In general, there are two kinds of obesity: primary obesity and secondary obesity.
Primary obesity is often the result of the following factors: excessive food consumption and lack of exercises. Secondary obesity is often caused by hypothyroidism or other medical conditions that affect the nervous system and/or endocrine system.
Symptoms associated with obesity can be low energy, shortness of breath, mental fogginess, somnolence, insomnia, excessive sputum or phlegm in the lungs, bloated stomach, sticky stool, spontaneous sweat, edema, poor or strong appetite, depression etc. If left untreated, it may cause diabetes, hypertension, atheroslerosis (thickening of the inner lining of the arterial walls), impotence, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and some types of infectious diseases.
In TCM diagnosis, obesity is attributed to excessive dampness or phlegm accumulation. Dampness, as one of the six pathogenic factors in TCM philosophy (the other five are wind, cold, summer heat, dryness, fire), has the nature of heaviness and stickiness. Such properties contribute to the "dragging feeling" of a patient, whether physical (heavy body) or mental (foggy mind).
Acupuncture is usually used for the primary type of obesity. Acupuncture points of the spleen, stomach, kidney and large intestine channels are selected to address the issue. Once the energy of these organs and channels are restored to their balance and optimal state, a healthy body weight will be observed along with the elimination of the associated symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, more severe conditions such as cancer, heart disease can also be prevented.
Besides acupuncture, cupping is another effective treatment for weight loss. The suction of a cup promotes the circulation and metabolism of fat tissues, thus accelerates the process. The best result can be obtained by combining acupuncture, cupping and Chinese medicinal herbs. Any of these treatments can be used as a stand alone treatment for primary obesity.
For primary obesity, the total effective rate is almost 100% within 30 times of treatments. One can expect to see result within five treatments. The result for secondary obesity is not as good as the primary. The effective rate of such is unclear. However, from my experience, a combination of treatment and exercises can at least improve, if not eliminate, some of the symptoms.
On the contrary, the treatment can also be used for weight gain. We will discuss this in the future.