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As you arrive into the holiday season you may grow conscious of the habit of overeating. The colder temperatures might mean you are not getting outside enough. You have already been through the ritual stuffing (pun intended) that is Thanksgiving. Your friends and family deliver delicious cookies and other baked goods. You’re busy with holiday plans, buying presents, and everything else that goes with the season that you take less time to focus on healthier meals. It all adds up.

Yes, the times can be a joy. And, yes, you are allowed to let yourself enjoy it. But there may be enough change that you develop habits that need watching. You may come out of the other end of the season not feeling confident about your health. First, don’t be hard on yourself. If you want to be more diligent this holiday season about your health and eating follow the following tips.


Healthy Tips

According to the Harvard Medical School, here are 12 tips to healthy holiday eating:

  1. Budget Wisely. Don’t eat everything at feasts. Choose wisely and spend your calories on the things you really like.
  2. Take a 10-minute break before seconds. It helps the food settle in your stomach and you may just not be hungry after that time period.
  3. Don’t stand next to the food. You’ll graze and that’s not good.
  4. Have a snack before heading to a big holiday party. If you arrive hungry there’s a chance you’ll over eat.
  5. Water break. Drink a glass of water between alcoholic drinks.
  6. Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach. It increases your appetite.
  7. Do a little dancing or go for a walk.
  8. Eat your veggies.
  9. Look at all the items on the buffet before filling your plate. You might be more selective.
  10. Don’t shop for groceries while you are hungry. You’ll make splurge buys.
  11. Try to limit saturated fats while cooking.
  12. Put the focus on friends and family. Make sure the holidays are about the most important things like spending time with your loved ones. Think about moderation. It’s okay to over indulge from time to time.


Stop the holiday overeating

Can acupuncture help in controlling your appetite and your holiday overeating? Yes. Acupuncture can tackle the problem from two sides. The first is by getting actual control of your urges to keep eating. Additionally, acupuncture can address other problems that lead to overeating- like stress.


What are the roots of overeating, according to Oriental Medicine?

From the perspective of oriental medicine, overeating is caused by a feeling of deficiency and emptiness – both physically and emotionally. For example, you might be able to observe overeating or binge eating in some patients with depression, who might depend on eating to address and satisfy the aforementioned feeling of deficiency and emptiness.


What are some ways acupuncture can help with controlling appetite?

Our body is made up of 12 organ systems. These systems face each other, are interrelated, and achieve symmetry. This idea, known as the Doctrine of the Mean, is the major principle in acupuncture. For example, the organ that is interrelated with the stomach is the pericardium. Organs that are interrelated work like a seesaw. Thus, overeating will throw the stomach and the pericardium off balance, causing the stomach to fall below the pericardium (the membrane that encloses and protects the heart and that which reduces the friction between the heart and the structures that surround it). This imbalance must be addressed to treat the body. In cases in which the stomach has fallen below the pericardium, we must raise the stomach back in balance with the pericardium. Likewise, in cases in which the pericardium has fallen below the stomach, we must raise the pericardium back in balance with the stomach. Achieving balance in the body is critical. This will allow for the treatment of disorders and illnesses.


How does Herbal Medicine help with controlling appetite?

While herbal medicine can help temporarily with controlling appetite, it is possible for your appetite to come back. Thus, consistent appetite control should be addressed with acupuncture.


What are some examples of things that Dr. Ko might prescribe?

Ban Xia (Pinelliae, Rhizoma), Xiang Fu Zi (Rhizoma Cyperi), Cang Zhu (Atractylodis, Rhizoma), Zhi Shi (Aurantii, Fructus Immaturus)


What are other areas that acupuncture and herbal medicine can help during the holidays?

Overeating and drinking alcohol might feature in holiday celebrations. Acupuncture and oriental medicine will help protect and detoxify your liver. Likewise, overeating can cause stomach aches and stomach pain. Acupuncture and oriental medicine can help with this as well.


Getting started with acupuncture

If you are ready to explore acupuncture, oriental medicine, and herbal remedies as a treatment for your overeating book your initial consultation with 120 Acupuncture today. In your initial visit, Dr. Ko will work with you to create a custom plan that will support your path to wellness and guide you toward your health goals.

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