much sexual activity damages the Kidney-Liver system. Together with large amounts and  the frequent  use of antibiotics,  cortisone and estrogen products damage our whole body Yang Qi… All of these factors contribute to our body being in the Yang Deficiency status. People will tire easily, have cold  hands and feet, have psoriasis or acne, sleep poorly and have reduced memory, suffer from impotence and infertility, irregular menstrual cycles, many allergic reactions, such as sinus problems, asthma and arthritis.

If the Yang Qi is week in the Stomach area, the Yang Qi in the other part of body will move to this area to maintain the work by the primary Yang Qi here. However, the fact is, the Yang Qi from other parts of the body is the guest. It is a kind of trouble-making Qi. This causes Fire syndrome in the stomach area i.e., feel hungry, eat lots, drink cold water, have constipation and bad breath, over eating and less exercise results in becoming overweight.

When the Yang Qi is lacking in the Heart-Lung system, the guest Yang Qi causes Fire in this area: creating less patience, reduced ability to focus, blurred mind, poor sleeping. This is because the Heart is the “General” of the body which maintains emotion and mind function. Eating is one of the ways people can choose to sedate the stress.

When the Yang Qi is diminished in the Liver-Kidney system, the guest Yang Qi gives the frequent desire for sexual activity, but once the time comes, they cannot eject. Such frequent emotion exhausts their Yang Qi further and creates a bad cycle.

When the Yang is deficient, there will be less production of Yin in the body. Yin is also dependent upon the function of the Yang Qi to absorb Yin from the diet to maintain enough Yin in the body.

For all of these reasons, in our weight loss program, we carefully observe the status of the Yang Qi in your body. We also need to release extra Fire and/or Phlegm to release emotional stress and supply more Yin into your body.

Weight loss program

In our clinic, we apply acupuncture and TCM herbal therapy for weight loss, in combination with the use of ear acupressure if we find that your ear acupuncture points are sensitive to the treatment.

It is recommended that acupuncture is needed at least twice every week for the first two to three weeks. It can then be reduced to once every week. Too long a period between the acupuncture treatments will not give satisfactory body weight loss results. Also, we recommend the ideal time for the weight loss program is during the warm seasons i.e., spring, summer and fall, not in the winter. Winter is the season for animals to keep fat as fuel. We follow the cycle of nature. 

The herb formula varies according to the  reason for your over weight. We do not recommend the diarrhea (or the colon cleansing therapy) for every patient.

We do not need you to restrict your diet and recommend only gentle physical exercise.

Follow these guidelines and you will enjoy satisfactory weight loss results.