A crucial cause of obesity- excessive moisture (II)

Do you know the phlegm and fat are of the same type in TCM?

Moisture is produced by spleen deficiency. Usually moisture is stored in the lungs.

Moisture is first stored in the lungs, and then morph into phlegm, which fills every alveoli, but the air breathed in by the lungs could vaporize the phlegm and exhale it out of the body. This process is called gasification. 

Moisture and fat are closely related, which are both called dampness in TCM. They are also prey of gasification of the lungs. The Lung Qi fills throughout the body; the more abundant the Qi, the faster the moisture is vaporized; When Lung Qi enters the blood, a mixture called ‘Qi and Blood’ is formed, and the more plentiful the Qi and Blood, the more fat can be gasified and burned.

This would help understand a common misconception in weigh loss.

Overweight people generally have symptoms like spleen deficiency and Qi and Blood deficiency. If all body fat within their body are extracted, they will be super skinny. Assume an individual of 140 pounds of body weight, and consists of 70 pounds of fat and the remaining  70 pounds bone, muscle and blood. This is a very weak body, which does not have sufficient Qi to gasify the overwhelming fat.

For overweight people who are physically weak, when practicing a weight loss program that includes both diet and exercises, both of which actually impair the already weak body. This is why these programs rarely work long term and rebound is all too common. If only impairing was done, eventually it would cause more diseases while not much weight is lost. The correct method is to enhance the body while rid the fat, which includes properly regulating the spleen and stomach so as to increase Qi and Blood, thereby enhancing body’s ability to vaporize moisture and eventually ‘burn’ body fat in the right way.

In summary:

  1. First of all, fat is caused by spleen deficiency.
  2. Moisture give rise to spleen deficiency
  3. It is only through combination of spleen invigoration, moisture dispelling, Qi and Blood enhancement, can weight loss be healthy and sustainable.

For people whose obesity is caused by moisture, their weight loss program should start from these three aspects.

A crucial cause of obesity- excessive moisture (I)

Some people would become obese even if only drinking water, and some can’t lose weight no matter how hard he/she tries. One possible cause is their obesity belongs to a type known as puffiness, which is caused by heavy Moisture- a crucial concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In the next series of posts we will take a look at how moisture in human body is turned into fat and lead to obesity. Granted this is from perspective of TCM.

How does moisture come into being?

Within human body, there are two organs that process water, one is the kidney and the other the spleen. The kidneys likes water, while the spleen prefers to stay dry.

Yang of Kidney could react with nutrition in food, generate heat to maintain body temperature, and evaporate water upward within the body. It is the ability of the kidney to distribute water throughout the body. The spleen governs the intestines and stomach, absorbs interior water into the blood, and the blood would transport water back to the kidneys, where some of these water is made into urine, thus forming circulation of body fluids.

Normal vs. Obese

For healthy people, the strength of the kidneys and spleen is more or less equal, but what if the spleen is deficient?

Then massive water dampness, or moisture would accumulate in body at large quantities, the tongue would be large and swollen due to excessive soaked in water, and covered with thick and white coating, plus there would be scallops on the edges of the tongue. Such moisture is usually piled up in the lower abs and legs; when they are mixed up with fat, it would make people look even more obese. There would also be a lot of water dampness in the stool, i.e. diarrhea, loose stool, and shapeless stool.

These water could pile up very quickly. Some weight-loss formulas use diuretic methods to increase the body’s water discharging capacity, which could become effective quickly. However, it only cures the symptoms; once the formulas are stopped, the lost weight would come back in no time, and this will be harmful to body as it compromises immunity and make people more susceptible to catching a cold.

Introduction to TCM- What does basic TCM theory describe?

What does basic TCM theory describe?

The basic theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) describe physiology and pathology of the human body, disease etiology, diagnosis, and differentiation of symptom-complexes. These include, but not limited to, the theory of Yin-Yang, Five Elements, Zang-fu (organs), Channels-collaterals (blood vessels), Blood and Qi, body fluid, and methods of diagnosis.

Fundamental theories in TCM include two outstanding features- holistic point of view, and application of treatment according to the differentiation of symptom-complexes. According to these theories, Zang-fu (organs) are the core of human body as an organic entity in which tissues and organs are connected through a network of meridians/channels and collaterals (blood vessels). This concept is applied extensively to all aspects of TCM, including physiology, pathology, diagnosis, and treatment.

Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang
Bladder Meridian of Foot-Taiyang and related acupoints

The functional physiological activities of the Zang-fu (organs) are dissimilar, but they work in coordination. There exists an organic connection between organs and their related tissues. Pathologically, dysfunction of the Zang-fu (organs) may be reflected on the body surface through the channels and their collaterals (e.g. pimples on skin or canker sores in mouth). Meanwhile, diseases of surface tissues of the body may also affect their related Zang-fu (organs). Affected Zang-fu (organs) may also influence each other through internal connections. TCM treatment consists of regulating functions of the Zang-fu (organs) in order to correct pathological changes. With the help of acupuncture, treatment can also be accomplished by stimulating certain areas of the external body.

Edited from http://tcmbasics.com/