If you think the United States is the only country with an obesity problem, guess again. The World Health Organization has stated that obesity is a global epidemic that affects developed, developing, and underdeveloped nations alike. Some people facetiously call it globesity and it seems that it is a problem that began with humanity’s crusade to eradicate malnutrition and hunger. Obesity is an issue that tragically shows that there are some parts of the world where people either eat too much or have nothing to eat at all. In 2000, there were about 300 million obese adults worldwide. Five years before, this number was around 200 million. That was a 50% rise in just 5 years.
What is the Difference between Overweight and Obesity?
Overweight just means the body has excess weight. This may occur because a person has excess body water, fat, bone, and/or muscle. Obesity, on the other hand, specifically pertains to an abnormally high body fat proportion in the body. Obesity implies you are overweight; if you are overweight, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are obese. Overweight people may include overly muscled athletes or bodybuilders. The best way to see if you are obese or overweight is by approximately measuring body fat using the body mass index (BMI).
In order to determine your body mass index, divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height in meters squared. Or if you want an easier way to measure your BMI go to the NIH website and search for the BMI calculator that will determine if you are obese, overweight, or have a normal weight.
If your BMI is over 25 but lower than 30, then you are overweight; if you’re BMI is over 30, then you are obese.
The Obesity Problem in the US
Besides making it hard to get dates and/or causing you to be sick often, obesity may lead to other problems such as these:
-The CDC has reported that obesity is the second leading cause of death in the US, next to tobacco smoking.
-Severe obesity in men causes them to die 13 years earlier than men with normal weight
-Obesity is cited as the reason for 300,000 plus premature deaths in the US each year based on statistics provided by the CDC.
-Obesity has cost the US economy 40 to 50 billion dollars in health and medical expenses and productivity loss.
Since the number of obese Americans is rising each year, it stands to reason that the weight loss industry in this country has failed in no uncertain terms in its bid to curb the obesity epidemic in the US. Therefore, it’s time then to try a different approach to this bulging national problem.
For a lot of acupuncturists who have had experience treating overweight/obese people, acupuncture has proven to be a reliable and truly effective modality for losing weight. This is not a biased assessment since an overwhelming number of practitioners and patients will attest to the fact that acupuncture indeed works for the treatment of these conditions.
Evidence of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine’s Effectiveness in Helping a Person to Lose Weight
In terms of helping to maintain and/or to lose weight, Chinese Medicine has had thousands of years of experience. Western studies have also shown how acupuncture can help with weight loss.
Sadly, an abundance of research works has been done about acupuncture and Chinese medicine in Europe, Australia, China, and Taiwan that has been ignored by the US media and scientists. A lot of Chinese and Taiwanese studies have not even been translated into English.
How Acupuncture for Weight Loss Works
Acupuncture needles inserted in certain parts of the body improves the function of a couple neuro-endocrine channels that normalize several physiological processes in the body, including metabolism.
What Can Acupuncture for Weight Loss Treatment Do?
-Combined with aerobic counseling, and diet control, acupuncture not only can shed off body fat and pounds, it can keep them off forever, especially of you are assiduously performing your regular exercises
-Acupuncture lessens the propensity of a woman to gain weight as a result of menopause
-It helps lessen appetite and makes it easier for you to be satiated with eating less food
-It decreases lipid and insulin levels in the blood. It also lowers body fat, and body weight
-A specific study showed that acupuncture shed off 10 pounds in a couple of months which translates to losing 60 lbs in one year.
The Mislegislation and Misuse of Ephedra
A remedy for coughs and colds, Ephedra is a Chinese herb that has been improperly used to boost metabolism and as a consequence of its misuse, has led to numerous deaths. This has led to a total ban of these products by the US FDA. This issue can be blamed on two things:
1. It is not a good idea to medicate yourself with herbs. There is no regulatory body that can guide people on how to safely use them especially when herbs used possess considerable potency. This Ephedra ban is a clear example of how risky herbal self-medication can be.
2. Companies that produce supplements are more interested in making money than in the enhancement of health. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule which is true for companies that sell weight loss formulations.
Chinese herbs are often given in formulas. This is more personalized and a much safer way to dispense them. Chinese medicine practitioners prescribe these products. They first diagnose their patient’s specific imbalances. Ephedra was designed to only treat coughs and colds. It was never meant to be used for losing weight.
The only professionals who are trained to prescribe traditional Chinese herbs are Chinese medical practitioners who continue to use them for the treatment of obesity and other human health conditions.
Low Blood Sugar – When a person has low blood sugar, he normally can’t digest complex carbohydrates. So to avoid this condition, he eats simple carbs instead. This raises his blood sugar level which in turn, results in more insulin, which in turn lowers, lowers blood sugar level once more. So, this vicious cycle leads him to eat sweet products like doughnuts and chocolate sweets, which increase his weight even more.
Enzyme Deficiency – The foods that you crave is based on your specific imbalance. Scientists claim that when a body can’t digest a certain type of food, it craves more of it because it is not getting what it needs from this food leading to a vicious cycle of overeating and craving the specific food you’re unable to digest.
Specific Chinese herbal remedies can help you break these cycles by enabling your body to break down and digest these hard-to-digest foods.
Losing Weight Naturally and Slowly
It is very possible to lose a couple of pounds each week without the fear of ever gaining those pounds back. That’s a hundred pounds for one year and keeping those lost pounds off for good.
Avoid the urge to seek easy solutions such as taking aurantium or ephedra because these are temporary solutions that in the end will either result in stroke or heart problems or make you gain your weight back.
The following is a list of things to do to enable you to lose certain amounts of pounds and keep them off.
1. Concoct a plan and goals with your Chinese medicine practitioner/ acupuncturist and your aerobics instructor. Make your plan doable and stick to it.
2. Try not to buy supplements that are highly advertised. Talk to a licensed and/or trained herbalist to know what herbs to safely use. This could be a trained western herbalist or a Chinese medicine practitioner, although there are some very well-educated western herbalists who are good too.
3. Join Overeaters Anonymous or Weight Watchers or any a support group for obese or overweight people. The kind of support that friends give is a very powerful force that will encourage you to persevere and succeed.
4. Exercise more and eat less. Don’t skip breakfast. Eat a low fat diet and exercise every day, if possible. Weigh yourself everyday and spend some hours doing simple exercises like climbing the stairs, jogging, skipping rope, performing calisthenics, using the treadmill or elliptical machine or anything that will allow you to sweat and burn calories. Don’t overdo your workouts.
5. Lastly, go for acupuncture for weight loss treatment. You can receive acupuncture and/or Chinese herbal medicine from qualified and licensed practitioners to normalize your food cravings and metabolism. These professionals can offer you a customized plan of treatment that can help you lose weight, boost your energy level, and make you feel good all over.