Q: Iím 5í4Ē and about 150lbs. Iím
not obese but Iím not within my BMI range. I exercise everyday but still no
weight loss. However, there is no weight gain either. Do you think
acupuncture would be a good move for me to help boost the weight loss
Yes, acupuncture is very beneficial in the treatment of weight loss.
Clinically, the universally accepted measure of obesity and overweight is by
Body Mass Index (BMI) which is your weight in kg divided by the square of
your height in meters. In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) made the
if your BMI ≥ 25, you are overweight
if your BMI ≥ 30, you are mildly obese
if your BMI > 40, you are morbidly obese.
Research has shown that acupuncture has an effect on the function of the
nervous system, endocrine system, digestion and energy metabolism. All of
which can help to control the sensation of fullness, to suppress appetite to
avoid binge eating and excessive snacking and to reduce
For weight control, auricular (ear) acupuncture is a very common and
effective therapy especially when combined with regular body acupuncture.
The auricular acupoints have more emphasis on the neurological function of
the body associated with appetite and digestion. For example, auricular
acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve, which
1) increase the tone in the smooth muscles of the stomach which promotes the
sensation of fullness;
2) raise serotonin levels which suppresses appetite and over-consumption of
The body acupoints are chosen based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
differentiation. From the TCM perspective, the main organ systems involved
in the etiology of overweight/obesity are spleen and stomach. The spleen
controls the muscles and functions to transform and transport food and
water. The function of the stomach is to receive and breakdown food. When
there is a disharmony or imbalance in these organ systems, it will impede on
the function of the spleen and stomach from proper digestion and metabolism
and even cause excessive hunger. The etiology of overweight/obesity in TCM
is divided into 2 different patterns:
1) Excess Pattern (phlegm-dampness or phlegm-heat);
2) Deficiency Pattern (Spleen/Stomach Qi Deficiency or Primary Qi
Each of these patterns manifest with very different signs and symptoms which
is differentiated by the practitioner by taking into consideration your age,
diet, emotions, digestion, lifestyle, family medical history and
accompanying signs and symptoms. Once a syndrome is determined, the
practitioner will select a treatment plan appropriate for the individual.
One course of treatment may take about 2 months of 2-3 sessions per week, in
conjunction with a regular regimen of exercise and a healthy diet to reach
your ideal BMI range.
Q: I am a
26yr old who was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure 10 years ago-cause
unknown (although I have tested positive for thyroid antibodies and the levels
were high). I have been given no hope form the doctors. My only option is a
donor egg and my fiancť is against this. I am so desperate to have a baby. The
last doctor I went to said my ovaries were dead and I can never have a baby. My
FSH is 70. I am so desperate. I will try anything to lower my FSH.
feel your agony. From our experience with premature ovarian failure, some women
do respond well to Chinese herbs and acupuncture in lowering their FSH. In cases
of patients with a high FSH, it may take months of herbal and acupuncture
treatments to notice any changes. Please attempt to find a practitioner of
Chinese medicine. A TCM practitioner needs to do a proper diagnosis before
he/she can select the herbs that may help improve your condition. As long as
they are practicing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), I think they will be
able to help your condition. Everyone is unique and we do hope you will respond
well to the Chinese herbal treatments and acupuncture.
--- From the Tao of
About our Doctors
Ellice Yang is a licensed acupuncturist in Toronto, ON. She graduated from
the University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in
Human Biology. She pursued her interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine at
The Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences and completed her
four-year degree program in Acupuncture.
Ellice's clinical experience includes the Wasser Pain Management Centre at
the Mount Sinai Hospital, St. John's Rehabilitation Hospital and The Toronto
Centre for Acupuncture which specializes in pain management, burn and trauma
rehabilitation. Ellice is currently practicing Acupuncture and Oriental
Medicine with her two colleagues, Jasmine Sufi and Fay-Meling von Moltke Pao
in a private practice at the Yonge Eglinton Medical Centre located at:
2401 Yonge St.
Toronto, ON M4P 3H1