Chinese Medicine Theory on weight loss

by Adrian Melero – Miami Acupuncture Therapy

A grand part of Chinese Medicine is based on energy channels that run along specific areas of the body. The majority of weight issues according to Chinese medicine theory is related to the energy channel named after the spleen. This is not to be confused with the physical spleen organ, but rather, an energetic function that occurs on a cellular level throughout the body.

The Chinese spleen is related to the body’s digestive process at transforming and transporting the food’s nutrients and ‘qi’ into the blood throughout the body. It is also responsible for fluid drainage, the transportation, separation, and movement of fluids- including lymph.

People who are obese usually have weak spleen ‘qi’ energy. Usually the treatment protocol is to strengthen the spleen ‘qi’ and to drain ‘damp’.

Do not confuse the popular ‘drain damp’ Chinese weight loss protocol as losing water weight. The reason Chinese medical theory sees damp or water retaining qualities as a cause of weight gain is that when the mitochondria (energy metabolism makers) of parietal cells are swollen, energy production and metabolism are less efficient, and there is an impediment of the sodium and potassium pumps of the cells resulting in fluid accumulation. Strengthening the spleen qi helps remedy this function. Poor diet worsens it. The size of the fat cells from the draining also becomes smaller, thus producing a slimmer look.

This fluid retention and weak qi can be diagnosed by looking at the tongue. The tongue will usually be puffy with teeth marks on the edges due to fluid retention. Tongue paleness denotes deficiency of qi. Other symptoms are bloating/ distention of the stomach and loose stools.