Traditional Chinese Medicine has evolved over the years just as everything else in this world has, but a large majority of the principles and practices have remained the same. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use herbal medicines, along with mind and body techniques such as Tai Chi and acupuncture to prevent and treat health issues.
Not only are the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine useful for improving your general health, but they are also excellent for weight loss and weight management as well.
In the United States, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is primarily a complementary health approach, as only a small portion of the population understand the overwhelming of a greater understanding of these practices.
However, many of us naturally use pieces of Traditional Chinese Medicine without even knowing it!
For example, drinking a cup of green tea before a workout is a well-known way to increase your energy levels and lose weight. Although you might not know it, green tea is a central part of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Keep reading below to learn more about how you can use the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine for weight loss!
What is Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Traditional Chinese medicine has survived and evolved throughout history due to its stable background and holistic approaches. Chinese medicine has slowly but surely gained acceptance in Western countries as the 21st Century has advanced, with users reporting large amounts of success with differing Traditional Chinese treatments.
One of the major advantages that Western people have found is that it is a very different form of medicine and treatment, one that is not aggressive but preventive and natural.
Many Traditional Chinese treatment methods help users obtain effective results quickly and easily, and the majority of treatments contain long-term benefits as well.
Instead of looking for one acute cause of a disease or illness, Traditional Chinese Medicine focuses on how a disease can manifest itself within your body, and how it responds to different external influences and environmental stimuli.
Through examining the body as a whole, Traditional Chinese Medicine is effective for treating numerous health issues, including making it easier for you to lose weight!
Basics of Traditional Chinese Medicine
If you would like to learn how you can use Chinese Medicine to lose weight, it is important to understand the core principles first.
One of the main concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine is Qi, which is what the Ancient Chinese consider to be the vital energy that flows through the body. Qi also translates as:
- Material Energy
- Energy Flow
Chinese philosophers believe that understanding the rhythm and flow of qi can help guide exercises and treatments to provide stability and longevity.
Qi carries out multiple functions to maintain the health of the body, and balancing your Qi is the foremost step to losing weight.
Another concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine is that the human body is just a miniature representation of the larger and surrounding universe. Understanding this concept will help you align your body with the world, and focus on your goals.
Furthermore, Traditional Chinese Medicine greatly relies on the connection between the five elements. The five elements are:
These five elements symbolically represent all phenomena and stages of human life. They also explain the functions of the body, and its response when affected by a disease.
One final important principle of Traditional Chinese Medicine is the harmony between two opposing, yet, complementary forces known as Yin and Yang. Understanding Yin and Yang is crucial to understanding Chinese philosophy, and it has been a very important concept in my own life.
As many of you know, I have Tourette’s Syndrome. Although there are numerous potential causes for Tourette’s Syndrome, I have self-diagnosed myself with a Yin deficiency.
In Traditional Chinese philosophy, a disease in any form is a result of an imbalance between these two forces.
Whether it is obesity, Tourette’s Syndrome, or anything in between, balancing your Yin and Yang energy forces is a great way to improve your health.
Therapeutic Treatments of Traditional Chinese Medicine to Help You Lose Weight
There are tons of different Traditional Chinese health treatments, and many of them are great solutions for weight loss.
I started using acupuncture consistently in the summer of 2018 after recovering from a spinal fracture, and it quickly became one of my favorite treatments ever.
Not only was acupuncture great for relieving my nagging back pain, but it also helped calm my motor tics as well. Acupuncture is a health treatment based on the insertion of very fine needles into specific areas or points on the surface of the skin. These points are called acupoints and are highly energetic.
The acupoints are located along the route of the meridian channels, through which energy (Qi) flows in the body. Acupuncture is often used for reducing inflammation in a certain area of the body and releasing stress and pressure.
The Chinese use this in a variety of ways, opting for treatments like this instead of medicine in many instances.
For those people looking to lose weight, acupuncture is an excellent way to relieve muscle soreness and naturally lower your cortisol levels. Cortisol (the stress hormone) plays an integral role in stopping the weight loss progress of many people.
People who naturally have weight problems or are battling obesity will likely have dramatically high cortisol levels.
Acupuncture treatments will help restore normality within your body and help you lose weight!
Phytotherapy is based on the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of certain physiological disorders, and pathological conditions.
These medicinal plants are used in the same premises as all Chinese medicine and take into account the necessary balance of the Theory of Yin and Yang, the theory of the Five Elements, the previous diagnosis and finally the application of the therapeutic principle of differentiation of syndromes.
Even with phytotherapy, plants and herbs are not used to attack disease or illness directly. The focus is always on building the body so that it can rid itself of disease, as well as its naturally protect itself against future attacks.
One of the most commonly known forms of Phytotherapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine is drinking green tea or other teas. Quality tea can do more for your body than you would ever imagine! Try switching out your pre-workout products for tea each day and see the difference in your overall body!
Another example of Phytotherapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine is the use of cannabis.
Although its use is not as common anymore, Traditional Chinese Medicine documents the use of cannabis for over 1800 years! The emperor and pharmacologist Shen Nung documented an early example of the use of cannabis as a medicine.
Although cannabis is not officially useable throughout the United States, the cannabinoid CBD is legal throughout America and has many beneficial effects for regulating appetite and helping people lose weight.
A more directly applicable Traditional Chinese Medicine phytotherapy herb for weight loss is Dendrobium Nobile, which is one of the 50 fundamental herbs of TCM. Dendrobium has slowly made its way into the American dietary supplement market as a stimulant and weight loss product, although Chinese medicine uses it for many more reasons.
If you are interested in trying, you can buy dendrobium on Amazon.
Tai Chi is a mind and body practice that has lasted and grown through centuries of practice, involving gentle body movements (similar to dance) with a strong mental focus placed on relaxation and breathing.
The mental focus required is enough to improve the overall condition of anyone’s body!
Tai Chi is considered a moving meditation, and for hundreds of years, people in China have used Tai Chi as a health-maintenance exercise. Practicing Tai Chi has proven successful in preventing arthritis, heart diseases, stress and improving the coordination of both body and mind.
Tai chi’s smooth and harmonious movements make it an ideal exercise for convalescent patients and older adults.
Tai Chi is a perfect form of exercise for weight loss since it not only helps you burn calories, it helps you to improve your mindset in life as well.
Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditation is a core feature of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and it is truly a shame that it hasn’t branched into the Western world yet.
However, there is a growing movement of understanding for the weight loss benefits of mindfulness, which goes hand-in-hand with meditation.
“Mindfulness” is an innate human function, although many of us lose the ability to be “mindful” with the stress and busyness of our daily lives. When we practice mindfulness on a daily basis, it becomes easier to be conscious of how we are living our lives, treating our body, and our general state of health.
Practicing meditation does not take long, and the effort is entirely mental.
You can start with 1-minute meditation sessions, and continue to increase the duration as you desire.
Although meditation or mindfulness will not directly help you burn more calories, they will help you lose weight by redirecting your brain and Qi (body energy) towards your fitness goals.
Concluding Thoughts on the Benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine for Weight Loss
As you can see, there are a variety of ways in which Traditional Chinese Medicine can help you lose weight.
There are numerous herbs in the TCM Phytotherapy world which have direct weight loss benefits, and the philosophies of TCM are similarly as powerful.
Western medicine has yet to fully deem all of the practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine as safe, although history has shown great success with many of their methods. Although some of their practices are assuredly unsafe to practice without proper guidance, Traditional Chinese Medicine offers some incredibly healing choices and beneficial methodology for all of us!
I have found a lot of comfort in the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine for weight loss, and I am confident you will too!