Chinese Treatment of Obesity - Spleen - Weight Loss

Chinese Medicine & Obesity

Weight Loss Diet Advice - Obesity Information - Obesity and Acupuncture
Body Mass Index Guide - Obesity Management - Obesity Diet - Weight Management Guide
Weight Management Program - Help For Obese Patients - Risks of Obesity

Obesity - Chinese Views

Chinese Medical Treatment of Obesity

Until now, obesity has not been a common disease category in Chinese nei ke (internal medical) texts. In fact, I could not find it as a separate topic in any of a half-dozen contemporary Chinese nei ke books. However, due to changes in diet and lifestyle, more and more Westerners are becoming obese. As The Merck Manual says, "The prevalence of obesity in the USA is high and rising higher. In the past decade, the overall prevalence of obesity in America rose from 25% to 33%, an increase of one-third. Therefore, the treatment of obesity is a concern to many professional practitioners of Chinese medicine in the West."

Attacking & Damaging Method of Losing Weight in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, there are both healthy and unhealthy, wise and unwise ways of treating obesity. When I was a student in Shanghai in the early 1980s, most Chinese medical pharmacies, especially those catering to Western tourists, had packages of various over-the-counter weight loss remedies on display. However, as one of my teachers pointed out to me, all of them damaged the righteous qi if taken for any length of time. This is because although they were made from "natural" Chinese herbs, the were comprised of either A) attacking and downward precipitating medicinals that purge essential nutrients from the body; B) dampness-seeping diuretics that may cause electrolyte imbalance and renal dysfunction; or C) exterior-resolving, yang-upbearing, yin-plundering diaphoretics, e.g. herba ephedra (ma huang). When ma huang is used for weight reduction, it is a form of "speed." It should be obvious to all professional readers that none of these are healthy long-term solutions to the problem of obesity.

Treating Obesity Based on Pattern Discrimination

In terms of more healthy and holistic methods of weight loss in Chinese medicine, the fundamental prescriptive methodology is to bian zheng lun zhi, base treatment on the patient's personal pattern discrimination. Treatment based on a patient's personal pattern discrimination is both safe and effective because it addresses that person's own metabolic reasons for being overweight. Using this method, each patient receives their own individually tailored treatment plan, using Chinese medicinals, acupuncture and moxibustion, or diet and lifestyle modifications.

Obesity & Spleen

The emphasis within most Chinese medical discussions of obesity is placed on the spleen. This is because the spleen controls the muscles and flesh; controls the movement of transformation of water fluids; and is the root of phlegm engenderment. If the spleen becomes damaged, such as by eating too many fatty, sweet foods and getting too little exercise, it will fail in its duty to move and transform water fluids. Instead, these will gather, collect and transform into evil dampness. If damp evils endure, over time they will congeal into phlegm (or fat).

Obesity Treatment - Eat Less, Exercise More

In closing, it is also important to note that it is impossible for most people to lose weight and keep it off without eating less and exercising more. Therefore, patients and practitioners should not be seduced into thinking that taking Chinese medicinals or receiving acupuncture without diet and lifestyle modifications are sufficient unto themselves to lose weight and keep it off. As Sun si-miao is reputed to have said, "First, modify the patient's diet and lifestyle and only then, if these do not effect a cure, treat with medicinals and acupuncture."


More About Severe Overweight

Causes of Obesity
Obesity Treatment Methods
Treatment of Morbidly Obese Patients
Obesity in Children
Abdominal Obesity Guide
Mild Obesity Guide
Morbid Obesity Guide
Malignant Obesity Guide
Super Obesity Guide

Weight Loss Diet Program | 9 Diet Programs - Try Them All | Weight Loss Support | Weight Loss Forum
Weight Loss Help | Healthy Weight Advice | BMI Chart | Obesity Chart | Weight Loss For Obese Patients
Weight & Health Risks | Ideal Weight for Women | Ideal Weight for Men | Waist Circumference | Body Fat Percent
Body Fat & Health | Body Fat Calculators | Reduce Fat Belly | Obesity & Breast Cancer | What Causes Weight Gain
Weight Loss Tips | Best Support Group | Forum For Obese Patients | Support Group For Obese Patients
Lose Weight After Pregnancy | Weight Loss - Pregnancy | Weight Control - Breastfeeding | Mid-Life Weight Gain
Menopause & Diet | Weight Control in Menopause | Weight and Depression | Teen Weight Loss & Healthy Eating
Help For Overweight Children | Fast Weight Loss | Raise Metabolism | Weight Loss Drugs to Reduce Obesity
Bariatric Surgery | Gastrointestinal Surgery | Health Dangers of Bariatric Surgery | Health Dangers of Gastric Bypass
Weight Loss Programs | How to Reduce Weight | Journal | Weight Loss Advice
Calories Index | Guide to Calorie Needs | Calorie Needs for Women | Calorie Needs Men | Calories & Weight Loss

© 2000-2007 Ann. All rights reserved.