††††††† COLORADO SERENITY Ė November 2004† (Weighing In)
Tracy Saraduke, RN, M.Ac. L.Ac.
3082 Evergreen Parkway, Suite 2
Evergreen, CO 80439
Iíve puzzled over the ďweightĒ topic and the many factors that affect it.† On the radio, they recently announced that surgery for obesity can help diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.† What a drastic solution!† Every day you can see new articles, ads, or other information on how to lose weight.† Iíve wondered what acupuncture can add to the discussion.
The prevailing East Asian medical prescription for health is acupuncture, Chi Gung, and diet.† Acupuncture addresses blockages and imbalances.† Chi Gung also moves chi (life energy) to maintain and support the balance.† Good diet increases chi.† In Western terms, you do these three things to optimize your metabolism.
Americans spend over $40 billion per year to lose weight, but the percentage of overweight Americans continues to increase.† Something must be wrong with the approach.† Perhaps there is more in the equation than calories, fat content, gender, age, heredity, and cardiovascular exercise.
††††† Studies show that Americans are the most anxious eaters in the world, obsessing about calories, fats, and the latest scientific fad of what is or isnít healthy.† The experts conclude that worrying about food is not good for your health, and a more relaxed and social approach toward eating could break our unhealthy habit of binges and fad-diets.† We could eat less and actually enjoy it more.
Why were people in the 1950ís so much smaller than we are today?† It certainly was a time of abundance.† Moms who stayed home and cooked may be part of the answer.† They prohibited snacks and insisted on everyone eating dinner together.† This along with smaller portions and a more labor intense lifestyle are a part of the answer.† There was less fast food and no super sizing.†
You wonít see Europeans and Asians jogging or spending hours at the gym, but they donít have the weight issues we Americans have.† They donít eat in their cars, or obsess about carbs and fats either. They are less stressed, take more vacation time, and in general are less ambitious.
Maybe it isnít just the red wine or the olive oil that the French eat, but how they eat that keeps them in better health.† While they eat unhealthy foods, they have very strict and stable rules: they eat small portions, donít go back for seconds, donít snack, and seldom eat alone.† Communal meals are long leisurely affairs.
We all accept that exercise gets muscles and blood moving.† What if you could get things moving in all of your organs as well as in the muscles?† Then, the Kidneys could remove the water and help decrease bloating and water weight.† Pancreas/Stomach brought into balance would decrease cravings.† The Liver tuned up would affect hormones and emotional balance.† Lung can move our chi so that we feel more resilient.† All of these organ systems in balance and not fighting each other let us crave less, eat less, and have more energy.
In many Asian countries, the population does some sort of daily stretching and breathing routine.† They move all of the joints and loosen muscle tightness, which increases chi flow, gradually working through the stuck places in the body.† This is not cardiovascular exercise but medical Chi Gung, Tai Chi, or SoTai.† Maybe we westerners have it wrong in our extreme workouts, with our notion that no pain is no gain.† Can billions of Chinese be wrong?†
If your hips are tight and you take up running, you will still have tight hips and a block in your circulation.† In contrast, doing a daily chi exercise will gradually remove the tightness.† In the beginning you may want to do an intensive program with acupuncture, but in the end you only need a maintenance program.† You are never too old, too sick or too big to start moving your chi.