TCM #9: Chinese Therapy for Weight Loss part II


How can the body stop retaining water?

An overweight person has two enemies in the body: phlegm and dampness. One important thing is to get rid of those enemies and the other is to keep them out of the body. A useful concept to keep in mind is the concept of fire. Fire gets rid of dampness and phlegm by burning them. So fire is used in the treatment, particularly with the kidney’s fire, which refers to kidney-yang.

Increase the Burning Fire of the Kidneys
Increasing the burning fire of the kidneys will help in the maintenance of correct body weight.

Foods called yang tonics can increase the burning fire of the kidneys. In TCM, there are four basic tonics: energy tonics, blood tonics, yin tonics (strengthens the fluids) and yang tonics. (A tonic is something that strengthens.).

Animals’ kidneys are highly recommended yang tonics. Eating kidneys (pork, beef, lamb or chicken) have 3 advantages:

They have little fat
They are easily digested
They tone up the kidney’s function

Preparing kidneys to eat
First cut the kidneys in half, remove the unwanted white parts and wash it; bring water to the boil and add a little wine; drop in the kidneys and simmer until fully cooked; drain and slice into small pieces. Prepare a sauce with ginger, green onion, green pepper, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and vinegar. Pour the sauce over the kidneys and they are ready to eat.

Liver (Chicken, pork and beef) is the second food recommended as a yang tonic to increase the burning fire of the kidneys. Fry the liver very quickly in vegetable oil with condiments such as ginger, garlic, or celery; use black pepper and wine as seasonings.

Fruits and vegetables such as dried green raspberry, cherry, yam, walnut, leeks, black beans and bitter gourd seed may also be used as yang tonics.

Body acupuncture therapy for Weight Loss

Acupuncture therapy affects the autonomic nervous system and regulates energy metabolism by stimulating the meridians‘ qi (vital energy) flow. Acupuncture is often most effective with stubborn stagnation problems in the meridians. It can also prohibit appetite and increase the metabolic rate of obese individuals. Sometimes moxibustion is chosen in conjunction with acupuncture, depending on the physician’s judgment.

Different acu-points are selected depending on the types of disharmony pattern:

1. Excited liver-yang: Individuals present with irritability, dizziness, headache; the tongue is red and the pulse is taut. The major selected acu-points are xia-xi, xing-jian and qu-chi.
2. Dampness accumulation due to spleen deficiency
Individuals present with discomfort in the gastric area, body heaviness, scanty urine excretion; the tongue coating is greasy and the pulse is hesitant. The basic selected acu-points are zhong-wan, shui-dao and pi-shu.
3. Heat stagnation in the stomach
Individuals present with excessive appetite, easy feelings of hunger or thirst. The tongue coating has a slight yellow color; the pulse is rolling and rapid. The basic selected acu-points are nei-ting, qu-chi and shan-ju-xu.
4. Constipation due to intestinal dryness
Individuals present with constipation and a full feeling in the gastric and abdominal regions. The tongue coating is yellow and greasy; the pulse is taut and tense. The basic selected acu-points are qu-chi, tian-shu and zhi-gou.
5. Qi (vital energy) insufficiency in the spleen and lungs
Individuals present with a full feeling in the gastric and abdominal regions, general weakness, dizziness, limb swelling and scanty urine excretion. Their tongue looks pale, and the pulse is hesitant. The basic selected acu-points arefei-shu, pi-shu and tai-bai.
6. Yang deficiency in the spleen and kidney
Individuals present with weakness and soreness in the lower limbs and lumbar regions, general swelling, impotence in males, excessive vaginal discharge in the female. Their tongue looks pale and the pulse is fine. The basic selected acu-points are pi-shu, shen-shu and tai-bai.

In case of excessive appetite add nei-ting; for heart palpitations and shortness of breath add shen-men and nei-guan; for constipation add tian-shu and zhi-gou and for scanty urine add shui-fen and yin-ling-quan. (See graphics for references.)

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “TCM #9: Chinese Therapy for Weight Loss part II

  1. Coco, this is so interesting! For a second I thought you were going to show us how to prepare a kidney…. ewwww. I mean I guess I would be willing to TRY it, but I don’t know if I would ever go to the grocery store and buy one. Heck, I don’t think they are even available to buy! So I guess I need to start telling my overweight patients to eat some kidney?! I may get fired if I tell them that.. haha

    I hope you are having a nice weekend!

  2. Fascinating info! Thanks for sharing. I can’t bring myself to eat kidneys or liver, but I love leeks! 🙂

  3. My Mom AND my mother in law always use the kidney’s from the turkey in their stuffing at Christmas and Easter. I love it.

    I’ve had acupuncture before, but only for my ankles. I didn’t realize that it could help with digestive issues, too. Neat-o.

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