Fight the fat
Fight obesity with acupuncture. Dr. M. MUTHUKUMAR tells you how.
OBESITY as a concept has been in vogue for generations but the damage it causes has only recently been documented. Obesity can be classified into three categories: simple, secondary and endocrine metabolic etiology. Each of these brings in specific problems.
Effects on health
Most obese people suffer from excessive strain on the backbone. While the backbone is designed to support a certain amount of weight, excess poses an unreasonable stress. This is one reason why obese people end up with backache.
The reason for this problem assuming such dimensions is primarily lifestyle oriented. Earlier generations of people, by and large, ate a balanced meal and also did a lot of physical labour, which helped burn the accumulated, unabsorbed excess fatty matter in the body.
Today, our lifestyle has changed. Labour-saving devices have reduced our activities. Watching television has given rise to the couch potato syndrome. Eating habits have also changed. From home-cooked healthy foods, we have moved to junk foods, aerated drinks all of which invite problems like obesity.
Most doctors under other systems of medicine either ask the patient to go on a diet or `work out'. But obese people have problems with simple activities like walking, bending or jogging. No wonder, most overweight people give up the exercise and diet regimen sooner than later. Obese people are also prone to other lifestyle diseases like arthritis, backache, heart trouble and shoulder problems among others. Another cause for obesity could be changes in the hormone levels like those who have thyroid problems.
Acupuncture details two primary reasons for obesity. Firstly the function of the liver. The liver is the designated organ in the human physiology responsible for breaking down fatty substances in the food and getting it absorbed. When the prescribed amounts of fat are consumed, the liver functions perfectly. But when a person overeats, or consumes high levels of fat or is ill, the liver tends to under-perform. Thus the unabsorbed fatty matter as spare "tyres" around the midriff. With every untreated situation and intake of food, the problem continues leading to a `sluggish" liver.
There is a major difference between "sluggish" state of liver and a malfunctioning liver caused by excessive drinking or other reasons. When the liver becomes sluggish, there will be cases of people complaining of low intake of food but gaining weight significantly.
The second reason identified by acupuncture is "retention of fluid" in the body. When excessive fluid is generated in the system, it normally exits through sweat, urine and excreta. In some cases, it is retained in the body leading to a puffy appearance.
One of the most important meridians in the human system is the Liver Meridian. There are several acupoints located on the liver meridian. One or more may be blocked leading to a sluggish liver. So by stimulating the various acupoints on this meridian for 30 minutes a day, the blockages can be released leading to normal functioning of the liver. Depending on the patient, this treatment may last for 30-60 days.
To eliminate the problem of fluid retention, acupuncture resorts to the use of herbs and castor oil. Herbal powder mixed in castor oil is applied to the patient's abdomen and left for nearly 30 minutes or more. The high viscosity of castor oil and the process of osmosis, leads the excess fluid (which is lighter compared to the heavy density castor oil) to exit the body through various pores giving a slimmer appearance.
The third and most interesting technique is the role of the stomach and spleen meridians. Normally obese people crave for food and are unable to resist this craving. With the stimulation of the stomach and spleen meridians, patients have reported that the craving for food disappears. Thus the patients remain in better shape for a long time.
In practice, using a combination of the above techniques, patients stand to lose weight without any side effects.
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