Traditional Chinese Medicine (TMC) looks at various conditions and diseases as being caused by either an excess, a deficiency or a blockage. Being overweight or obese is usually seen as an excess of dampness, which becomes an excess of phlegm and eventually turns to an excess of fat. Being overweight and obesity can also be caused by a stagnation of chi (energy), liver chi as well as deficiency of spleen and kidney chi.
The following points can support the effort to lose weight by acting to control appetite, disperse dampness and stimulate stagnant and deficient chi:
- Tragus – In TMC, the ear is a representation of the body with points that correspond to almost every part and system of the whole. The Tragus, the little flap of cartilage (usually triangular in shape) in front of the ear canal, corresponds with appetite control and hunger. Pinch and hold the Tragus for a full breath cycle. Repeat five times on each side.
- Conception Vessel 6 – 1.5 cun (finger widths) below the navel, CV6 is great for awakening energy and to tonify chi, or life force energy. CV6 also regulates the lower burner of the Triple Heater, an “organ” in Chinese medicine that oversees digestion of food and energy. Press into this point on the exhale and hold for three full breaths. Repeat three times.
- Stomach 36 – Located just below the knee on the lateral side of the shinbone, this point is known as “Three Mile Point” due to its ability to invigorate the body. Known for clearing obstructions and motivating the patient, this is an excellent point to get the energy moving again. Press into this point and hold for three full breath cycles. Repeat three times on each side.
- Large Intestine 4 – Often referred to as the “great eliminator,” this point tonifies and stimulates the digestive system and reduces constipation. Located between the thumb and forefinger in the fleshy “V” between the bones, pinch this point until you feel resistance or pain and hold for three full breath cycles. Repeat three times on each hand.
- Spleen 6 – Known as Three Yin Crossing, Sp 6 is located three cun above the medial malleolus (bone protrusion on inner ankle – below the medial condyle of the tibia, in the depression posterior and inferior to the medial border of the tibia) and is excellent for stimulating the spleen and stomach and resolving dampness, which is associated with being overweight. Press into this point and hold for three breath cycles. Repeat three times.
- Spleen 9 – Excellent for resolving dampness, which is associated with obesity, Sp 9 is the He-Sea point for regulating the Spleen where the chi of the meridian collects and enters the body. Spleen 9 is a powerful point for regulating spleen energy and activity. Press into this point and hold for three breath cycles. Repeat three times.
- Liver 3 – LV 3 regulates Liver chi and nourishes Liver energy. Located in the valley between the first and second toe, this point stimulates the chi in Liver and stimulates the organ itself. Press into this point and hold for three breath cycles. Repeat three times.
- Conception Vessel 12 – The Mu point for Stomach on the Conception Vessel meridian, this point can be found four cun above the navel, about half way between the navel and the diaphragm. This point helps resolve dampness and stimulates digestion and the middle burner of the Triple Heater meridian. This point is great for stimulating digestion and elimination. Press into this point and hold for three breath cycles. Repeat three times.
Traditional Chinese Medicine also emphasizes the importance of a healthy diet, high in vegetables and lean protein and low in fat and carbohydrates, as well as regular exercise to aid in moving chi through the meridian system of the body. If you are trying to lose weight, try adding acupressure to your diet and exercise routine.
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