Overweight and Obesity are considered a disease in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) rather than just the imbalance of energy intake and expense. They were mentioned in Chinese medicine in the Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic of Medicine: “When treating exhaustion syndromes, sudden syncope, hemiplegia, atrophy, or rapid respiration conditions that occur in obese patients, recognize that these are usually due to overindulgence in rich foods.”
The main factors that cause overweight and obesity in Chinese medicine are phlegm and dampness. Because phlegm and dampness is the major contributor to fat in Chinese medicine, the spleen is the major organ because of the spleen’s physiological function. However, there is also another factor that may cause obesity is qi and blood stagnation.
According to the differentiation of syndromes, overweight and obesity have 5 major patterns, which are “spleen deficiency with dampness accumulation”, “hyperactive stomach with hypoactive spleen”, “phlegm-dampness obstruction in the middle burner”, “qi and blood stagnation”, and “Yang deficiency in spleen and kidney “. Mostly, clinical overweight and obese are a result of mixed types.
Herbal Treatment. The plan for treatment will be based upon each individual’s constitution and differentiation of syndromes. The main focus for all treatment is to transform dampness and phlegm, tonify spleen, and facilitate the free flow of qi and blood.
Acupuncture Treatment. The acupuncture points are relatively similar for all of the different types of differentiation. The main points that are used are ST 34, SP4, ST 40, and ST 36. The supplement points for spleen and kidney yang deficiency used are Ren 4, KD 3, qi stagnation and blood stasis SJ 4, SP 10, and phlegm heat SJ 6, LI 11. The auricular points used are stomach, endocrine, spleen and shen men.15 The suggested empirical Chinese acupuncture point prescription is St 25, Sp 15, St 23, St 27, Gb 25, Ren 12, Ren 10, St 36, Sp 6, St 40, and Li 11.
“Weightloss” in Chinese medicine is not merely considered as the downwards of weight. It means back to healthy status, being away of diseases, and better shaped body. The reduction of the weight will come eventually. In China, we say “shape up” instead of “lose weight”.