There is a serious health crisis that is effecting more than 12 million children in the US alone, in the world there is an estimated 42 million children effected by obesity. When looked at by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), obesity is due to a weakness in the digestive system, a stagnation of Qi in the body, heat accumulation in the stomach or an accumulation of dampness and phlegm. The imbalances may be inherited or may be a product of the lifestyle, environment, stress of the patient or diet.
Many people are looking for a magic pill to “cure” obesity, there isn’t one. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent it or even treat it. Modifying your lifestyle, exercise and proper diet, along with natural medicines can help fight it. There are four things you can do to help your child overcome childhood obesity.
It is very important to get your kids up and moving. Exercise can help in reducing weight and maintaining a healthy one. Remember when you have your kid exercise to make it fun. Getting your children involved in different types of sports will also help. Children may go through several sport activities before they find something that fits them. Include activities such as Tai Chi, or Kung Fu.
- Eat a proper diet
In TCM, the spleen controls the digestive system. It is in charge of transforming the food we eat into nutrients and then transports those nutrients all over the body. When your diet is full of greasy food your spleen gets overworked and can’t properly break the food down. When the spleen can’t properly function, problems will be compounded.To nourish the spleen, avoid foods that have lots of sugar in them, overly processed or are very very greasy. Most people love having something cold during the hot months, unfortunately, this is bad for the spleen, so limit how much cold foods your kids have… and yes, that means ice cream. It’s important when losing weight to eat warm vegetables, so steam the vegetables and eat a variety of vegetables with different colors. Because the spleen exerts a lot of energy heating up the food you eat to 98.6 degrees, foods and drinks that are room temperature or warm are best for the spleen, it allows for the spleen to properly function, using it’s resources on digestion, transforming and transporting.
- Gut Healing
Having your child (and you) eating a spleen-friendly diet will go a long way in fighting and preventing obesity. In Bio Medicine it said that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise. However, to reverse obesity in a child, it is important to take steps to heal the digestive system, since it is already compromised. Taking age appropriate probiotics is a good start. probiotics introduce healthy bacteria to your stomach, so that there isn’t room for the unhealthy bacteria to stay. Research is continuously being done on how integral our micro flora bio dome is to our overall health, and probiotics are an essential piece of creating healthy gut flora. Another great way to help the digestive is bone broth. Bone broth is a soup that is made out from cooking bones from animals (i.e. beef, pork and chicken)for a long time allowing the broth to leech out of the good, healing nutrients from the bone marrow. Bone broth is incredibly nourishing to the digestive system as well as other core energy systems in the body. It helps repair a damaged gut.
The thought of acupuncture can be very frightening to a child, but this process does help with weight loss and balancing your spleen. This can help to move the Qi and strengthen the spleen and stomach, reduce heat or inflammation, and transform the dampness and phlegm. Acupuncture can help reduce cravings and regulate the appetite.
It will be hard work for both you and your child, but overcoming childhood obesity is essential in setting your child for a healthy future as an adult. Give us a call or come in and let us help your child live a better life. We also can provide you with probiotics and Chinese medicine that will aide in the weight loss.