New Beginnings and Renewals – Act Like the Rat

As we move into the Year of the Rat, it is important to think about weight management and health. In balance, rats love to enshrine and collect. Out of balance, rats can overeat and hoard. Rats are incredibly intelligent animals and as the rat, understanding why we make our choices to reach for foods, stay up late, or perhaps forego exercise, is important. What are the drivers to your patterns? In the new year, let us explore habits and strive for health and wellness. Take a moment and consider ancient Eastern practices. Acupuncture can be a helpful and healthy resource for people who are wanting to lose weight. It regulates hormones, reduces stress and anxiety and regulates blood sugar. These are three functions that will make it easier to lose weight.

In general, the New Year’s resolutions of January 1st often come with cutting calories and buying a gym membership. They also come with many “shoulds”. I should go to the gym. I should eat less. I should try harder. “Shoulds” typically come from external pressures to be someone different than who you are. With acupuncture, we want to help you let go of “should” and start from your foundation to help you achieve health and wellness goals that are truly meaningful and attainable. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal therapy specialize in creating change from the inside out. It is an effective and lasting way to make solid changes that work on both the emotional stressors and the physiological drivers to cravings and dysfunction in your body.

How can you lose weight in 2020?

Acupuncture Helps Manage Stress
According to Harvard Medical School “people, specifically women, turn to food as a source of comfort in high stress situations, while men tend to turn to alcohol and nicotine.” The adrenal glands release a stress hormone called cortisol, which can increase appetite and the desire to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position — cortisol may stay elevated.”

Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, a nurse anesthetist, licensed acupuncturist and associate professor in the department of nursing and the department of pharmacology and physiology at Georgetown University Medical Center, noticed that the acupuncture patients coming to her for pain were reporting improvement of symptoms unrelated to their pain, like chronic stress, depression, sleep and appetite. Eshkevari and a team of researchers looked at what happened in a key pathway in dealing with stress for both humans and rats: the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), which is involved in the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. The acupuncture point studied, called ST36, demonstrated a drop in cortisol levels.

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being. (2)

Food Therapy with Chinese Medicine

There are five flavors in Chinese Medicine: Salty, Sour, Bitter, Sweet, and Pungent.

(3) When the Five Elements are in balance there is harmony in the body. When any one flavor is over-consumed, it taxes the organs, and dis-ease occurs. Diet is an important part of health. Many people approach their doctors looking for the magic pill to fix their problems. Foundationally, our health starts with food and movement. The most frequent over-consumption we see is sweet in the form of sugar, bread, dairy, and alcohol. Sour and bitter food flavors, in Chinese herbal therapies, can help reduce the cravings for sweets and reduce the hardships placed upon the endocrine system. When we add these flavors into the diet, cravings tend to dissipate making it easier for each person to make better choices.

For each client, Chinese herbal remedies are prepared specifically to their constitution and individual complaints. As someone experiences acupuncture and herbal therapy, subtle changes are made to their formulas as their condition changes.

3. Chart taken from