If nothing seems to work in helping you shed off those extra kilos, you may want to give acupuncture a try! With the obesity rate expected to continue rising in Malaysia, it is not uncommon to see people resorting to all kinds of weight loss methods to get into shape.
Researchers from INTI International University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences may have found an alternative way to tackle body weight issues. In a study conducted by Dr. Heng Aik Teng, Prof. Dr. Wong Ling Shing, Leong May Ho, and Lee Loong Ern, the effectiveness of the needling method in harmonizing body weight management was identified.
The study titled “The Acupuncture Using Needling Method of Harmonizing Spleen-Stomach for Body Weight Management: A Study in Malaysia” indicated that acupuncture needling enhanced body weight management due to the flow of qi that enters throughout the human body.
Qi is known as vital energy that maintains the human body’s health. The research explained that when qi flows through the lung, it will be connected to regulate water passage and transport the water downwards to the body. The process will help fluid and essence distribute through the whole body – skin, hair, and five zang organs (heart, lung, liver, spleen, and kidney).
“It was stated in Huang Di Nei Jing, a Chinese traditional book, when the spleen and stomach are in a state of exuberance, it shows that the body is healthy to allow qi at the spleen so it can be transported normally,” said Dr. Heng, adding that the lung has the control to regulate the flow of blood, qi, and fluid towards the body.
The study further revealed that while qi at spleen can easily be transported, the vital energy, blood, and solid state of muscles will allow the maintenance of healthy body weight and help reduce body weight.
“Unhealthy spleen would cause the blockage of qi, and lead to the production of phlegm, dampness, edema, and obesity. When certain channels are blocked, it interrupts the flow of qi from moving freely through the body. Through acupuncture or needling treatment, it will clear blockages and promote a healthy flow of energy throughout the body,” he said.
Published in the Studies on Ethno-Medicine journal, the research gathered participants aged 18 to 50 years old from INTI International University’s Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Clinic in Nilai to identify the effectiveness of harmonizing spleen stomach for body weight management.
A full course of treatment consists of eight acupuncture sessions over four weeks. With a 30-minute stimulation on acupoints from five meridian namely the conception vessel (任), hand yangming large intestine meridian (手阳明大肠经), foot yangming stomach meridian (足阳明胃经), foot tainyin spleen meridian (足太阴脾经) and foot jueying liver meridian (足厥阴肝经). The subjects were asked to measure their body weight before and after the course of the treatment.
“This project would help to regulate the spreading of nutrients and body fluid to the whole body simply by using a disposable needle inserted into acupuncture points until the ‘depth of qi arrival’ is obtained and retained at the points for 30 minutes,” he said, adding that all subjects were not required to change their diet or perform any exercise after the treatment.
The findings also showed that although the spleen-stomach needling procedure was successful in lowering body weight, participants under the age of 25 lost more weight than those between the ages of 25 and 50.
“Youngsters are healthier, and they are believed to have more balance in yin and yang. Meanwhile, subjects over 25 years old had poor regulation of yin and yang as well as qi and blood due to their imbalanced body constitution that has been developed.
“The needling method of harmonizing the spleen-stomach introduced by Prof. Zhi-Long Zhang in a Chinese traditional medicine book is considered effective in reducing body weight in Malaysia. People are encouraged to look out for other options if all else fails in reducing their weight,” he said.
To conclude, he reminded that while acupuncture is a good alternative for weight loss, those who wish to try it should always seek treatment from a licensed Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner.
A study titled “The Acupuncture Using Needling Method of Harmonizing Spleen-Stomach for Body Weight Management: A Study in Malaysia” indicated that acupuncture needling treatments enhanced body weight management due to the flow of qi that enters throughout the human body.
It is about time that people with weight issues look out for other options such as the needling treatment to regulate the flow of qi which enhances body weight management.
A needle is inserted into each acupuncture point until the “depth of qi arrival” is obtained and retained at the points for 30 minutes.