Here you go again; you’ve rung in the New Year with a lot of potential in store. While there may not a best time to start working towards your individual health goals, you may find the New Year to be especially encouraging. If you have pledged to finally lose that stubborn weight this year, congratulations!
Staying on track with your health and wellness goals can get increasingly difficult as the year goes on. The rush and excitement of the New Year starts to fade and perhaps your progress starts to diminish. Lack of motivation can set in and old habits rear their ugly heads.
Chinese Medicine and Weight Loss
Thankfully, Chinese medicine and weight loss go hand in hand. Chinese herbs can help you stay on track and give you the extra support needed to lose weight and keep it off. The magic behind Chinese herbal medicine and maintaining a healthy weight lies in its ability to re-establish balance at a deep level. Chinese medicine focuses on the root of the problem: the reason your individual body gains and holds on to unnecessary weight. Listed below are different root patterns of why you might struggle with your weight – and the best Chinese herbal supplements to break those patterns and help you lose weight.
1) Down and Out: Spleen Qi Deficiency
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the spleen (and pancreas) is one of your most important organs. The spleen (and pancreas) is responsible for transforming your food into qi, or your life force energy. Consider qi to be the battery your body runs on; it keeps you energized throughout the day – you want it fully charged and ready to go!
However, if you have a spleen qi deficiency, you will feel like you are on low-power mode: drained, tired, lethargic, heavy and slow-moving. You won’t have the energy to go about your day and this leads to a feeling of blah. With weak spleen qi, bowel movements are often loose and may even contain undigested food in the stool.
Another symptom of spleen qi deficiency can be weight gain. Since the spleen is responsible for transforming nutrients in the stomach into useable blood and qi, a weak spleen cannot manage all this work. The result? Food and fluids begin to build up. This leads to what Chinese medicine calls dampness; dampness is excess water and mucus that stagnates in your body. In the digestive system, dampness represents the excess fat and water weight you carry.
Remedy: The Chinese remedy for this type of weight gain is to strengthen the spleen and the digestive function. Consider Chinese herbal supplements such as Gui Pi Wan or Bu Zhong Yi Qi Wan. Both Chinese herbal remedies will help to support the spleen and improve your overall energy.
2) Burned Out: Yang Deficiency
Yang deficiency is one of the basic Traditional Chinese Medicine patterns of imbalance. At its simplest, yang (warming, activating, moving) deficiency is a lack of energy in the body. Yang deficiency can occur for a variety of reasons, such as: aging, illness, diet choices, lifestyle choices, or a natural personal constitution.
With yang deficiency, you can have trouble with metabolism. Transformation and transpiration of food and nutrients slows, the digestive processes stagnate, and dampness builds up. Your body doesn’t have enough energy and warmth to keep the digestive system moving efficiently. Yang deficiency often leads to water weight and swelling as fluids seep into the abdomen and lower legs. Bowel movements may be slow or irregular and are often loose.
Remedy: Warm and transform! The Chinese remedy for a yang deficient body is to regain its digestive power; to do this, the body needs the help of invigorating and supplementing Chinese herbs found in Jin Gui Shen Qi Wan. Additionally, eat warming foods and increase your use of herbs and spices. Avoid cold or icy foods, drink plenty of fluids and stay active.
3) Modern Warrior: Liver Qi Stagnation and Stress
These days, many are stressed beyond measure. Modern lives provide: deadlines, worries, interpersonal issues, and a variety of stress-inducing troubles that minds and bodies take on everyday. Over time this can lead to chronic stress, poor sleep, and weight gain.
Several studies have shown that chronic stress creates quite the hormonal cocktail. This imbalance is the perfect recipe for stubborn weight gain. This might be you if you have noticed your weight gain take a dramatic turn after getting a new job, moving into a new house, beginning or ending an involved relationship, bearing children, or enduring another kind of major life change.
The liver is the organ that responds most to stress. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver is responsible for making sure things flow properly and that all of the other organ’s systems are working in sync. When things go off balance (either physically or emotionally) the liver becomes stressed. Over time, this causes a disharmony in the digestive system, qi stagnation, and hormonal imbalances.
Remedy: To address the root of the problem, the Chinese herbal remedy is to attack the stress and re-establish harmony between the liver and digestive. Xiao Yao Wan is one of the most famous Chinese herbal medicine formulas for reducing the effects of stress. Xiao Yao Wan, commonly called “Free and Easy Wanderer” helps to establish a “free and easy” flow in the body while also managing the emotional components of stress. Additionally, be sure you get plenty of moderate exercise Chinese medicine suggests taking up a mindful habit like: meditation, yoga, or journaling to increase the Zen in your life.
4) Endless Hunger: Stomach Heat
Do you feel like you can never get enough to eat or are you prone to overeating? You could eat all day, anything and everything, and never feel full. Maybe you even indulge in fried and spicy foods quite often and have a strong or intense thirst. You might also get bright red breakouts on your face or chest, or even suffer from heartburn or insomnia.
These are all signs that point to stomach heat. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this imbalance leads to excessive eating without a feeling of satiety. This can cause increased calorie intake and consequently weight gain. This viscous cycle continues as the build-up of food in turn creates more heat and perpetuates this pattern.
Remedy: How to do you temper this Stomach heat? Chinese medicine use cooling herbs to moderate the heat while still protecting the stomach function. The Chinese herbal medicine Bao He Wan will help not only cool and clear the stomach of heat, but can be used on the spot after indulging in a big meal or when struggling with indigestion or heartburn. Try to load up on fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid cooking with too many spicy ingredients.
5) Heavy Burden: Damp Accumulation
While dampness is a symptom of a bigger root problem rather than a key imbalance itself, it can be worthwhile to address this issue at the symptom level. Dampness is not only the result of an underlying imbalance but can also hinder the body from making changes.
Dampness is like a swamp. Everything stagnates and becomes murky in its presence. To improve digestion, increase metabolism, and drop that weight for good, eliminate the dampness and fix the root problem. It’s a bit like plugging the hole in a sinking boat while scooping out the water at the same time. Neither action on its own will make the boat float again – both are needed for a full recovery. The best method is to plug the hole (i.e. treat the root) while scooping out the water (eliminating the dampness).
Remedy: Transform and eliminate excess dampness to make the weight loss process easier and more effective. Try a Chinese medicine root pattern formula such as Li Zhong Wan, Wu Pi Wan, or Jiang Zhi Jian Fei. Additionally, avoid “damp-producing” foods such as: dairy, fried foods, processed foods, and sugar. Swap soft drinks and alcohol with ginger, mint, or green tea.
The Chinese Medicine Approach to Healthy Weight Loss
Chinese herbal medicine is all about addressing the root of the problem. Weight loss pills and fad diets may promise a quick change, but these are neither sustainable nor holistic. It’s time to get out of the weight-gain-rut and make a real turn towards health.
The beauty of Chinese medicine lies in its ability to treat a tricky symptom while establishing balance and health to the entire body. Losing weight naturally with diet, exercise, and herbal medicine can be a slow and steady approach but it is worth it in the end. Dedication and holistic help make for long-lasting results to be proud of.
If you are embarking on a weight loss journey, consider pairing up with a Chinese herbal formula for added support. No only will you lose the weight more effectively, but your whole body will benefit from the transformation.