I was talking with a friend recently, and he asked me if Acupuncture can help with Weight loss. I assured him that it certainly can, and then asked why he wanted to know. He said, “The Weight Loss topic occupies 4 of the top 10 Google searches!
It’s a hot topic and if Acupuncture can help, then we need to help our practitioners promote it better!
Let’s start with an article I wrote on this topic…
When a patient asks if Chinese Medicine can help with weight loss. My answer is always: “Yes, it can help, IF you are willing to help yourself also!”
Acupuncture can help promote digestion, curb appetite, and deal with emotional eating.
Typically patients who come to me with weight issues (or even digestive disorders) show up with imbalances in the Spleen and Stomach meridians.
Often they will also have some type of imbalance in the Triple Energizer (Sanjiao) channel. When I see all three of these channels out of balance I always ask how digestion and food choices have been lately. Usually this becomes confession time for the patient—parties over the weekend, pizza last night, etc.
How do you treat for weight loss with acupuncture? Great question… Here are some approaches that may help.
#1: AcuGraph basic treatment: Balance the graph and give dietary recommendations. It is much easier to tackle a weight loss goal when the body is functioning properly and the meridians are in balance.
#2: Auriculo 360 treatment: Use the Weight Control protocol listed in the Auriculo 360 program. This will help the patient with appetite control. For added benefit after the patient leaves your office, particularly to help with cravings, add ear seeds for the patient to stimulate as needed.
#3: Advanced TCM theories: Think outside the box. All of us have multiple approaches to treating patients because we have varied educational backgrounds. Analyze the graph in your own way.
Here is what I do:
I love to study points and channel pathways. With so many requests lately for helping patients to lose weight, I decided to do a little extra studying. My studies led me to two recurring thoughts I would like to share in relation to weight loss. The first is a new word that I learned. The second has to do with the function of the Triple Energizer.
New word: Huang
- Huang means membranes or connective tissue, specifically relating to the spaces between the abdominal cavity and the abdominal muscles. Huang is the tissue that fills the abdominal cavity to surround the organs. According to Giovanni Maciocia, Qi tends to stagnate in the membranes of the abdomen.
Triple Energizer Function
- The Triple Energizer refers to specific body areas composed of the head and trunk. This is an area of the body where fat accumulates. This channel is responsible for moving qi in and out of the membranes (Huang) which surround the organs. When the Triple Energizer is functioning smoothly it ensures the free flow of fluids through the Lung, Spleen, Kidney, Stomach, Small Intestine, Large Intestine, and Bladder channels.
One of my favorite things to study is points. The Chinese name of a point indicates why they were used historically. There are five acupuncture points that have the word “Huang” in them: Kidney 16, Bladder 43, Bladder 51, Bladder 53 and an extra point that I hadn’t heard of before…
I found this “Extra Point” called Huang Mu in Giovanni Maciocia’s book, The Channels of Acupuncture. Giovanni refers to this point as a ‘front collecting point’ for the membranes.
To locate it, draw a line from the nipple to the umbilicus. (For women the nipple doesn’t always fall into the designated location, so use a location in the 4th intercostal space, directly below the midpoint of the clavicle.) Now, from a point halfway along this line, move horizontally directly below the nipple. (See Maciocia, The Channels of Acupuncture, pg. 44).
What I am finding clinically:
I decided to go back and look at the graphs of my overweight patients to see if there were any commonalities in their Triple Energizer channels. I found that most of my overweight patients almost always had an imbalance in this meridian.
Last week I conducted a little experiment, paying close attention to patients that showed up with an imbalance in the Triple Energizer. Two common factors showed up for each patient with an imbalance in the channel. First, the point Huang Mu was tender to palpation for each of them. Second, their pulses felt choppy and sluggish.
The interesting thing is that after I needled Huang Mu, the pulse changed immediately from deep and choppy to even and balanced for every patient!
1st – The AcuGraph. AcuGraph is invaluable when it comes to meridian diagnostics, and helping your patients understand acupuncture and how you can help them. AcuGraph allows your patients to “see their chi!” Your weight loss patients will want the regular encouragement the AcuGraph printouts will provide. People are motivated by change, and the AcuGraph can record their change and improvement!
2nd – Auriculo 360. This amazing reference software will enable you to quickly treat the musculoskeletal problems that arise with a new diet and exercise program!
Isn’t it great to live at a time when we can combine ancient Chinese wisdom with the modern technology of the 21st century? I love my job…
Have a great week!
Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.
Miridia Technology Inc.