Weight loss… such a golden carrot for so many of us! Alas, people often feel frustrated that they are “doing all the right things,” but still not able to lose weight. Sound familiar? Fortunately, I am here to share with you a lovely energizer buddy to help you achieve your goals!
As a Registered Acupuncturist, having helped many people, I have found the best approach to losing weight, is to focus on health.
A Focus on Good Health Cues
Whenever a patient comes to me about losing weight, I always help them shift their focus away from weight, and into health. Throw away the scale, and pay attention to how you feel instead. How do your clothes feel on you? How does your energy feel? These are far better cues than any scale because scales can play tricks on us, and they become like unfriendly mirrors on the floor. Additionally, the more we think about and focus on weight loss, the more the weight tends to stick to us like glue.
I have achieved the best success with myself and with my patients by shifting the goals to those of health rather than weight. The health cues we look at include improvements in digestion, circulation, aches, energy, emotional health, fluid metabolism, and presence of dampness/phlegm (Traditional Chinese Medicine terms) in the body. The great news is that as we become healthier, the unhealthy tissues naturally slip off. Feeling good and feeling energized promotes healthy choices. Weight loss becomes a pleasant side effect of getting healthier and more active. So, I make it my goal to help people see and embrace the key elements to achieving healthy, happy bodies and emotions. Below is a simplified approach to achieving these goals.
The basic keys to health from a Chinese Medicine approach are:
- Eat appropriate amounts of good food that is right for your constitution and the current season.
- Move regularly in activities you enjoy, such as walking, Qi gong, and other strengthening exercises, without overdoing it.
- Sleep regular hours, longer in the winter.
- Get acupuncture to help keep your Qi (life force) smooth and unblocked, kind of like giving your body a regular tune-up.
- Take herbal medicines to assist when needed.
A Weight Loss Assistant
Reishi (Ling zhi) is known as “The King Herb” in Chinese Medicine. It has been known for centuries to promote health and longevity. Red reishi has a wide range of health benefits, especially to support energy and soothe emotional angst, improving mood and sleep. When it comes specific to weight loss, red reishi is found to benefit the gut by improving the microbiome (good bacteria) and increasing metabolism.
The BBC published an article noting scientific findings that reishi slows weight gain. The study was done on mice, with one group of mice being supplemented reishi mushroom and the other acting as a control group and not supplemented. What they noticed is that the mice on reishi gained less weight on a high fat diet, and they were much slimmer when fed a normal diet, than the control group mice. The research team reported that reishi “may be used as pre-biotics to reduce body weight gain, chronic inflammation and insulin resistance [type 2 diabetes] in obese individuals.”
“The microbiome is certainly a key player in weight gain and weight loss, it’s certainly involved in extracting energy from our food.““Mushroom used in Chinese medicine ‘slows weight gain’”
BBC article http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33237991
The study also pointed out that of course you don’t then get to continue eating poorly and drinking fountains of sodas. So, don’t make the mistake of overeating and moving less just because you have Mikei on your side.
My advice is to keep moving forward, follow the above key steps, and adopt your new friend into your routine. It will be like adding an energizer buddy into your life. The combination of supplementing with Japanese red reishi and regular acupuncture treatments is a very strategic and successful method to lose weight, and achieve health! Remember, the key advantage and winning force is that is that the focus is on health, not weight. Losing weight becomes a happy side effect of getting stronger physically AND mentally! It is much easier to be happy and feel sexy in one’s skin when energy and spirit are vital and balanced.