Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cosmetic Acupuncture - According to Skin Types

1. THIN AND DRY SKIN
Blood and yin defi ciency
The skin will be thin, dry and pale, easily injured and slow to heal, with little
or no body hair. When pinched at the forearm, it either feels thin like tissue
paper (more Blood deficient) or hard like leather (more yin deficient). It
will be hypersensitive to the sun or to pain, and would tend to have many
small wrinkles on the thinner areas.
Possible causes of this state include:
■ not drinking water
■ a very low-fat diet
■ the absence of milk products in diet
■ a diet devoid of nutritious foods
■ smoking
■ malabsorption of nutrition due to diabetes mellitus or chronic diarrhoea
(this is caused by either Small Intestine or Spleen Qi deficiency).
Points used to treat thin and dry skin
■ Lu 1, Sp 3 and K 10.
Advice for patients
In order to correct this, both Blood and thin yin fluids need to be tonified.
Useful advice includes:
■ Drink water frequently; some salt is required in the diet so that water is
retained in the body.
■ Consume milk products (especially buttermilk) and proteins, as well as
grains and cooked root vegetables which are easy to digest and absorb.
■ Watery fruits (melon, grapes, pears, etc.) are good for this condition.
■ Some oil should also be used either in cooking, or raw in marinades and
salads.

2. THICK, OILY AND RAISED SKIN
Excessive dampness
The skin will be thick in general, and can also be uneven and oily. Some
areas could be raised compared with others, giving an island-like appearance.
The skin is very greasy, and the sweat is thick, leaving marks on
clothes. This is mostly in the face, neck and upper body. The lower part of
the body is not usually affected in the same way, because the Lungs nourish
the skin – and the Lungs are in the upper warmer area of the body.
Dampness originates in the Spleen, no matter where it manifests.
Possible causes of Spleen dampness are:
■ an excess of fatty foods
■ an excess of refined sugars or carbohydrates
■ and excess of fatty milk products
■ large and heavy evening meals
■ an excess of cold and raw foods.
To rectify this, dampness should be circulated and eliminated.
Points used to treat thick and oily skin
■ Sp 9, St 40, UB 39, Lu 5 sedation.
■ Sp 9 and St 40 are particularly useful.
Advice for patients
■ Avoid fatty foods and refined sugars.
■ Eat only unrefined carbohydrates – sweet fruits, wholemeal bread and
pasta, whole rice, millet, potato with skin.
■ Take few and low-fat milk products.
■ Eat a good breakfast and lunch but have an early, light dinner.
■ Drink warm drinks and eat only warm, cooked foods.
■ Drink water regularly in order to liquefy the thick damp fluid.

3. THICK AND DRY SKIN
Stagnation of dampness and Qi defi ciency
In this case, the skin is thick, uneven and even lumpy, but dry with seborrhoea
on the surface. This means that there is fluid below the skin surface,
but it does not ascend to the surface. The normal function of the skin
is to ascend fluid from under the skin to the surface. Therefore, thick and
dry skin is a symptom of poor function of the Lung – that is, Qi deficiency.
The dampness stagnates under the skin, as it cannot be eliminated.
This is a sign of poor ascending function of the skin, and not necessarily
the descending function. However, it is possible that these patients are also
constipated, as there would be a problem of elimination of stool as well,
because the Large Intestines are connected to the Lungs.
The avoidance of damp-producing foods is essential for treatment,
but more important is to improve skin function (and bowel function) of
elimination.
Points for treatment
■ Points to improve skin function – UB 13, LI 4 and LI 11.
■ Points to improve bowel function – LI 4, TW 6, St 25.
■ Points to reduce dampness – Sp 9, St 40.
Advice for patients
■ Keep your bowels open – take whole grains, apple or pears (including
skin) daily, and exercise to sweat.
■ Whole rice should be eaten at least twice in a week – it strengthens the
Lung yang and Qi.
■ Take alternating hot and cold showers.
■ Mild spices such as pepper and ginger should be added to diet.
■ Dress according to the climate – do not dress lightly in cold weather and
overdress in hot weather.

4. THIN, DRY AND ITCHY SKIN
Blood and yin defi ciency with wind–heat
Thin and dry skin is hypersensitive to heat or cold, sun, pain and allergens,
and is therefore more likely to be itchy and irritated. This irritating
aspect is called wind, and the redness caused by the manual scratching is
the heat. As the Blood and yin are both deficient and therefore unable to
control the wind and heat, the yang rises from time to time, bringing on
recurrent wind–heat symptoms.
Treatment basically involves preventing this recurrent rise in the
wind and heat by tonifying Blood and yin as in skin type 1 (see p. 19). In
addition, at acute times one could eliminate the heat and wind from
affected areas.
There are excellent wind-eliminating points1 all over the body, which
should be used with wind-elimination sedation technique in this case:
■ GB 20 – from head and face.
■ UB 12 – from back, skin and lungs in general.
■ SI 12 – from shoulders and arms.
■ GB 31 – from hips and legs.
■ Ba Feng points – from hands.
■ Ba Xie points –from feet.
For heat elimination , 2 it is possible to apply distal-point or fingertip bleeding,
depending on the affected area. For example, in a case of eczema on the
hands, fingertip bleeding on the affected meridian will bring about instant
relief from both itching and inflammation.
Foods that aggravate wind symptoms include:
■ acidic foods such as vinegar-based pickles, tomatoes
■ alcohol (particularly red wine)
■ citrus fruits such as lime, lemon, grapefruit
■ foods that are common causes of allergic reactions, such as shellfish and
other fish.
Foods that often cause heat reactions include:
■ red meat and red fish
■ coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

5. THICK SKIN WITH INFLAMMATION OR PRURITUS
Blood or damp stagnation with heat (damp heat)
Blood or damp stagnation with wind (damp wind)
Damp heat condition of skin is common in acne vulgaris, furunculosis
and varicose ulcers. The dampness manifests as thick, raised skin or as
oedema, and stays fixed in one area. Heat originates from this fixed dampness
in the form of inflammation or, if the skin is open, infection. The cause
for the chronic inflammatory heat is the stagnation of damp, and therefore
the therapy is to circulate, thin out and eliminate the thick fluid.
The heat is localized to the damp areas and needs to be eliminated (if
possible) from these areas.
■ Treat dampness by thinning fluid (so it can flow) – drink water, K 10.
■ Treat dampness by circulating fluid – St 40, UB 20 (needle and cupping),
UB 39.
■ Treat dampness by eliminating fluid – Sp 9, UB 23 (needle and cupping),
K 3, UB 58 (through diuresis).
■ Treat dampness by dispersing fluid – UB 13, LI 4, LI 11 (through sweating).
■ Treat heat by plum-blossom needle tapping to bleed on the local areas.
■ Treat heat by finger- or toe-tip bleeding on affected meridians.
■ Treat heat by dispersing fire-needle technique on local acupuncture points.
Damp wind manifests as eczema (which is in fixed areas such as the neck,
elbow, knee-fold and inguinal area), varicose eczema and functional itching in
any area that is affected by oedema or is covered by clothes. It usually refers
to itching confined to certain areas (a characteristic of damp), rather than
itching all over or in different areas at different times (as in wind character).
Wind is irritating in nature; thus, itching is a wind symptom. The symptom
of damp wind shows that the wind is irritating the skin very close to
its surface and needs to be eliminated by improving the skin function of
opening the skin. The dampness is preventing the skin from functioning
normally, and should therefore be circulated.
Treatment to improve Lung Qi
■ UB 13, LI 11, LI 4 (to open and eliminate).
Treatment to eliminate wind
■ Use wind-eliminating point of the area (see pp. 22, 72, 74).
Treatment to circulate damp
■ St 40, UB 20, UB 39.

6. INFLAMED OR ITCHY SKIN
Heat
Wind
This situation is similar to the previous, except that there is no thick or
raised skin and no oedema, and symptoms are not necessarily fixed in a
specific area. The treatment, too, is for the heat only in the case of inflammation,
and wind-eliminating points in the case of itching and wandering
sites. The treatment of heat and wind are explained in skin type 4
(p. 22), and the same food restrictions apply as in skin type 4, against the
heat and wind.

7. MIXED SKIN
Spleen Qi defi ciency or Triple Warmer Qi defi ciency
It is very common in people with skin problems for the skin to be oily in
certain places and dry in others. Two patterns occur:
■ Oily skin on face and dry skin on legs. This is a problem between the
three warmers (San Jiao), where there is dampness stagnating in the
upper warmer and yin deficiency in the lower. Treatment would be to
descend the dampness from the upper and tonify the yin in the lower.
■ Patchy skin on the face, where one area is oily and another dry . This
is caused by poor distribution of dampness in the skin surface. Since
peripheral circulation of dampness is a Spleen function, this would be a
symptom of Spleen Qi deficiency.
Treatment of Triple Warmer Qi defi ciency
■ UB 22, UB 39, Lu 5, Sp 6, K 7.
Treatment of Spleen Qi defi ciency
■ UB 20, St 40, Sp 1.
■ Massage the skin surface with light moisturizer to improve circulation.
■ When treating oily skin, some subcutaneous local needling helps.
■ When treating dry areas, better results may be obtained by tonifying the
yin of the organs in that area. For example, dry legs would benefit from
Kidney yin tonification, point K 7; or dry arms with point Lu 9 or H 9.

THE TREATMENT OF OBESITY BY ACUPUNCTURE


The present study is an investigation of the results of the studies on the effects
of acupuncture application therapy on obesity. It has been reported that acupuncture
application in obesity treatment is effective in procuring weight loss.
It can affect appetite, intestinal motility, and metabolism, as well as emotional
factors such as stress. Increases in neural activity in the ventromedial nuclei of
the hypothalamus, in tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach and in levels of
enkephalin, beta endorphin, and serotonin in plasma and brain tissue have also
been observed with the application of acupuncture. It has been observed that
acupuncture application to obese people increases excitability of the satiety
center in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus. Acupuncture stimulates
the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels. Both of
these activities have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the
stomach, thus suppressing appetite. Among other things, serotonin enhances
intestinal motility. It also controls stress and depression via endorphin and
dopamine production. In addition to these effects, it is thought that the increase
in plasma levels of beta endorphin after acupuncture application can contribute
to the body weight loss in obese people by mobilizing the body energy depots
through lipolithic effect.
Keywords acupuncture, appetite, beta endorphin, enkephalin, obesity, Serotonin

INTRODUCTION
Obesity could well become the most common health problem of the 21st
century (Palou et al., 2000). Obesity is a disease resulting from the over
storage of fat in the body. It is a problem concerning the balance of energy.
An imbalance between energy input and energy consumption causes an increase
in the body fat rate (Palou et al., 2000). It is known that the prevalence
of obesity in adults and children has been increasing significantly around
the world (Weinstock et al., 1998). In this century, obesity has been seen
especially in industrial countries (Leonhardt et al., 1999). The over-consumption
of delicious, high-calorie food and decrease in physical activity play
major roles in increasing the prevalence of obesity in industrial countries
(Campfield et al., 1996; Hill & Peters, 1998). The cost of treatment of obesity
and obesity-related diseases is significant in general health expenditures
in the United States (Bray, 1998).
The general principles of obesity treatment are to obtain weight loss, to
maintain the reduced body weight after this loss, and to control the risk
factors of disease. At the onset of obesity treatment, a 10% body weight
reduction is targeted. After a one to two kg per week weight loss is observed
over 6 months, new goals can be determined (Lyznicki et al., 2001).
Treatments for obesity include: diet restriction, regulation of physical
activity, behavior treatment, pharmacotherapy, operation, or acupuncture application
or the use of any of these methods in combination (Cab├Żoglu &
Ergene, 2005; Ernst, 1997; Richards & Marley, 1998).
Complementary medicine is more popular than ever before. About one
third to one half of the general population uses some type of complementary
treatment. Acupuncture is among the most popular complementary treatments.

TREATMENT OF OBESITY BY ACUPUNCTURE APPLICATIONS
Cab├Żoglu and Ergene (2005) applied body and ear acupuncture for 20 days
to 22 women who had a body mass index (BMI) between 30 and 40 while a
1425 Kcal diet program was prepared for 21 women under the same circumstances.
Besides, there was a control group including 12 women. In this
study, associated with body weight, levels of the serum total cholesterol,
triglyceride, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in obese women were
examined. In acupuncture treatment, the Hungry and Shen Men ear points,
and the Hegu (LI 4), Quchi (LI 11), Tianshu (St 25), Zusanli (St 36), Neiting
(St 44) and Taichong (Liv 3) body points were used. There was a 4.8%
weight reduction in obese women with electroacupuncture application, whereas
obese women in diet restriction had a 2.5% weight reduction. There were
significant decreases in total cholesterol and triglycerides levels in EA and
diet groups compared with the control group. Furthermore, there was a decrease
in LDL levels in the EA group compared with those in the control
group.
Huang et al. (1996) applied auricular acupuncture and diet and aerobics
exercise programs for 8 weeks to 8 men who had a body mass index (BMI)
over 30 and body fat rate over 25% and to 37 women who had a BMI over
30 and body fat rate over 30%. In the auricular acupuncture application, the
points Shen Men, Stomach, Sanjiao, and Hungry were chosen. Weekly application
was made to a single ear each session, using one ear in one session
and the other ear in the next session. The diet program was prepared by a
dietician to meet the daily needs of the people participating in the study by
calculating their anticipated daily activities, as well as other factors. The
exercise program was arranged to be 3 to 5 times per week and to burn 300
to 500 kcal of energy in each session. As a result of this triple application, an
average 4.4 kg body weight loss and a 5.6% reduction in body fat rate were
observed.
Sun and Xu (1993) applied auricular and body acupuncture therapy to
110 obese patients. In this study, a small, spherical seed, a method employed
in traditional Chinese acupuncture, was applied to the auricular acupuncture
points, Mouth, Esophagus Stomach, Shen Men, Lung, and Endocrine in sessions
three to five days apart. This application was made first on one ear and
then on the other ear in the following session. Additional application was
made to the body acupuncture points Tianshu (St 25), Zusanli (St 36), Sanyinjiao
(Sp 6), Neiguan (P 6), and Fenglong (St 40). This application was performed
once every 3 to 5 days, in 15 min sessions over 3 months. As a result of
these applications, a 5.0 kg loss in body weight was observed.
Shafshak (1995) performed a study with 30 obese females, dividing them
into three groups each including 10 females. He applied electroacupuncture
to the Stomach points on both ears of the subjects in the first group, to the
Hungry points on both ears of the subjects in the second group, and to placebo
points on both ears of the subjects in the third group. These applications
continued once a day, five days a week, for three weeks. Also a diet of 1000
kcal/day was advised to patients. In the first group, 80% of the patients
managed to apply the diet. The rate of diet application for the second group
was 70%, whereas that of the third group was 20%. In all patients applying
the diet, the observed body weight loss was 1 to 4 kg in the first group, 1.5
to 3.5 kg in the second group and 1 to 3 kg in the third group. According to
the results of this study, it was observed that the auricular acupuncture points
Stomach and Hungry were effective in weight loss when compared with
placebo points.
Through electroacupuncture to obese people, increases in the serum triglyceride
and LDL cholesterol levels and a decrease in the serum HDL cholesterol
levels were reported by Lyznicki and his colleagues (2001). These
two levels are thought to have particular ties to cardiovascular disease. Liu et
al. (1992), using the ear and body acupuncture points of traditional Chinese
acupuncture, applied acupuncture to 102 obese people and studied the changes
in body weight and plasma levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL
cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. Ear acupuncture was applied once every 5
days and body acupuncture was performed once every 3 days in 20-min
sessions over a 1 month period. In Liu’s study, a weight loss with a mean
value of 3.3 kg was noted. Also, decreases in plasma levels of total cholesterol,
triglyceride, and LDL cholesterol levels and an increase in the HDL
cholesterol level were observed. Sun and Xu (1993) performed ear and body
acupuncture to obese people and analyzed the changes in body weight and
levels of total cholesterol, triglyceride, and HDL cholesterol. They applied
acupuncture to the Mouth, Esophagus, Stomach, Shen Men, Endocrine, and
Lung acupuncture points on one ear once every three or five days, and on the
other ear in the next session by using small seeds that are used in some
traditional Chinese acupuncture methods. They also applied acupuncture to
the St 25, St 36, Sp 6, P 6, and St 40 body points once every three or five
days using acupuncture needles. In their study, it was observed that decreases
in plasma levels of total cholesterol and triglyceride corresponded with weight
loss. Therefore, they concluded that EA therapy may be a useful approach to
treatment of obesity and potentially decrease the risk factors associated with
obesity.
Stimulation of the Hungry point creates an increase of the fullness feeling
and a repression of the hunger feeling (Asomoto & Takeshige, 1992).
Stimulation of the Shen Men point regulates cerebral cortex function and has
a sedative effect (Wang & Kain, 2001). Stimulation of the Stomach point
stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve, which has been shown to
increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite
(Richards & Marley, 1998). Stimulation of the LI 4, LI 11, and St 25 body
acupuncture points has a regulatory effect on intestinal motility (Maciocia,
1989), whereas stimulation of St 36 and St 44 increases excitability of the
satiety center in the ventral medial nucleus of the hypothalamus (Zhao et al.,
2000). In traditional Chinese medicine, the St 36 body acupuncture point has
been used for the treatment of both diarrhea and constipation. This point has
been reported to regulate gastrointestinal motility by increasing motility in
people with hypoactive intestinal motility and conversely by decreasing
motility in people with hyperactive intestinal motility (Li et al., 1992). Stimulation
of this point also increases the amplitude and frequency of gastric
peristalsis that shortens gastric emptying time and delays the contraction time
in regular people (Li et al., 1992).
ACUPUNCTURE APPLICATION AND SUPPRESSING APPETITE
In the treatment of obesity, acupuncture applications, especially auricular
acupuncture, are very effective for losing weight in obese people (Sun & Xu,
1993; Lei, 1988; Mulhisen & Rogers, 1999). Although diet application causes
weight loss in obesity treatment, it has no effect on suppression of appetite
(Richards & Marley, 1998). Many overweight people are aware that diets can
help with weight loss but have difficulty in suppressing their appetite. However,
it has been determined that acupuncture application is effective both in
weight loss (Zhan, 1993; Sun & Xu, 1993) and in suppression of appetite
(Shiraishi et al., 1995; Zhao et al., 2000).
Shiraishi et al. (1995) reported the changes in neural activity of the
ventromedial (VMH) and lateral hypothalamus (LH) through auricular acupuncture
application on normal and experimentally obese rats. One experimental
group of obese rats was obtained by destroying the ventromedial
hypothalamus and another through a high-calorie diet. Auricular acupuncture
application was performed to the region that was innerved by the nervous
vagus on a single ear. This region is called the cavum conchae on human
beings. Although the neural activity of the LH is diminished in normal rats
by auricular acupuncture application, the neural activity of the VMH is increased.
Likewise, neural activity of the LH was reduced in both of the two
experimental groups of obese rats, and neural activity of the VMH was increased
in the group of high-calorie diet, obese rats. As a result, it was
determined that auricular acupuncture application is effective in the formation
and protection of the satiety sense in both normal and obese rats.
Zhao et al. (2000) in their study on rats, applied electroacupuncture on
one side of the body on 1 day and on the other side the following day, for 12
days in 5-min daily sessions. For this test, they chose the Zusanli (St 36) and
Neiting (St 44) points. It was observed that electroacupuncture application on
rats increased excitability of the satiety center in the ventromedial nucleus of
the hypothalamus.
Wenhe and Yucan (1981) observed that the level of serotonin (5-HT) in
the central nervous system increased with acupuncture application (Figure 1).
Serotonin has been implicated in the control of eating behavior and body
weight. Stimulants of this monoamine reduce food intake and body weight,
increase energy expenditure (Curzon, 1990; Simansky, 1996), and enhance
intestinal motility (Guyton & Hall, 2001). This effect of 5-HT that reduces
food intake can be observed on 5-HT receptors of the satiety center in the
ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus (Sarah et al., 1998). Besides that, it
was noted that serotonin gave happiness, helped a person to feel good, controlled
the sexual motivation, and had a role in obtaining the psychomotor
balance (Guyton & Hall, 2001). Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch
of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels. Both of these activities have
been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus
suppressing appetite (Richards & Marley, 1998). It is thought that an increase
in the level of serotonin in the central nervous system with acupuncture
application can provide weight loss, as it has a role in both reducing
food intake and arranging the psychomotor balance.
ACUPUNCTURE, BETA ENDORPHIN,
AND LIPOLITIC ACTIVITY
In many studies it has been observed that electroacupuncture application caused
an increase in the levels of beta endorphin both in serum and in the central
nervous system (Jin et al., 1996; Takeshige et al., 1992, 1993; Fu, 2000; Petti
et al., 1998) (Figure 1). It has been determined that electroacupuncture application
with different current frequencies causes the secretion of different
endojen opioids. It also has been observed that low current frequency (2 Hz)
electroacupuncture application increases the concentration of endomorphins,
enkephalins, and beta endorphin but high current frequency (100 Hz) electroacupuncture
application increased the concentration of dynorphin in the central
nervous system (Han et al., 1999) (Figure 1).
The studies that showed the lipolitic activity of pro-opiomelanocortin
products were performed as in vivo and in vitro studies on animals (Schwandt,
1985; Richter et al., 1983; Richter & Schwandt, 1985). Richter et al. (1983)
investigated the lipolitic activity of beta endorphin in the isolated fat cells of
rabbits in vivo. It was determined that as a result of the effect of beta endorphin
 on fat cells, the levels of free fatty acid and glycerol increased in the rabbit
plasma. This effect was blocked by naloxone. Vettor et al. (1993) studied the
lipolitic activity of beta endorphin in isolated human fat tissue. In their study,
it was observed that whereas BE application caused the increase of glycerol
secretion from isolated fat cells, naloxone inhibited this effect.
According to the results obtained from these studies, it is thought that
electroacupuncture, which increases the plasma beta endorphin levels, can
contribute to the weight loss by increasing the lipolithic activity.

CONCLUSION
It has been observed that acupuncture application depresses the appetite by
activating the satiety center in the hypothalamus and increasing sympathetic
activity through an increase in the concentration of serotonin in the central
nervous system of obese people. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch
of the vagal nerve, which has been shown to increase tone in the smooth
muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. It also controls stress and
depression via endorphin and dopamine production. In addition to these
effects it is thought that the increases of plasma levels of beta endorphin
naturally occurring after acupuncture application can contribute to body weight
loss in obese people. This is accomplished by mobilizing the body energy
depots by lipolithic effect. Through these mechanisms, acupuncture application
can be seen as an effective therapy in the treatment of obesity.

Save the children from becoming obese

Clinic In Wuhan Treats Obese Teenagers With Acupuncture












 Losing Weight Through Acupuncture

Image Description:
A child is being treated with acupuncture for obesity at a base of the Aimin Slimming Centre on July 11, 2007 in Wuhan of Hubei Province, China. Doctors in the center have combined acupuncture, exercise and diet to help about 110 obese teenagers from 9 to 20 years old lose weight during one month. An official from the Ministry of Health revealed that more than 200 million Chinese people are overweight.


China Has A Gigantic Obesity Problem

China's economic prosperity has led to a health crisis growing with alarming rates in the country – obesity.
19 million Chinese are considered obese and millions more are overweight. Food shortage is no longer a problem and the diet of the Chinese has changed dramatically from mainly rice and vegetables to include more meat, milk and sweets. The result – one out of 70 people in China is obese. (via PBS) More and more fat reduction hospitals are springing up all over the country using fire treatments, acupuncture and cupping treatment to help obese Chinese lose the weight.

Reuters
Liang Yong, 30, who weights about 230 kg (507 pounds) and is 1.58 metres (5.18 feet) tall, is pushed on to a cart by his father (L) after a medical examination at a hospital in Chongqing municipality May 27, 2010. Liang is not able to walk due to his weight and is required to seek further medical treatment at the hospital. REUTERS/Stringer

Patients undergoing fire treatment in a weight loss facility.

Patients undergoing fire treatment in a weight loss facility.
Reuters
Patients undergo fire treatment, a traditional Chinese medicine therapy, at a weight loss centre in Changchun, Jilin province in northeastern China June 20, 2010. The treatment process includes massaging parts of the patient, wrapping the areas with towels, adding Chinese medicated liquor onto the towels and igniting them. Doctors at the clinic believe besides reducing excess body fat, this technique is able to improve blood circulation and prevent common colds. The centre, established in 2004, is currently treating more than 100 obese patients from all over China. Each course of treatment, lasting about a month, costs about 4,000 yuan ($587). Picture taken June 20, 2010. REUTERS/Sheng Li

The treatment process includes massaging parts of the patient, wrapping the areas with towels, adding Chinese medicated liquor onto the towels and igniting them.

The treatment process includes massaging parts of the patient, wrapping the areas with towels, adding Chinese medicated liquor onto the towels and igniting them.
Reuters
An overweight Chinese man tries to lose weight through a burning fire therapy treatment at a beauty salon in Hefei, east China's Anhui province May 20, 2005. A survey jointly released by the Ministry of Health and the State Statistics Bureau last October shows that, in China's big cities, 30 per cent of the total population is now overweight, as compared with 21 per cent in 1992. Picture taken on May 20, 2005. REUTERS/China

 

Cupping treatment involves creating negative pressures within glass containers, which are then inverted and placed onto the back of a patient.

Cupping treatment involves creating negative pressures within glass containers, which are then inverted and placed onto the back of a patient.
Reuters
A patient undergoes cupping treatment at a weight loss centre in Changchun, Jilin province June 21, 2010. Cupping treatment involves creating negative pressures within glass containers, which are then inverted and placed onto the back of a patient. Doctors at the clinic believe the technique is able to cleanse the body of impurities and improve blood circulation as well as the flow of "qi", known as the body's "vital energy" in Mandarin. The centre, established in 2004, is currently treating more than 100 obese patients from all over China. Each course of treatment, lasting about a month, costs about 4,000 yuan ($587). REUTERS/Sheng Li

Obese patient receives acupuncture treatment.

Obese patient receives acupuncture treatment.
Reuters
Obese patient receives acupuncture treatment from Chinese doctor at fat reduction hospital in Tianjin, China. Patient Du Bing, 17 (L), from Hebei Province, receives acupuncture treatment from a Chinese doctor at the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital in Tianjin, China March 21, 2005. The hospital, which attracts obese people from China as well as several Asian countries, uses a combination of acupuncture, diet and intense exercise to help patients shed weight. Picture taken March 21. REUTERS/Mark Ralston

And more conventional weight loss treatment -- exercise.

And more conventional weight loss treatment -- exercise.
Reuters
Patients perform aerobics at the Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital in the city of Tianjin, China in this picture taken March 21, 2005. The hospital, which attracts obese people from China as well as several Asian countries, uses a combination of acupuncture, diet and intensive exercises to help patients shed weight. Picture taken march 21, 2005. REUTERS/Mark Ralston RKR/KS

 

After shedding the pounds, next step is cosmetic surgery.

After shedding the pounds, next step is cosmetic surgery.
Reuters
Meng Qinggan, 27, from Heilongjiang province, receives a medical examination before an operation to remove his excess skin at a hospital in Tianjin municipality September 10, 2007. Meng reduced his weight from 265 kilograms (585 pounds) to 110 kilograms (243 pounds) in 320 days between 2000 and 2001, local media reported. REUTERS/Stringer