It is common for people to contact practitioners of Oriental Medicine for weight loss. Alternatively, issues of weight and weight loss may arise during treatment for other conditions.
Weight and body image play a very large role in the self-esteem of people in this country. This is because of such a heavy emphasis on conformity to certain body norms. There may also be complex psychosocial issues surrounding the whole subject of weight. Stress is a not-well measured component of compulsivity in regard to eating.
Being overweight can be caused by over-retention of fluids, which is commonly seen in our country. The function of the spleen in Oriental Medicine is to ensure that body fluids are transformed and transported around the body. If the spleen is not functioning well, body fluids will accumulate in the tissues with weight gain and a mixture of different symptoms depending on where the fluids are being retained. For example, fluids can accumulate in the joints leading to pain and restricted mobility. In women, breast tenderness leading up to the menstrual period is caused by over-retention of fluids in the breasts combined with poor movement of energy in the chest.
Of course it is important to understand how stress, diet and activity work together in maintaining the body’s energetic balance. Inactivity, combined with eating the wrong types of food for a long period of time, is going to lead to an imbalance. When there is balance, the food we consume is not converted exclusively into excess weight. The subject of Oriental Dietary Therapy is very broad. I also recommend seeking a consultation before making dietary changes, as this subject is complex.