While Western medicine is at the forefront of combating obesity, a Hong Kong Hospital Authority-commissioned study shows success in using a traditional Chinese medicine approach that is equally as effective and minimizes the side-effects of mainstream weight-loss medications.
A study conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong shines light on a different strategy in battling obesity. Similar to the United States and other developed nations, China is experiencing a rise in obesity rate. The Department of Health in Hong Kong estimates that one in five adults between age 18 and 64 is obese. The original goal of the study was to promote health by mitigating the prevalence of Type-II Diabetes, which is frequently associated with obesity, and other related health risks.
The results of this preliminary study using herbal treatments and acupressure points were “encouraging”, stated Professor Chan, the lead researcher of this study, and demonstrated significant weight loss after continuous treatments. Within a four month period, subjects who used herbs and acupressure for the treatment of obesity lost 5.8 (~13 lbs) and 4.1 (~9 lbs) kilograms, respectively. Researchers discovered that herbal treatments containing huang qin (baical skullcap root) and shanzha (hawthorn fruit) were the most effective. Likewise, acupressure points such as Sanyinjiao (near the ankle), Zusanli (below the knee) and various points on the ears that stimulate the spleen and stomach channels were the most favorable.
Utilizing the traditional Chinese medicine approach as an alternative reduces the reliance and consumption of commonly prescribed drugs for obesity that may induce high blood pressure or emotional problems. Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority is currently collecting data from as many as 50,000 patients from various local Chinese medicine clinics. A large scale clinical trial is scheduled to begin in January 2013.