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Losing Weight And Gaining Spirit With Acupuncture

With the new year comes promises to the self, in the form of resolutions.  People get into such a frenzy about creating sometimes unrealistic expectations for themselves, usually due to the pressures of modern society that insists this is something we should all be doing, so why haven’t you?

The problem is, creating a better version of yourself this year does not have to come in the form of a mountain.  Sometimes starting with a molehill of good, simple decisions, baby steps, that are easy to attain and give a sense of satisfaction, at least when beginning the process, creates more change in the long run.  And, this is true when dealing with issues such as weight, quitting smoking, substance abuse, or anything else that we’d like to greatly change in our lives, but may have been with us for a while.  It is a process.  And, permanent change takes time, and there are no fast, easy ways to that get that gold ring at the end of the finish line.  But, process doesn’t have to mean pure drudgery.

To start off with:

Resolutions are nice.  Intentions work better.
Manifest a new story for yourself this year!

You’ve heard it said many times:  the definition of crazy is doing the same action over and over, knowing that it’ll never work.  The way to get around this is to change that action, shift your thought.  Recognize that you are in an unhealthy pattern that is not working for you.  One of the best ways to find out if you are continuing on an unhealthy road is to ask yourself, “How does this serve me?”  If it doesn’t, time to rethink.

New Year’s resolutions usually come in the form of “I will lose 100 lbs. by next month”, “I will totally revamp my diet by next week”, “I will quit smoking this weekend”.  Although there are all types of ways these statements could be possible, it takes a massive amount of readiness, courage, support (from friends and those who specialize in what you’re trying to address), possible surgery, and change in order make this all happen.

What I’ve seen that works better?  Making intentions.  Intentions are not like resolutions, in that, they are not just a promise, but you are planting a seed to co-create, with the powers that be, a new pattern for yourself.  They are often more attainable.  You can meditate on them, journal about them, make a list, or, as I like to do, create a box of intentions (see my blog post from last year featuring my 2011 box of intentions.)  The reason I like to do this, is because I’ve always enjoyed being crafty (I’ve written and published my own zines, poems, knit, dance, among other things), and I’m a visual person at heart.

So, I took a 99 cent gift box I found in Duane Reade, painted it, trimmed it with beads, and filled it with snippets of intentions for the coming year.  Upon re-evaluating my 2011 intentions this recent New Year’s Eve, I’d discovered I’d manifested the majority of them, and the one that hadn’t yet taken shape is now in process!  How satisfying.

Losing weight is a common thing many of us would like to do as the new year begins.  As I’d mentioned, there is no quick fix in losing weight (of course, there is always plastic surgery and liposuction; however, even with that, if your diet is unhealthy, your weight and health are still going to be issues.)  But, there are numerous things that you can do that can create a slimmer, healthier you, especially, when you address it holistically.  And, when I say holistically, I mean the whole shebang:  addressing weight physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally.  Because weight isn’t just about the physical weight.  It is often what we are carrying around emotionally, words, thought patterns, or fear to be ourselves that have weighed us down spiritually, and that we continue to live outdated stories for.  You get the picture.

With that in mind, some great intentions for 2012, if you are concerned about losing weight, would be:

“In 2012, I will lower, and eventually, cut out intake of refined flour and sugar from my diet.”  (Whole grain flour and brown sugar/sucanat are better choices to incorporate.  Your abdomen and digestion will thank you, and you will see less abdominal distention to boot!)

“In 2012, I will make time for exercise at least 3 times a week, and will begin exercising now with brisk 30 minute walks 3 times a week.”  (Here’s where the readiness is key.  If you are not used to making time for exercise, and you want to lose some weight, it’s time to make time for it in your schedule!  And brisk walking is a thing many New Yorkers do already.  If you want scenic, or are not a New Yorker, try the parks for a good dose of green!)

“In 2012, I will lose ‘x’ amount of pounds in ‘x’ months.”  (Here is where you would make an assessment of how many pounds you’d like to lose.  Most importantly, make sure it is a reasonable amount of weight you can lose in the time frame you’ve given yourself.  If helpful, break this intention into 2 manageable ones, one a step towards the other.)

“In 2012, I will nourish myself in healthy ways for my body, mind, and spirit.”  (Addressing your whole self makes all the difference.)

“In 2012, I will find support, and surround myself with people who are healthy for me, to help me reach my weight loss goals.”  (Loved ones and professionals who know what they’re doing and you feel connected with.)

Weight loss is successful when combining healthier diet, manageable exercise regimen, weighing ourselves to notice when our weight fluctuates, surrounding ourself with a healthy support system, and consistency with all.  Notice I have not mentioned any quick fixes – Lipozene, be gone!

Part of the healthy support system is getting regular acupuncture treatments.  Did you know that there are points in the ear that can help with weight loss?  The ear is a microcosm of the body, as I’d mentioned in a previous blog post dealing with treating drug addiction with ear acupuncture.  There is actually a Hunger point on the ear, as well as Endocrine, Stomach, Spleen, Shen Men, and Sympathetic points.  The Endocrine helps address possible hormone imbalances and affects the metabolism, and the latter two reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system.  One or more could possibly be used during an acupuncture session.

In an actual acupuncture treatment for weight loss, points on the body would also be prescribed, since there are many reasons why a person may be having a challenging time with weight.  The Spleen and Stomach channels may good places to start, for obvious reasons.

However, in focusing on the whole body, acupuncture can address the physical and spiritual aspects of weight loss, or the issues surrounding why weight loss could be difficult for a certain individual.  For instance, if you are having a hard time focusing on exercise because you are running on empty, then there are certain points to boost the adrenals, qi, and blood.  If you are having a hard time losing weight because you have digestive issues that are manifesting, this is where the Spleen and Stomach channels can help alleviate the symptoms, so your body can then digest the nutrients you intake more effectively.  These would be some physical aspects.  And a thorough acupuncture treatment would also include talking about lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise.

If you lack the confidence and assertiveness to lose weight, aspects of what the Chinese call the Hun (ethereal soul), looking into the Liver may be helpful.  If you are overthinking things to the point of paralyzing any action towards change, you are dealing with the Yi (intellect), a Spleen aspect.  And the list goes on.  But, as you can see, since every person is different, and there are many reasons why one may be dealing with weight issues than another, every person would likely have a different, personalized protocol of points.

Ginger/Sheng Jiang/Salabat Tea promotes digestion. Photo by IndyPosted.

(Does that ginger tea/sheng jiang/salabat look familiar to you?  It should, I talked about ginger tea in this previous post and this one.)

So, take in all the nourishment this new year, in the form of food, love, health, digest your life more fully, and release that baggage you’ve been carrying around, especially if it no longer serves you!



Copyright © 2012 by Alcantara Acupuncture & Healing Arts. All rights reserved. You may quote, copy, translate and link to this article, in its entirety, on free, non-donation based websites only, as long as you include the author name and a working link back to this website. All other uses are strictly prohibited.

All information on this website is my own opinion, and not to be taken as medical advice. Reliance on any information provided on this website is solely at your own risk. Please refer to your medical practitioner before making any medical decisions.

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