Combining Acupuncture with Western and Chinese Nutritional Treatment in Obesity
Overweight and obesity are increasing globally. Poor eating habits contribute to its development and affect its treatment. This is an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal diseases, pulmonary and gastrointestinal disorders, and some cancers.
Chinese Differential Diagnosis and Disharmonies
The specific diagnosis system in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) distinguishes obesity in terms of emptiness, fullness, and full-heat types. Primary overweight is due to a weakness in the middle burner of Spleen and Stomach.
Medical acupuncture enables an individual treatment as part of an integrative concept. Specific acupuncture points influence Spleen Qi Deficiency with Phlegm-Damp-Blockage, Spleen and Kidney Yang Deficiency, Liver Qi Stagnation with Spleen Qi Deficiency, or Phlegm-Fire in the Stomach. Western Nutritional Assessment and Dietary Recommendations: Obesity is classified according to the WHO. The disease risk depends on body mass index and waist circumference. Nutritional lab parameters should be measured. The main goals are the reduction of abdominal fat and obesity-associated health risks and comorbidities, increased exercise, and behavior therapy. Low-fat and low-carb diets are recommended, as well as some other nutritional therapies.
Principles of Chinese Nutrition
The guidelines are based on the qualitative aspects of food in TCM. The most important effects are due to temperature and flavor. Depending on the different syndrome patterns, practical counseling selects hot, warm, neutral, cool, or cold food with salty, sour, bitter, sweet, or pungent flavors.
The prevalence of obesity means that a new medical treatment strategy is required. Modern Western therapies should include medical acupuncture and Chinese nutrition as an integrative concept for the benefit of patients.