Tired Of Counting Calories? Consider Managing Your Weight With Traditional Chinese Medicine Instead

12 March 2018

A Chinese physician shares how to lose weight by restoring your qi. 

When it comes to weight managment, the Western approach focuses largely on balancing the number of calories consumed with the number burned. 

On the other hand, rather than viewing obesity as a problem on its own, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) sees it as a symptom of an underlying dysfunction.

The build-up of fat is linked to overall bodily disharmony arising from disruptions in the natural flows of the body’s energies, which is known as qi – the vital energy or life force fundamental to our body’s processes and well-being. It 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 is viewed as the result of accumulated phlegm and internal dampness.


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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 the metabolism of fat and water, leading to water retention and a flabby body.

Due to a lowered metabolism rate, people with qi deficiency find it difficult to lose weight even though they are dieting and exercising. They also tend to suffer from other problems, such as fatigue and digestive issues. TCM physicians will assess them and make a diagnosis on their bodies’ constitution. A customised treatment plan will then be recommended to balance the body and rectify any disharmony in the organ systems.

Treatment includes acupuncture, cupping, herbal prescriptions and lifestyle recommendations. The root causes of these imbalances have to be addressed to solve weight problems.

Scroll through the gallery for weight loss tips recommended by Physician Lin Jia Yi of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic at HarbourFront and Eu Yan Sang TCM Wellness Clinic at Dhoby Ghaut.


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