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By Dr. Tukmachi
Clinical Director of Acumedica clinics

When the Christmas and new year celebration events were over, d o you feel in the aftermath of: anxiety, depression, lethargy, weakness, a distorted sleeping pattern and put on weight? Probably you need acupuncture and detoxification program.

In this article we  would like explore one of the healthiest ways to detoxify your body, adding more energy, focusing with your mind, and to be ready in having the new year with positive feelings and confidence.  The Christmas and new year festive is an enjoyable peroid of our life  but it has a temporary changes in our life style (such as changes in diet habit with over-eating and disturbances in their sleeping pattern).  However, once the Christmas  and new year are over, most people will end up with feeling the blues with putting piles of pounds on their weight. They are usually worried with how to loss that extra weight and how to MAINTAINE it.

The acupuncture treatment is regarded as a useful tool in the treatment of the above signs and symtoms including the help to reduce weight when it is combined with a good detoxification. Such detoxification program consists of fasting (two days a week on Fruits or vegetales), healthy diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques.

The recent clinical research sudties showed that acupuncture is  the best alternative therapy for these problems, provided that the patients are keen to change the  lifestyle. The acupuncture needling of certai points on the body and the ear may stimulate the release  the good feeling hormones (endorphins) which induce sedation and relaxing effects. Such mechanism will have an action on reducing the  unwanted symptoms of craving to food, stress, frustration and anxiety. It has also a significant effects on the digestive and hormonal systems to help rebalance the body organs that are running too fast- or in this case too slow–i.e., the metabolism and the will power.

coud induce physiological changes within the body including reduced the intestinal movement, indigestion and reduction in the secretion of gastric acids and enzymes. Such changes have a tendency to encourage the multiplication of the less favourable bacteria.

What is the role of Acupuncture with detoxification program to rsolve these symptoms?
Any healthy body is ususally dependent upon a healthy diet, healthy ecological balance in the gastro-intestinal tract. The acupuncture can help by releasing the good feeling hormones (such as endorphins and cortisol) and supressing the bad hormones (such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline). Restoring the bacterial gut flora has, therefore, been priority with those practitioners who appreciate the vital part this action plays in boostering immunity.

How does detoxification help?

Detoxification is defined as a process of clearing toxins from the body. It  neutralizes or transformes the toxins and clearing the excess mucus and congestion. These toxins come from our diet, drug we use, and environmental exposure. Internally, fats, especially oxidized fats and cholesterol, free radicals, and other irritating molecules act as toxins. Functionally, poor digestion, colon sluggishness and dysfunction, reduced liver function, and poor elimination through the kidneys, respiratory tract, and skin all add to increased toxicity. Detoxification involves dietary and lifestyle changes that reduce intake of toxins and improve elimination. Avoidance of chemicals, from food or other sources, refined food, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and many drugs helps minimize the toxin load. Drinking extra water (purified) and increasing fibres by including more fruits and vegetables in the diet are steps in the detoxification process. Moving from a more to a less congesting diet will help us to move along the detox roa
Once the festive of Christmas and new year is over, we need to  detoxify/cleanse because we have to maintain our health, vitality, and rejuvenation--to clear symptoms, treat disease, and prevent further problems. The cleansing program is the best to help us to re-evaluate our lives, to make changes, or to clear harmful toxin from the body. We cleanse because it makes us feel more productive, creative, and open to subtle and spiritual energies. Many people detox/cleanse--or, more commonly, fast on water and fruits (or) vegetables. It really does help move our energies from our lower centres of digestion and elimination up into our heart, mind, and consciousness centres. Fasting will be discussed more later. Detoxification can be helpful for weight loss, though it is not a primary reduction plan; I think it is more important as a transition. However, anyone eating 4,000 calories a day of a fatty, sweet, and poorly balanced diet who begins to eat 2,000-2,500 calories of more wholesome foods will definitely experience detoxification, weight loss, and improved health.  We also cleanse/detoxify to rest our overloaded organs of digestion and our liver, gallbladder, and kidneys and allow them to catch up on past work. Most often our energy is increased steadier. There are many reasons why we may want to cleanse.

What are the indications for detoxification?

Everyone needs to detox, cleanse themselves, and rest their body functions at times. Cleansing or detoxification is one part of the trilogy of nutritional action, the others being building, or toning, and balance, or maintenance. With a regular, balanced diet, devoid of excesses, we will need less intensive detoxification. Our body has a daily elimination cycle, mostly carried out at night and in the early morning, up until breakfast. However, when we eat a congesting diet higher in fats, meats, dairy products, refined foods, and chemicals, detoxification becomes more necessary. Who needs to detoxify and when is based in part on individual lifestyle and needs. More common toxicity symptoms include headache, fatigue, mucus problems, aches and pains, digestive problems, "allergy" symptoms, and sensitivity to environmental agents such as chemicals, perfumes, and synthetics. People who experience these and others on the list may benefit from diet changes or avoidance of the drug or agent that may be influencing the symptom.

How to do detox along side acupuncture?

The detoxification programme consist of two procedures:
This involves a diet of eating non-toxic diet. If we do this regularly, we have less need for cleansing. If we have not been eating this way, we should detoxify first and then make permanent changes. 

Eat organic foods whenever possible; Drink filtered water; Rotate foods especially common allergens, such as milk products, eggs, wheat, and yeast foods; Practice food combining; Eat a natural, seasonal cuisine; Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and, for omnivorous, some low-fat dairy products, and fresh fish (not shellfish) and organic poultry; Cook in iron, stainless steel, glass, or porcelain.

Some foodstuff can be harmful to the organs of the body (such as the liver, which is the centre of metabolism) and within the context of Chinese medicine, these organs (specially the liver) should have the full amount of energy flowing without impairment by these food Stuff. It is advisable to start by the followings:

DON'T EAT :red meat(Beef and Lamb), butEAT white meat (Chicken, Turkey or Fish).
DON'T EAT: white breadbut EAT brown bread.
DON'T DRINK: coffee or black teabut DRINK camomile tea or herbal tea.
DON'T EAT: fat(including all fatty meal and pastry)butEAT as much as you like of green vegetable and fruit (Except Banana, grapes, melon and water melon)
DON'T EAT: sweets(Including biscuits and chocolates).
DON’T DRINK: alcohol(particularly during the course of treatment).
DON’T EAT: full Fat Cheese, Butter and Creambut DRINK semior skimmed milk.

B. FASTING FOR AT LEAST 2 DAYS PER WEEK (or more, depend on the severity of the illness) FOR AT LEAST 3-4 WEEKS  :
The fasting includes the followings:
1. No food or drink to take in that fasting day for 10-12 hours (e.g. from 7 am to 5 or 7 p.m.) except the followings:
- eating 2-3 types of either fruit ( one of them preferably apple with the skin o r 2-3 types of vegetable (one of them is preferably carrot). Drink water (with no limit).

2. You have to end the fast after the 10 or 12 hours (e.g. after 5 or 7 p.m.) by:

- eating one hand-size, medium thickness of steak of chicken or turkey or fish (grilled or steamed) with one small jacket potato and good amount of green vegetable and 1-2 brown toast(s). Drink  water (with no limit), camomile tea or herbal tea (2-3 cups).

How does Acupuncture treatment work for reducing weight?

(Eear acupuncture for weight-loss)
On the day of patient’s first visit, there will be a full consultation to find in more details the pattern of overeating as well as any digestive difficulties or problems. Sometimes it needs to have a pulse diagnosis to examine the general state (particularly the stomach energy) in order to provide us with some vital information to why the person was gaining weight. The acupuncture treatment will consist the needling of specific ear and body acupuncture points. The treatment depends on certain factors such as the patient’s personality profile of overeating. In addition to Manual acupuncture and electrical stimulation of certain acupuncture points may be used in order to increase the level of endorphin and also to stimulate the metabolism. In manual acupuncture, the needles would be left in place for up to thirty minutes depending on how much support was needed for the patient.

The duration of the treatment course and the number of acupuncture sessions will be based on the patient's targets for losing weight, how quick the patient wants to lose weight, and the commitment to keep the weight off. In severe cases of overeating, the course of treatment will be twice weekly for at least 6-9 weeks and then a booster treatment once every two weeks is needed to maintain it.
What about losing weight in a healthy way by adopting a nutritional diet alongside the acupuncture treatment course:

Although dieting represents a big problem for many people and sometimes making even little changes can cut it down to size. Who, for example, would think that switching brands of ice cream can save you calories? Well, it can. Go for the inexpensive Brand X-it has less fat in it. Acupuncture can help to control the appetite and craving for extra food as well as to improve the metabolism. However, once again the diet and healthy food play a major role in losing weight. Here are more simple dietary changes that pack big results:
1. Go grocery shopping:
On a full stomach. Nacho chips, doughnuts and other tempters won't have half the allure they might have if you were to go hunting through those aisles hungry.
2.Take only a limited amount of money to the grocery store
As an extra reinforcement against buying high calorie foods.
3. Don't eat foods out of their original containers.
You may think you're having "just a tad" but you'll probably consume more than if you had dished out the food in a measured portion.
4. Police your eating speed
By putting your fork down between bites. The more slowly you eat, the faster you'll feel full.
5. Chew each bite of food at least 10 times to really taste it
And to make yourself eat more slowly. Use whipped or softened butter or margarine. You'll spread the flavor around using a lot less than you would of the hard kind you have to scrape on.
7. Don't linger.
Leave the table as soon as you have finished eating.
8. Don't eat everything on your plate
Unless you're having steamed vegetables and fish or an equally good-for-you meal.
9. Don't skip meals
You'll only overeat later.
10. Drink no-calorie sparkling waters
When you're out celebrating, instead of alcoholic beverages.
11. Remove food stashed in inappropriate places
Get the candy bars out of your desk drawer, and remove the nut bowl from the coffee table.
12. Get rid of degrading signs and pictures on your refrigerator
No, pink pigs on beach blankets to shame you into not eating. Your willpower will be stronger from encouragement, not belittlement.
13. Set a realistic goal for yourself
Take it one day at a time and don't punish yourself for slipping, You'll be more successful if you remember to be your own best friend"
14. Shop from a list of necessities
Allow yourself only one purchase that you haven't pre-planned.
15. Invite your spouse or housemate into the kitchen with you
when you're preparing meals and cleaning up to keep you from sampling as you go.
16. Eat only at scheduled times at scheduled places.
17. Learn that it's OK to say, "No, thank you"
When other people offer you food.
18. Hold a conference and explain your weight-loss wish to family friends and doughnut-bearing co-worker
Ask them to understand if you turn down their offers of dinners or candy .

If you want to restore your health and vitality with detoxification programme or to loss weight, acupuncture may be what you are  looking  and also to help you with the other problems of : depression, anxiety, insomna and over-weight. Please call us today in orde to find more information on this issue