If you haven’t heard about Chinese medicine to help lose weight, then this post may help give you a bit of clarity. Some people are living proof that specific herbs and exercise work just as effectively without working up a sweat.
Instead, you create balance in not only your diet but also your energy, which is crucial to maintaining hormonal balance. It is a scientific fact that hormonal imbalance can create the need to eat more by increasing appetite and slowing down metabolism.
We’ll take a look at some of the methods used by ancient practitioners to bring weight loss back into the realm of the natural and organic.
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
When we consider Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we know that it incorporates many natural aspects of healing.
In the Far East, specifically China, the way people perceive health and wellness is completely different to what we know it in the West or Westernised countries. So, when it comes to weight loss, there are so many different diets and eating plans “westerners” use that doesn’t always prove effective. Then again, no “body” is the same and what works for Jane Doe doesn’t necessarily work for John Doe.
Unlike medicine in the West, Chinese medicine uses herbs and techniques that will heal the “whole” body, not just treat symptoms. Some techniques include but are not limited to the following:
- Tai Chi – People use “Taijiquan” for defence and health benefits. There is no age preference when it comes to tai chi and both the young and old can benefit from it.
- Qi Gong – Qi Gong, like Ti Chi, incorporates a series of movement and breathing which improves energy and balance.
- Moxibustion – Moxibustion uses heat and moxa herbs to release health benefits
- Cupping – Cupping uses heat and cupping tools strategically placed on the patient to release health benefits.
- Acupressure – Acupressure is close to acupuncture but instead of needles, it uses pressure points.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture uses needles strategically placed inside meridian points
- Chinese therapeutic massage – With the focus on energy flow or the flow of “qi”, this massage targets the meridian points.
Each of these techniques helps to restore health such as improving blood circulation and pressure, reducing pain and restoring the body’s natural energy.
Where did it begin?
To understand the concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we have a look at some of the history backing its existence. The establishment of Ancient Chinese Medicine can trace its roots to Ancient Taoism 4th Century BCE. The ancient medicinal practices have spread throughout the Far East over the years and other Eastern countries have their own signature take to TCM.
Side effects of using Chinese Medicine for weight loss
It may come as a surprise, but even all-natural herbs and oils may have side effects. If we take essential oils, for example, we know that they are extracted directly from the stem, leaves, roots, or flowers. Due to their purity, they usually are extremely potent and can cause some side effects.
One of the side effects, for example, includes photosensitivity (to the sun’s UV rays) or other skin irritation when not diluted with a carrier oil. Depending on the technique applied, moxibustion can cause scarring when the moxa burns all the way to the skin. Even acupuncture and cupping therapy have their disadvantages due to some side effects experienced in patients.
As far as safety is concerned…
When it comes to evaluating Chinese medicine, not all fall under the same safety terms and conditions as seen in prescription medication. The ingredients may not state everything contained inside the bottle and manufacturers sometimes omit ingredients used. However, this is truer regarding the supplements.
The good news is that when it comes to practices like tai chi and qi gong, the exercises are safe and do not cause the body to be overexerted. Concerning the tools used in cupping and acupuncture, it’s important that the practice uses sterile, non-toxic equipment.
How does it work for weight loss?
One of the things to consider when dealing with TCM is the fact that natural healing and energy balance is almost a way of life. Instead of isolating the aspects of a diet, TCM considers the whole body.
This taking into account the type of foods consumed and the use of energy. This is exactly why it is beneficial as a weight loss solution. It’s important to consider many factors when it comes to losing weight so that the program can bring about the best results possible.
Chinese herbs are often associated with their health benefits especially where weight loss is concerned. Some herbs are known to suppress appetite and increase metabolism.
When taking herbs for losing weight, it’s important to know what will work and what won’t. Honeysuckle, for example, is used for weight loss, depending on who uses it and the time of year, the herb is used can alter its effectiveness. Some people who are overweight and fail to see results from honeysuckle or other herbs may be unsuccessful because of a spleen deficiency.
Chinese teas such as oolong, green tea, and black tea contain a property known as polyphenols. Scientifically polyphenols are found in other plants and fruit as well.
Polyphenols can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and reduces the risk of cancer and diabetes.
Since these teas are rich in this plant compound, it is brimming with healthy antioxidants and free radicals. Certain teas claimed to “slim down” actually produce a natural laxative effect and must be consumed with caution.
Acupuncture and acupressure
Acupuncture and acupressure for that matter target the body’s meridians and these connect to vital and non-vital organs of our bodies. In this way, some research has shown it to significantly help people lose weight over a period.
Acupuncture asserts that when the body stresses it reacts in ways that are harmful to health. Therefore, the body may increase stress hormones during high-stress periods resulting in a bigger appetite.
Some people are emotional eaters because of the emotional state-of-mind. Acupuncture not only triggers the energy and efficiency of the endocrine, spleen and intestines but also releases happy hormones.
Stay moving without all the sweat
Isn’t it great to know that you can create movement and flow, without losing your breath and sweating too much? Chinese medicine has many aspects that make it unique from how things are done in a traditional western world.
Tai Chi and Gonq Qi are some of the oldest forms of exercise that not only stimulates better breathing but also works to improve your natural energy levels. This is a great option if you’re afraid of needles or don’t want to drink bitter teas.
Eat food that promotes energy flow
TCM is all about the flow of Qi because this is what sustains the body and helps it to stay healthy and functioning properly. Organic foods are far more beneficial for your overall health than processed foods.
Get enough rest
To get the most out of your diet you need to create that essential balance and that includes taking the time to rest.
Don’t go to bed too late as this will only make it harder for your body to naturally wind down and get a good night’s rest. Some people also find that meditation and even a few stretches before bed helps to get the body ready for sleep.
Therapeutic Chinese massages to stimulate qi and relax, along with Tai Qi is a good way to unwind even if you have the most stressful job.
Trying Traditional Chinese Medicine for your weight loss goals is a good option to consider. By being an all-natural solution, your body can come to terms with the changes more efficiently than doing so with a designed pill.
Some prescription medicines help with weight loss by stimulating the adrenals, which in itself can cause health issues. This is why these medicines are available by prescription only and they are only prescribed for a maximum of three months.
For a more natural approach, you could consider using various forms of Chinese medicine to assist you on your weight loss journey.
If you’d like to give Chinese medicine a chance for your weight loss goals then make sure that you speak to your general practitioner about it. This is especially important for patients who are using chronic medications and other meds for temporary health conditions.
When seeking a TCM practitioner, make sure that you do some research before making your visit official. After all, you want to develop a long-term relationship and know that you can trust your practitioner to provide you with safe treatment.
Maybe you’ve tried everything else the western meds has to offer but aren’t seeing the results you desire. You may just find a positive result when incorporating some TCM principles into your weight loss regimen.