TCM and Obesity

TCM & Obesity

Not only does obesity affect one’s appearance, more importantly, it increases the risk of developing certain conditions such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, arteriosclerosis (heart disease), fatty liver, infertility etc. Losing weight should not be done solely for vanity purposes, but for health and the prevention of diseases.

From TCM’s perspective, excess fats are mostly due to ‘dampness’ and ‘phlegm’ in the body. Our spleen is in charge of the transportation and transformation of food and our bodily fluids. Over time, due to inactivity and excessive intake of sweet, fried and greasy food, the spleen becomes less efficient in the movement and transport of fluids and food. Hence, ‘dampness’ and ‘phlegm’ accumulates and turn into fatty tissues.

A TCM treatment does not deal only with the excess fats. It also treats the underlying condition of the body that might have led to the weight gain. It brings harmony and restores balance; and once one’s overall wellness is taken care of, the spleen and metabolism will then be able to process fluids and food efficiently. Losing weight will then no longer be an issue as long as the correct food are consumed in suitable portions.

Maintaining a healthy weight requires life-long effort and commitment. Self-motivation and patience are crucial to kick-start and sustain weight loss.


  • Move ‘Qi’ frequently: The flow of ‘Qi’ can become stagnant or blocked due to ‘dampness’ and ‘phlegm’. It is necessary to move one’s ‘Qi’ to clear stagnation and help in the metabolic process. It is advisable for an individual to exercise 3 to 5 times a week, in conjunction with acupuncture to aid in the circulation of ‘Qi’.
  • Drink tea: After a heavy or high-fat meal, Pu-erh tea can help dissolve fatty acids. Alternatively, you can make your own tea with Chinese Hawthorn, Cassia Seeds and Lotus Leaf!
  • Acupressure: In addition to acupuncture, we can also use acupressure on the ears to suppress appetite and facilitate body metabolism on a daily basis.


Article by Physician Vivian Lee

Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

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