Many people come to me for a specific ailment, and don’t realize that Chinese Medicine offers many tools, beyond relief of symptoms, to bring you to Radiant Health. In modern society, excess fat storage, particularly around the organs, is a common obstacle to Radiant Health. There are numerous complexes of issues to deal with in order to achieve and maintain optimal weight. Some of these are:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Pain
- Weak Digestion
- Emotional eating habits
- Hormone imbalances
- Constitutional tendencies
- Inadequate sleep
Chinese Medicine takes a holistic approach to health, where diet and exercise are important components of a healthy lifestyle, but are only part of the prescription for weight loss. Counting calories-in and calories-out does not work for most people. Or works, but only temporarily. The reason for this has to do with the vital energy or Qi (pronounced “chee) of our organs. If the organs are functioning optimally, our ability to obtain and maintain a healthy weight is greatly enhanced.
The primary organ considered in a weight imbalanced patient is the Chinese concept of the Spleen. According to Chinese medicine, excess fat is a form of excess damp. Excess damp can turn into phlegm, which is a more toxic form of dampness. The Spleen is responsible for transforming food and dampness. The Spleen function helps us harness the energy of our food, transport the nutrients and fluids to where they are needed, and prevent build-up of excessive dampness and resultant phlegm.
Some other problems associated with a weak Spleen include:
- Easy bruising
- Abnormal bleeding
- Prolapsed organs
- Muscle atrophy or weakness
- Brain fog
- Over-thinking & worry
- Obsessive behavior
- Inability to go to sleep
- Inability to gain weight
- Poor appetite
- Indigestion & bloating
- Chronic runny nose
Other organs often involved in a weight problem are the Stomach, Kidneys, Liver, Gallbladder and Lungs:
- A Stomach imbalance can result in weak digestion and/or excessive hunger.
- A weak Kidney system can result in hormone imbalances, water retention and fatigue. The Kidney energy naturally declines with age, so maintaining a healthy weight is more challenging.
- The Liver is responsible for regulating the flow of Qi and blood throughout the body. It is the primary organ affected by stress. When the Liver is not functioning well, it can lead to digestive problems, irritability, depression, insomnia, and inability to process fat-soluble toxins, resulting in an accumulation of toxins stored in the fat.
- Stagnation in the Gallbladder can result in indigestion, gas and bloating. Stagnation in the Gallbladder channel leads to storage of fat and toxins.
- The Lungs are susceptible to excess damp and phlegm, and must be clear for optimal health.
Using Chinese diagnostics, a patient’s organ functions and flow of Qi in the body are assessed to create a personalized treatment plan aimed at Radiant Health. The area of fat accumulation is also considered, because it tells us which channels of energy flow are stagnant, and gives us more information about which organs need help. Organ function can be supported through acupuncture, herbs, medical Qi Gong therapy, abdominal massage, and Qi Gong exercises (meditation-movement-breath with intention).
The Goals of the plan may include:
- Support the Spleen
- Harmonize the Liver
- Support the Kidneys
- Balance the Stomach
- Break up stagnation in the Gallbladder
- Regulate Qi and Bowels
- Calm the Mind and Lift the Spirits
- Transform Phlegm in the Lungs
- Move Qi and Blood in areas of fat storage
In Chinese medicine, Food is Medicine, so making the right choices for your constitution is vital to achieving your goal of Radiant Health. You will want to choose foods that boost Qi, strengthen the Spleen, Stomach and Kidney systems, stimulate digestion, detoxify the body, dissolve fats, and eliminate water retention. You will also want to avoid foods that slow down digestion, contain toxins and promote fat deposition.
Weight Loss Packages
To adequately address the underlying issues relating to weight regulation, I am only offering weight loss treatment to those who are willing to make a commitment to the greater picture of health. A 30 visit commitment is best, because there will often be a plateau after 10 treatments. Each patient will receive a personalized treatment plan with a minimum 10 visit commitment, to include the following:
- Abdominal Massage
- Other Manual Therapies
- Qi Gong Exercise Prescriptions
- Medical Qi Gong Therapy
- Lifestyle Counseling
Insurance Coverage for Weight Loss Packages
Lifestyle Counseling: One of the positive changes in health insurance coverage brought about by the Affordable Care Act is movement towards prevention. Because of this, more policies are now covering counseling for weight loss. In order to qualify, your starting Body Mass Index must be at least 30. And to continue on the program, the patient must lose at least 6.6lbs in first 6 months. (BMI Chart) We can also determine your BMI for you at the office, by measuring your height and weight.
Acupuncture: Most people with a weight problem are experiencing pain, and pain is the most commonly covered diagnosis for acupuncture treatment. Because pain indicates stagnation, it must be addressed as part of the plan to achieve Radiant Health & Optimal Weight.
Exercise Prescription: Private and small-group exercise instruction for specific issues may also be covered by your insurance.
Manual Therapy/Massage: This is also covered by many policies, if performed for medical purposes.
All of the services listed above are under the scope of practice of a Licensed Acupuncturist in the State of California. Insurance companies are no longer able to discriminate against a particular licensed healthcare profession as long as the services fall within their scope of practice. (There are some exceptions for now, as some plans are grandfathered in.) Please talk to Jessica for help with your insurance.
Please note: I am NOT affiliated with any networks, and am therefore typically not covered by HMO plans.