Being overweight is undesirable in people of any age. It not only affects appearance, but also affects the heart and overall health, making people vulnerable to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and angitis and other conditions that can be life threatening. That is why there is a worldwide concern about weight control. Whether a person is overweight or not can be measured by his or her body weight. The medical criterion for standard body weight follows this formula: Male adult (kilogram) =height of the body (cm)-100±10%; female adult (kilogram) =height of the body (cm)-105±10%. If the body weight is l0% more than the normal standard, it is a sign of being overweight; if the body weight is 20% more than the normal standard, it is obese. The causes of overweight are various, such as excessive intake of fat, disturbance of endocrine secretion, insufficient function of the liver and kidney, poor dietary habits and hereditary factors. Among these causes, excessive intake of food and lack of necessary physical exercise are dominant. If one lacks necessary physical exercise, the calories inside the body cannot be consumed and will transform into subcutaneous fat. The accumulation of surplus fat leads to an overweight condition. Clinical observations show that a problem with weight in most (nine out of 10) overweight persons usually begins in the waist and abdomen. So methods of weight-reduction should start first at the waist and abdomen. Self-massage along meridians and acupoints reduces weight mainly by stimulating local meridians and acupoints to soften and dissipate calories so as to reduce the accumulation of subcutaneous fat and promote the metabolism and consumption of fat. At the same time, it regulates the endocrine system, the viscera and the metabolism to reduce the accumulation of fat and strengthen the dynamic of the abdominal muscle. Manipulations for Self-Massage Along Meridians and Acupoints 1. Pushing and Kneading Zhongwan (CV 12), Shangwan (CV 13), Jianli (CV 11), Qihai (CV 6) and Guanyuan (CV 4). Performance: Supine position with relaxation of the whole body. The fingers of the right hand push and knead Shangwan (five cun above the navel), Zhongwan (four cun above the navel), Jianli (two cun above the navel), Qihai (1.5 cun below the navel) and Guanyuan (three cun below the navel) (see Fig. 1) for half a minute until aching and distending sensations are felt (see Fig. 2). Then the left hand takes a turn. 2. Rotating and Rubbing the Abdomen Performance: Supine position and the relaxation of the whole body. The right palm is placed on the navel and the left palm is placed over the back of the right hand to rub and rotate clockwise for one minute. Then the rubbing starts from the internal part to the external part and gradually over the whole abdomen for one minute until the area feels warm (see Fig. 3).
3. Stroking the Lumbosacral Region Performance: Sitting position slightly bent forward at the waist. The five fingers of both hands are held together and placed on either side of the spinal column to stroke from the upper to the lower and from the lower to the upper. The rubbing starts from the middle to the outer sides of the back to cover gradually the whole lumbosacral region for two minutes until the area feels warm (see Fig. 4). 4. Squeezing and Kneading the Abdomen Performance: Sitting position with relaxation of the whole body. The thumbs and the other four fingers of both hands lift up and knead the tissue and fat of the abdominal wall repeatedly for one minute (see Fig. 5). 5. Pushing and Rubbing the Abdomen Performance: Sitting position with relaxation of the whole body. The four fingers of both hands intertwine and the palms of both hands are used to push the abdomen from the upper to the lower repeatedly for two minutes (see Fig. 6). 6. Shaking the Abdomen Performance: Standing position. The two feet stand shoulder-width apart, and the whole body is relaxed. The palms of both hands are placed at the sides of the lower abdomen. The arms take the strength and quickly shake and vibrate through the wrists for one minute (see Fig. 7). The strength should be concentrated in the palms and fingers. The hands should not leave the skin and the shoulders should be kept still, avoiding pressure. This manipulation is effective in eliminating stasis and dissipating accumulation and relaxing muscles. Notes: 1. The clothes worn should be of a thin material. The waist and the abdomen should be exposed so that techniques can be applied directly on the skin. Massage can be done in the morning and evening. Care should be taken to avoid becoming too cold. 2. The manipulation should be gentle and slow. 3. Frequent snacking between meals is a major contributor to obesity. Also, it is better to cut back on foods that are sweet, starchy or contain animal fat.
4. Physical exercise such as climbing stairs, climbing mountains and walking as well as squatting repetitions should be done regularly every day.
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