What is cholesterol and how is it bad? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your body and many foods. Your body needs cholesterol to function normally and makes all that you need. Too much cholesterol can sometimes build up in your arteries. After a while, these deposits narrow your arteries, putting you at risk for heart disease and stroke.
Since you can have high cholesterol without realizing it, it’s important to have your blood cholesterol levels checked. Most of the 65 million Americans with high cholesterol have no symptoms. All adults age 20 and older should have their cholesterol levels checked at least once every five years, or more frequently if cholesterol levels are elevated.
High cholesterol can also develop in early childhood and adolescence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the risk increases as weight increases. In the United States alone, more than twenty percent of youth aged 1219 years have at least one abnormal lipid level. Children over the age of two should have their cholesterol checked if they are overweight or obese, have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, have diabetes, high blood pressure, or certain chronic conditions such as kidney disease, inflammatory diseases, congenital heart disease, and childhood cancer.
Research has clearly shown that lowering cholesterol can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Whether you have heart disease already or want to prevent it, you can reduce your risk for having a heart attack by lowering your cholesterol level.
According to the American Heart Association, exercise and a healthy, balanced diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats is important to lowering risk and improving your cardiovascular health. Speak to your health care providers to make sure your cholesterol is being monitored and find out how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you stay healthy.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine can be used to treat many of the health conditions known to drastically increase the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol including smoking, high blood pressure, excess weight, and diabetes.
The main goal in treating high cholesterol is to lower your LDL level. Studies have proven that lowering LDL can prevent heart attacks and reduce deaths from heart disease in both men and women.
Being physically inactive contributes to overweight and can raise your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is known as the “bad” cholesterol. Inactivity lowers your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol. Regular physical activity can raise HDL and lower triglycerides, and can help you lose weight. In that way, activity can help lower your LDL. Participate in physical activity of moderate intensitylike brisk walkingfor at least 30 minutes on most, and preferably all, days of the week. No time? Break the 30 minutes into three, 10-minute segments during the day.
Don’t smoke. If you do smoke, contact our office to discuss ways in which acupuncture can help you quit.
Chinese acupuncture is finally getting under the skin of dieters by tapping into the body’s many hidden energy meridians. The ancient practice of acupuncture helps to heal a host of ailments, and practitioners of Western medicine now embrace it to quell chronic pain, postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, addictions and weight loss. When fine needles are barely inserted into the skin along strategic points on the body it can restore balance to the flow of energy along rivers of Qi (pronounced chee), or life force.
There are many reasons people become overweight – hormone imbalances, slowed metabolism, overeating, poor nutrition and lack of exercise are some of the most common.
Using acupuncture to tackle weight loss is a multi-pronged approach.
Pinning Down the Benefits
The rationale for using acupuncture for weight control is based in the premise that weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the regulating center of the brain, called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining “homeostasis” or functional balance that allows the body to run like a finely tuned instrument. It is the body’s dispatch center that regulates hormones and neurochemicals, and helps to control body temperature, circadian rhythm, thirst and hunger.
Of particular interest is the ability of acupuncture to influence obesity hormones. Research measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss found treatments increased ghrelin, a hormone that controls meal initiation and decreased leptin, the hormone that regulates fat storage and metabolism.
The guiding principal is that acupuncture can power up any other weight control strategy by curbing appetite, quelling cravings, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, regulating obesity-related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are used. It also strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. Acupuncture may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people know that they are full.
Earmark of Acupuncture
To pinpoint the Qi for effective weight control, acupuncturists take aim at 4 acupuncture points on the ear – the hunger point, Shen Men point, stomach point, and endocrine point. A few tiny sterilized needles are inserted along these invisible channels to decrease the “heat” generated along these meridians and to stimulate centers that trigger the release of neurochemicals and hormones.
During some courses of treatment, the needles are covered with tape so that they can be left in place for a few days. Patients later remove them at home or during follow-up visits to the acupuncturist. Some practitioners may also use “ear seeds” that patient wear home that can be massaged periodically to help with difficult-to-control urges.
Guidance For Using Acupuncture For Weight Loss
- Choose a qualified practitioner – Most states require that acupuncturists be licensed to assure that they have completed the necessary education and training standards to practice. You may see L.Ac. (licensed acupuncturist) following his or her name. Acupuncturists may also be medical doctors or other medical professional who have completed a postgraduate program of study.
- Complete a full course of treatment – Acupuncture for weight loss is best achieved with 10 treatments delivered over a few weeks.
Follow a comprehensive weight-loss plan – Acupuncture should be used alongside a comprehensive weight-loss plan, like the Dr. Oz Diet that includes healthy food choices coupled with exercise.
- Don’t Confuse Treatments — Although ear stapling is loosely based on the concept of acupuncture, it is an imprecise method that uses surgical staples that penetrate the cartilage of the ear, which is know to promote infection.
Oriental Medicine for Weight Management
In Oriental medicine the root of excess weight is an imbalance within the body caused by malfunctioning of the spleen and liver organ systems. Acupuncture points, as well as foods and herbs selected to assist with weight loss can directly influence the Qi of the spleen and liver systems and treat the imbalances that have caused weight gain.
The spleen is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive system, ensuring that the food we eat is transformed into Qi, the vital substance of life. Disharmony of the spleen will result in symptoms such as fatigue, slow metabolism, water retention, loose stool and a feeling of heaviness.
The liver’s job is to keep the flow of your body’s Qi, blood and emotions running smoothly. Our modern, fast-paced lifestyle and chronic stress can negatively impact the liver’s ability to function properly and smoothly, which, in turn, can cause the spleen and the entire digestive system to function poorly. One result can be a decrease in your metabolism. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the “triggers” that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine have been shown to have positive effects on the functioning of the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems. Treatment can help with food cravings and metabolism. These functions all help energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite and reduce anxiety.
Come in for a consultation to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can assist you with your weight management goals and help you to live a long, healthy life!
A Total Health Program
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine address the issues of over-eating and low metabolism with effective tools to control appetite and increase energy. Energy imbalances are corrected and the digestive and elimination processes are improved so that there is a physical shift in the body to naturally have more energy and desire less food.
By addressing both the physiological and psychological aspects of weight management concerns, acupuncture and Oriental medicine provide a comprehensive therapy for weight issues that promote better digestion, balance emotions, reduce appetite, improve metabolism and eliminate food cravings.
Each treatment is customized to the needs of the individual patient. Acupuncture points on the body are chosen for overall well being with the objective of increasing circulation of the blood and Qi (to stimulate the metabolism) and calming the nervous system. Treatments can include a combination of auricular (ear) and body acupuncture, ear tacks or pellets to leave on between treatments, herbs and supplements, abdominal massage, breathing exercises, and food and lifestyle recommendations.
In addition to treating the root of the imbalance within the body, different acupuncture points may be used for each treatment as different symptoms arise. For instance, if you are experiencing a desire to overeat related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) one week, then that can be addressed at that week’s appointment.
The herbs and foods that are chosen during a weight management treatment are for promoting healthy digestion, energizing the body, augmenting Qi, and improving elimination of water, toxins and waste products. Acupuncture points on the abdomen can help improve digestion. They can also help with food absorption and the movement of food through the intestines.
Deep breathing with visualization can also strengthen will power and be used as a tool to curb hunger and cravings. Most patients report a marked decline in appetite and cravings with acupuncture treatment alone, but special herbs, healing foods and exercises can definitely enhance the efficacy of the treatments.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine are powerful tools for achieving a healthy weight, by itself or as a supportive treatment in conjunction with other weight management programs.
Original source: Acufinder.com