Weight and Diet
Many people ask for help with weight loss and it is clear that weight gain has become a much more prevalent issue in recent years. Apart from concerns with appearance, excessive weight gain and obesity can lead to potentially serious health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease and arthritic complaints, so maintaining a healthy weight is advisable.
Although many claims are made for different therapies, the basic fact is that if you wish to lose weight, you need to want to do so and eat fewer calories than you use up. This can be quite difficult to achieve; sometimes expert help is needed to support you while you work on changing your diet.
Some people experience the opposite problem – difficulty putting weight on. This can be due to an underlying serious disease such as diabetes, thyroid problems or even cancer; or it can arise from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. Some digestive complaints such as coeliac disease, ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may also lead to weight loss.
Traditional Treatments for Weight and Diet
The bad news first – there is no ‘wonder herb’ which will help you to lose weight. Don’t be taken in by online advertising which promises that if you buy their products you will magically get thinner.
The good news is that many herbs can help improve digestive function, making it easier to change your diet effectively, whatever your problem. In addition, a qualified herbalist can help you to analyse your diet and work out a plan for changing it. This may include suggestions for healthy exercise which will work for you. Read the rest
Our herbalists also carry out full health assessments to screen out underlying problems which may be affecting your ability to control your weight, such as thyroid disease, referring you to your doctor for tests if necessary. The health assessment will also look at patterns of food intake.
This can help you to identify food groups which may be affecting your metabolism; either by slowing down or speeding up your system, or which may be causing your blood sugar to rise and fall too quickly which can cause cravings.
Chinese Medicine (of which acupuncture is a part), considers signs and symptoms such as weight gain and weight loss to be a sign of deeper energetic disharmony within the human system.
The diagnostic system of Chinese Medicine adds a valuable perspective that together with a western understanding of health and disease enables the Acupuncturist to provide a truly individual treatment.
Chinese dietary therapy looks at nutrition according to the energetics of food (the five flavours and temperatures) balanced with the energetic needs of the individual , the way they approach food and their lifestyle. The rules of eating also play a big part in the advice given by an acupuncturist to those needing help with their weight:-
- Enjoy your food and relax
- Chew well and eat slowly
- Keep eating and drinking separate to avoid “drowning“ your food
- Eat food which is fresh and unrefined, and stop before you are full
- Avoid iced drinks and foods which can chill the digestive system
The British Acupuncture Council websitewww.acupuncture.org.uk has research facts sheets about various topics including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Depression, Gastrointestinal tract Disorders, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, Type 2 Diabetes and more.
This treatment may help where the problem is caused by a hormonal imbalance or by poor metabolism. Obviously the treatment must be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Dr. Bach Flower Remedies
Sometimes being overweight is caused by over-eating, comfort eating, due to tension, stress or a traumatic experience. These Flower Remedies may help to reduce these symptoms, freeing you to eat normally again.
The Dr. Bach Centre has recognised that overeating may be due to bad habits and has recommended some remedies to help to break the habit.