Weight Loss with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine - 1. Introduction

by Scott Schauland, RAc

Weight Loss with Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine - 1. Introduction, Ginkgo Leaf Acupuncture in Grand Rapids, MI


In this series of blog posts, I will explore what causes obesity, known as féi pàng (肥胖) in Chinese. I will explore how to most effectively treat it from an East Asian Medicine perspective, with acupuncture and herbs.


Here are quick links to each section of the blog series:
1. Introduction
2. Historical theories
3. Modern diagnoses (to be released)
4. A new treatment progression (to be released)
5. Practical implications for the patient (to be released)
6. How to eat and exercise for weight loss (to be released)
7. Overcoming common obstacles (to be released)
8. 3 key points (to be released)



A few of my patients asked me about whether acupuncture and herbs can help with weight loss, and I decided to research the topic. As usual, I went off the deep end and dug into every nook and cranny of every possible textbook and source I could find.

When I first started receiving acupuncture treatments, I also asked this same question to my acupuncturist, and didn’t get a clear response. For years now, I’ve heard multiple different practitioners say, “If I knew of a magic acupuncture point that could cause weight loss, I would be rich and skinny by now”. So, it’s an assumption among many practitioners that weight loss isn’t easy with this form of medicine.

However, I believe in the possibility of Chinese Medicine being able to treat any health condition, and I think we need to just broaden our perspectives in order to discover the solution.

Being an acupuncturist now myself, I am also overweight due to spending years studying hard and not getting adequate exercise, as well as being on the “Eat Whatever You Want” diet. My weight has always bothered me, and it does even more so now that I’m someone who is supposed to represent East Asian Medicine as an acupuncturist. I feel insecure about looking big and disproportionate to other people; and although I don’t see myself looking all that bad in the mirror, when I see myself on video or in pictures, I very often don’t relate to the person I’m seeing. The excess weight looks like something unnatural to me, and is definitely something I want to get rid of.

So, I fully understand wanting to find an effective solution to this problem.

Having done the textual research now, I’m very confident that the treatment principles I’ve discovered can supercharge our weight loss efforts, if only we do what it takes.


Next: Historical theories...