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Acupuncture to Achieve a Healthy Weight

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

Whether trying to lose, gain or maintain your current weight finding the motivation to start or stick with a change in eating habits can seem overwhelming.

Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are powerful tools for achieving a healthy weight, alone or included as part of a  multi-faceted program. 

System imbalances can create hurdles in achieving optimal health and prevent you from achieving a healthy weight with effective tools to control appetite, improve digestion and food cravings while increasing energy and overall health.

When the Spleen cannot efficiently break down food, an excess of body fluid or mucus results. This is a condition known as dampness. Damp conditions also interfere with how well nutrients are extracted from food. Without proper nutrition, the body is unable to provide energy to its cells and in comes the onset of fatigue. Moreover, dampness causes stomach distention and interferes with digestion. If you can imagine how heavy and difficult your footsteps would be while trudging through knee-high thick mud, you can begin to see how unwieldy a debilitated digestive system can become.

The foods that assist the Spleen are easily digestible and are usually eaten warm or at least room temperature. Sweet potatoes, miso soup, and congee are great options. Congee is a very watery, overcooked version of rice. To make it at home, boil 6 cups of water with every one cup of rice.  

The Spleen channel enjoys regularity--aim to have meals around the same time every day.   Follow cold foods such as salad and ice cubes with a cup of hot tea. Balancing the Spleen and Stomach channels will correct energy imbalances throughout the digestive system and result in a physical shift toward more natural energy and less food cravings.

Regular acupuncture treatments can help keep you on track and address any hurdles or imbalances that arise.  Each acupuncture and Oriental medicine treatment is customized to your needs and focuses on overall well-being, with the objective of correcting imbalances, increasing circulation, stimulating metabolism, and calming the nervous system. Techniques and points are chosen each session based on the symptoms or triggers you are experiencing at that time. For instance, you may have an increase or decrease in appetite due to chronic health issues, stress, or hormonal shifts.

There are many acupuncture points located, not surprisingly, on the Stomach and Spleen meridians that can help achieve your goals.  Residing on the Spleen meridian is the premier point for draining dampness called Yin Spring Mound.  Yin is a feminine principle and is associated with body fluids. The name implies a mound, or a congealed pool of yin, which is causing congestion and needs to be freed up. One way dampness leaves the body is through urine.

Deep breathing with visualization can strengthen willpower and be used as a tool to manage emotions that can influence your eating habits.   Most patients report an improvement with acupuncture treatment alone, but healing foods and exercises can definitely enhance the results.

Contact an acupuncturist today to schedule an appointment and learn what acupuncture and Oriental medicine can do for you!

About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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