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Obesity or being overweight is a huge issue in the United States. It is unfortunate that about 66% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese.  

Our body is made up of water, protein, minerals and fat. Accumulation of too much fat in the body leads to hypertension (high blood pressure), cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), arthritis, stroke and diabetes.  


What causes overweight/obesity?

- Slow metabolism
- Genetic factors
- Unhealthy diet/overeating
- Inactive lifestyle (especially spending a long time at office desk) 
- Alcoholism
- Emotional stress/insomnia

Oriental medicine diagnosis

In traditional medicine point of view, overweight/obesity is caused by dampness and phlegm. The organ that produces phlegm and is involved in transforming/transporting body fluids and food is spleen.  If the spleen becomes damaged, it cannot get rid of waste fluid.  Rather, the waste fluid itself will accumulate and transform into dampness, which later turns into phlegm. 

How does acupuncture help to lose weight?

Infinite craving of food is often caused by low level of endorphins. Acupuncture stimulates the brain to secrete more endorphins, thereby decreasing cravings. Endorphins also have effects in relaxing and calming the mind.  
Acupuncture also increases metabolism by stimulating thyroid and endocrine glands, resulting in stabilization of blood sugar levels.  
Acupuncture restores the balance by regulating free flow of qi. It is believed that maintaining balance of the whole body can help suppress voracious appetite.  
Sometimes being overweight is caused by accumulation of toxicity within the body. Acupuncture helps cleaning the body system. 

Other modalities that can help lose weight

First modality is moxibustion. It enhances blood circulation, increases body metabolism and qi (energy) flow.
Second modality is ear acupuncture, also known as auricular therapy. The ear, in oriental medicine, is a micro-system with points that match up some vital organs in the body. When the needles are inserted into these points, one's appetite can be controlled, overeating can be prevented and metabolism can be speeded up. A treatment procedure will be determined based on individual needs and will change from week to week as one begins to lose weight and experience successes or challenges with eating plan.  
And third modality that helps lose weight is the herbs. Herbs for weight loss work by enabling the body to process fat content in a more resourceful method and at the same time preventing unnecessary fat buildup in the body. They are also identified to provide a person with an increase in energy level, which helps maintain a regular exercise regime. In addition, these herbs can also help an individual to absorb food better and quicken up metabolism.