Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a holistic understanding of obesity. Rather than viewing
obesity as a problem on its own, TCM sees it as a symptom of an underlying bodily dysfunction.
The build-up of fat is linked to overall bodily disharmony arising from disruptions in the natural
flows of the body’s energies, known as Qi, the vital energy or life force that is fundamental to our
body’s processes and wellbeing.
Qi governs and facilitates the proper functioning of all organs, promotes the healthy formation and circulation of blood, and supports the metabolism of body fluids.
When Qi is disrupted, the functions of one or more organs will be affected, leading to the accumulation and stagnation of dampness and phlegm. In TCM, fat in the body is viewed as the result of accumulated phlegm and internal dampness.
One common body constitution or underlying problem leading to weight gain is Qi deficiency,
especially in the Spleen and Stomach systems. Deficiency in Qi will slow down the metabolism
of fat and water, leading to water retention and a flabby body.
Due to lowered metabolism rate, people with Qi deficiency find it difficult to lose weight even though they diet and exercise. These people also tend to suffer from other problems such as fatigue and digestive issues.
TCM physicians will assess the patient and make an appropriate diagnosis on their body
constitution. A customised treatment plan will then be recommended for the patient to balance the
body and to rectify any disharmony in the organ systems. Treatment includes acupuncture,
cupping, TCM herbal prescriptions and lifestyle recommendations. The root causes of these
imbalances have to be addressed in order to solve weight problems.
Here are some of the tips given by Eu Yan Sang’s senior physician Lin Jia Yi.