In This Issue
- Acupuncture for Weight Loss
- Steps into Wellness
- Blueberry-Lemon Sorbet
Preventive medicine is defined as the part of medicine engaged with preventing disease rather than curing it. An integral part of preventive medicine, nutrition is considered the first line of defense in acupuncture and Oriental medicine as it provides the energy needed for the body to function. Good nutrition not only provides energy, it also provides the basic building blocks, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxidants that keep the body healthy and vibrant.
A nutritional imbalance in foods consumed contributes to an imbalance in overall health. Eating an unnatural and restrictive diet can lead to yo-yo dieting and drastic ups and downs in body weight. Improper diet practices can cause malnutrition, organ damage, slow metabolic rate and other imbalances within the body. Biochemical and energetic imbalances may present themselves as pain, sleep disturbances, mood changes, abnormal digestion, headaches and menstrual irregularities.
Through the process of evaluating subtle physical signs as well as the emotional condition of a person, practitioners of acupuncture and Oriental medicine can detect health problems in their earliest stages, before a grave illness develops. Once the imbalance has been determined, a customized program can be created with a variety of treatment modalities including acupuncture, herbal therapy, tui na, qi gong in addition to food, exercise and lifestyle suggestions.
Seasonal acupuncture treatments just four times a year serve to tonify the inner organ systems and correct minor annoyances before they become serious problems.
Acupuncture for Weight Loss
In Oriental medicine the root of excess weight is an imbalance within the body caused by malfunctioning of the spleen and liver organ systems. Acupuncture points, foods and herbs selected to assist with weight loss directly influence the Qi of the spleen and liver systems to treat the imbalances causing the weight gain.
The spleen is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive system, ensuring that the food we eat is transformed into Qi, the vital substance of life. Disharmony of the spleen will have symptoms such as fatigue, slow metabolism, water retention, loose stool, and feeling of heaviness.
The liver’s job is to keep the flow of your body’s Qi, blood and emotions running smoothly. Our modern, fast-paced lifestyle and chronic stress can negatively impact the liver’s ability to function properly and smoothly, which, in turn, can cause the spleen and the whole digestive system to function poorly and decrease your metabolism. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the “triggers” that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine has been shown to have an effect on the functioning of the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems, food cravings, and metabolism. These functions all help energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety.
A Total Health Program
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine address the issues of over-eating and low metabolism with effective tools to control appetite and increase energy. Energetic imbalances are corrected and the digestive and elimination processes are improved so that there is a physical shift in the body to naturally have more energy and desire less food. By addressing both the physiological and psychological aspects of weight loss acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide a comprehensive therapy for weight issues that promotes better digestion, smooths emotions, reduces appetite, improves metabolism, and eliminates food cravings.
Each treatment is catered to the needs of the individual patient. Acupuncture points on the body are chosen for overall well being with the objective of increasing circulation of the blood and Qi (stimulating the metabolism) and calming the nervous system. Treatments can include a combination of auricular (ear) and body acupuncture, ear tacks or pellets to leave on in-between treatments, herbs and supplements, abdominal massage, breathing exercises, and food and lifestyle recommendations.
In addition to treating the root of the imbalance within the body, different acupuncture points may be chosen for each treatment as different symptoms arise. For instance, if you are experiencing a desire to overeat related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) one week, then that can be addressed at that week’s appointment.
The herbs and foods that are chosen during a weight loss treatment are for promoting healthy digestion, energizing the body, augmenting Qi, and improve elimination of water, toxins, and waste products. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture alone but herbs, healing foods, and exercises can definitely enhance the efficacy of the treatments.
Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your weight management goals and help you to live a long, healthy life!
Step into Wellness
One of the many ways that walking can promote health and wellness is by putting gentle pressure on Yongquan (Bubbling Spring), an acupuncture point on the sole of the foot.
In Oriental health theory, this is the starting point of the Kidney meridian and stimulation of this energizing point can promote clarity of the mind and stabilize emotions.
Yongquan is located in the depression on the sole of the foot at the junction of the anterior third and the posterior two thirds of the sole.
The acupuncture point, Yongquan, has been found to benefit high blood pressure, stress, insomnia, headaches, sexual potency, and kidney function.
To Stimulate Yongquan:
- Let your heel tap the ground gently
- Feel your weight transfer fully to the ball and toes of your foot.
- Focus on breathing into your lower abdomen
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and allow your arms to swing freely
Use your fists to strike your Yongquan about 100 times on each foot.
Gently roll a tennis ball under your foot while relaxing on the couch.
A healthy antioxidant rich treat at only 77 calories per 1/2 cup serving.
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup water
2 T honey
1 t lemon zest
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/8 t salt
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Pour into a freezer safe container.
Freeze 1 hour or until hard.
Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Health, 2006