Fight Eating Disorders with Chinese Medicine

By Pacific College - May 14, 2015

Nearly one million men and women in the United States suffer from eating disorders, according to The National Institute of Mental Health. With such startling statistics, it is surprising to learn that many of these cases go untreated year after year.

The two most common types of eating disorders are anorexia and bulimia. Anorexia is characterized by drastic weight loss due a lack of eating. Women may entirely stop menstruating, and many suffer severe bouts of depression and anxiety. Victims will harvest a great fear of gaining weight, and an extreme inability to accept one’s own appearance. Those suffering from bulimia are characterized by binge-eating behavior, accompanied by recurrent compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain.


Fortunately, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture offer holistic treatments for these disorders. Prevalent in most eating disorder cases, depression and anxiety may be treated by acupuncture. In a study performed by Guo Ke Ren, 30 cases of anorexia were treated with acupuncture to specific meridians for 30 minutes; after treatments, 25 cases were resolved and 5 responded with improvement, with an effectiveness rate of 100%. According to a UK study, significant improvements before and after treatment were found in their levels of depression.

Many factors, as well as the acupuncture, may have contributed to these improvements. A Chinese study has also found positive results in integrating TCM into treatments for depression. Subjects have reported significant improvements in their physical health, mental health, sense of control and social support, after several acupuncture and body-mind treatments.  TCM and acupuncture may offer healthy and effective alternatives to treatment for those suffering from anorexia, bulimia, and accompanying feelings of depression and anxiety.

The ancient Chinese believed that there is a universal life energy called qi, or chi, which is present in every living being and flows along body pathways called meridians.  If the flow of this energy is blocked in any way, illness occurs. Acupuncture works to restore normal functions by stimulating certain points on the meridians in order to free up the qi energy.

For more information about using TCM to fight eating disorders, please call Pacific College at (800) 729-0941 or visit

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