Wednesday, January 14, 2009

QiGong for Weight Loss

An explanation of the philosophy of Weight Loss from a Taoist and Holistic point of view:


From a natural point of view, weight loss is largely based on taking in excellent nutrition, assimilating the nutrients efficiently, and assuring there is appropriate mind-body exercise. Let's briefly explore these below:

First, what are you taking into yourself? This includes food, drink, medications, herbs, vitamins, and anything else going into your mouth. It is generally agreed that overeating and having a sweet tooth are responsible for weight gain. HOWEVER... both overeating and having a sweet tooth are actually your body's cry for good nutrition. You want to eat more because you're not getting enough nutrients in the food you are eating. And if you have ever been to a farm or eaten very fresh fruits and vegetables, notice that even the vegetables have an incredibly delicious natural sweet flavor. THIS is the sweet that your body is truly craving. When you don't get enough proper nutrition to begin with, of course your body is going to tell you to eat more! And when you crave sweet and you eat sugar you aren't getting the natural sweetness found in farm fresh produce, so of course your body keeps craving sweet!

Second, is your digestive system strong enough to assimilate and use the nutrients you are taking in? Answer the following questions:

1. Do you have between 1 to 3 daily bowel movements? If you do not have at least 1 daily bowel movement your intestines are moving too slowly and you are constipated. If you have more than 3 daily bowel movements your intestines may be moving too quickly and need to be strengthened.

2. Is your stool well-formed, or is it muddy, loose, or watery? If it is not well-formed and easy to release, you need to strengthen your digestive system.

3. Does your stool have a very strong and offensive odor? (not that poop smells good, but an especially offensive smell can indicate issues that need to be resolved.)

4. After you eat is your digestive process comfortable or do you experience bloating, belching, gas, discomfort, or "noises"?

5. Do you have any problems with acid reflux or heartburn?

6. Do you have food allergies or intolerances (other than shellfish)? If so, your digestive system may be so overworked that it can't handle anything that takes an effort to break down. Once you strengthen it back up these allergies will disappear.

Third, are you getting enough appropriate physical movement? Lack of movement encourages internal stagnation, and stagnation is a breeding ground for disease. Our bodies REQUIRE movement as much as we require air and water. From a Taoist point of view, appropriate movement provides a mind-body connection. This type of exercise includes QiGong, Tai Chi, Yoga, and most martial arts. In contrast, inappropriate movement is anything done where your body is doing one thing and your mind is doing something else. For example, if you are jogging on the treadmill and watching TV at the same time, this is a mind-body disconnect. Interestingly enough, several studies have shown that people who practice the above mind-body exercises tend to take very good care of themselves and cultivate lifestyle and eating habits that are very healthy.

I have to add something about reduced calorie diets and excess exercise. According to Chinese medicine, a major reason for excess weight is due to an underlying deficiency in the Water Element. In basic terms, your body doesn't have enough energy to process what you are taking in. Reduced calorie diets provide even less energy and nutrition to someone already in a deficient state - not a good situation to be in. On the same line, someone with an underlying energy deficiency that tries to exercise too much will eventually burn out. Here I am talking about harsh physical exercise like going to the gym, not mind-body exercise. Appropriate exercise should leave you feeling alive, refreshed, and wonderfully strong. If this is not the case, it may not be approrpriate to your situation.

For an inspiring workshop that includes Dragon QiGong & Acupressure for Weight Loss, see

QiGong for Weight Loss
Sat. 1/17/09
$35, dress comfortably for gentle movement
Register on-line, or at the door

Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter Teas and Tisanes

Come join us for an evening of winter warmers!

Come discover new ways of warming yourself from the inside out! We will take a surprising and delightful exploration into the rich history of herbal teas and tisanes. Come touch, taste, and smell new ways of harmonizing with our unique winter weather!
Saturday January 10th
730-900 pm $35.00
At the Oriental Healing Arts Center

Let us satisfy your tea curiosity!
Call today to register!
Or register online @
The Oriental Healing Arts Center
2636 Spenard Road
Anchorage Alaska