Eu Yan Sang – Weight Management Program Post 2

This is my second post to update you guys on how my Weight Management Program by Eu Yan Sang is going! If you haven’t seen it already – check out my documentation of the beginning of my weight loss journey with Eu Yan Sang here.

To be really honest, everything is panning out even better than I dared to expect… I’m feeling quite delirious typing this because I’ve been in better health these days than I have in the last 2 years!! And my progress is coming along quite nicely, so I am very pleased and proud of myself. Like I’ve said before, I wasn’t quite sure how much Acupuncture could help me with my weight woes, or overall health, but let me explain my first-hand experience of what it was like to get poked with 20+ needles and zapped with electricity, twice weekly, for the past 2 months. I promise you everything I write here is my true testimony, I’ll tell you everything good about it, and also about the few negative points you need to know about. :)

— What improvement / changes in your health have you noticed after 2 months of acupuncture treatment?
First of all, I feellll great.

I’ve started wearing jeans again – can you believe it? I’m in minimal make up in the above btw, just in case you thought I looked funny.. which I suppose I do :3

I couldn’t wear jeans for the longest time because I couldn’t find any that fit me nicely.. now I actually fit normal pants, yay. This picture was taken just yesterday. (Note: I wrote this post in early July) 

AT MY LARGEST, I used to wear a freaking UK size 16 for dresses. At that point in time, it didn’t seem so big. *facepalm* I just told myself I was big boned, and structured differently from other girls. Somewhere along the way I wisened up and realized I was terribly mistaken, and that this wasn’t just about whether I was confident being myself any more. It’s gotten past that stage and has developed into a full blown health problem.

Now, I can happily say I wear a UK size 10 for most dresses. ♥
Being lighter and fitter means it’s easier to find clothes that fit ya (most clothes in Singapore are sized super small), I don’t get exhausted from doing certain activities as easily… I find that generally I have more energy and spunk in me, and especially since I’ve been exercising more regularly and watching what I eat, my overall health has improved leaps and bounds!

This is Physician Yang taking my pulse, calculating how many times my heart beats per minute, during my first trip to Eu Yan Sang’s clinic in Hougang months ago. 

She told me in a concerned tone that my heart rate was abnormally high, about 116 beats per minute – which means I had a weak heart. My heart needed to pump many more times a minute to make sure enough oxygen gets to the organs in my body, and because of my weak heart, I become out of breath and tire easily. She reckons this is so because I used to exercise so little and eat foods that are oily and high in fat. A normal pulse rate is usually about 70-100, and people who are athletically trained have rates about 40-60 per minute. Of course, I got worried… A weak heart at 20 years old?!?! Are you kidding me??? I don’t want to die early!! I have so many things left to do. Although I appeared calm on the outside, I panicked silently. I told myself I HAVE to start taking my health seriously, I’m a grown up now, my own health is something my mother cannot help me look after any more…

So with continuous treatment from Eu Yan Sang, and making it a point to exercise more often, after a month I went back for one of my sessions and Physician Yang happily informed me that my heart rate is now down to about 82 beats per minute. It has been steadily decreasing since my first treatment. This is a significant improvement from the 100+ beats per minute now – my heart rate is actually healthy and normal!! It only took one month’s worth of efforts… I breathed a huge sigh of relief. In the past, doing a bit of exercise made my heart pound like crazy and I got very light headed – probably not enough oxygen to my brain. Felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM it screamed, begging me to stop, “I can take this no more!! I’m going into cardiac arrest in 3, 2…”

Now I can run, jog, do sit ups and moderate exercise with a fair amount of ease again. It’s a vicious cycle, really. When you don’t exercise for a long time, the next time you attempt to, you’ll feel like you’re going to die, just like I did. BUT if you force yourself to slowly introduce regular exercising into your life again, it gets easier and less painful every time you do it.

Taking charge of my health has been the best thing I’ve done in the whole of 2012 (besides a lot of awesome cakes!!!)

— How many kilograms have you shed since your first treatment?

I just weighed myself, and although I won’t tell you just yet how heavy I weigh (you’ll find out soon enough anyway lol) I have lost a total of.……….. *drum roll* 4.2kg so far!!! ^___^ *throws confetti*

 It probably doesn’t sound like much, to you it’s just a number “4″… but to me, it means downsizing my clothes size, looking less flabby, feeling less sluggish and being more confident. Eh, in 2 months or so 4kg is not bad hor, considering I didn’t go on a crazy fad diet, take any risky slimming pills or exercised everyday! I’d still like to lose more until I reach a healthy weight, and since my treatment hasn’t ended yet, I will update you guys the final weight loss count in the third post, after I’ve completed my whole course.


— If you’ve been exercising and watching your diet, what makes you think acupuncture treatment from Eu Yan Sang helped you lose the weight, and not the lesser food intake / increased physical activity?

Good question. How do I know it works? Let me break it down into different points for you.

• Hips Don’t Lie

Before I started on this treatment, I’ve already been trying to lose weight. In fact, I lost about 5kg on my own through dieting from my heaviest point up until before I started Eu Yan Sang. It was so much more difficult to do it on my own. However, I realized the weight loss didn’t appear significantly in any particular areas, but rather, I only shrunk in overall size generally. Since beginning my acupuncture treatment, amazingly enough my hips specifically have shrunk A WHOLE LOT. Physician Yang measured me the other day, around the hips area I lost a whopping 10+ cm.

Before, they were HUUGGEEEE… Now, they’re just… big. Lol. But I was amazed to see my hips go from HUGE to Big because I have only ever seen my hips increase in size – never in my life have I seen it become smaller. That was the first thing my boyfriend pointed out to me after 10 sessions of acupuncture – “Hey, your hips have gotten a lot smaller!” That totally made my week. :D

I know my acupuncture treatment was responsible for the reduction of my hips because she inserts these super long needles into my hips – 2 of them on each hip! They’re almost twice as long compared to the normal short ones used on my tummy. Don’t be intimidated, just because they’re longer doesn’t mean they’re more painful. Considering my hips are 99% fats, most of the time I don’t feel much. 
Even though I’ve been exercising, I have not done anything to tone up my hips area.. I would think love handles are one of the most difficult parts to get rid of because there’s not exactly a lot of muscles you can work there to burn the fats off, so I’m convinced acupuncture is really effective for targeting specific problem areas. Of course, I’m not attributing all my weight loss to the treatment, and discrediting my diet and exercise. Watching what I ate and making an effort to exercise made a massive difference as well.

Me in my exercise outfit about to hit the gym last month! Not meaning to say the last time I went to the gym was last month… I just don’t normally take pics of myself gymming :P 

• Maintenance 

I have to admit, as hard as I tried.. during these 2 months plus, some days (and weeks) I completely failed at my weight loss routine. On average, I’d exercise at least twice a week, and limit my soda / sweet drinks intake to 2 a week, but some days I would just pig out, succumb and go to a buffet, or get so busy / lazy / tired I didn’t exercise at all for the whole week. *hangs head in shame*…. I TRIEDDD. To my surprise, however, instead of putting on weight like I normally would, the acupuncture has helped me MAINTAIN my weight, keeping it at a constant. Judging by the way I ate some days, I’m pretty sure the weighing scale would have gone up if not for the acupuncture treatment increasing my metabolism rate.

If I have a big meal before I go for acupuncture, I 100% always need to poo straight after my treatment is done!!! Like I’d be running out of the treatment room to the toilet. This is probably due to acupuncture’s effect of increasing bowel movement (I know, TMI :P) and reduce water retention. As such I did feel like I needed to pee more often!!

• A natural appetite suppressant

Without having to take any risky slimming pills, my appetite has decreased drastically. I feel like it shrank my stomach, quite literally. It takes a lot lesser food for me to get full now. I noticed this only after 3-4 treatment sessions. You have no idea how big my appetite normally is – bigger than my hips, and that’s seriously big, let me tell you. LOL. I’m very happy coz I get to save a lot of money on food :) I used to go for expensive buffets and extravagant meals ALL the time! These days I’m happy with just having an apple for breakfast, tofu for lunch and fish for dinner. Now, having said all these wonderful things about acupuncture, I have to stress it’s NOT a miracle treatment… It really does what it says it does – helps you manage your weight. If your eating habits are still spiralling out of control all the time, and you don’t put in any effort on your part, then the effects of the acupuncture will be greatly lessened. But if you’ve tried losing weight without acupuncture before, like me, then you will realize how much it truly helps you on your journey.

— What habits did you have to change, other than going for Eu Yan Sang treatments?

Changing my diet, completely. It absolutely killed me to go on a low-carb diet, because I love carbohydrates to heaven and back. My favorite food is pasta. I love linguine, spaghetti, penne, fettucine, creamy, tomato, pesto, ANYTHING PASTA. My second favorite food is potatoes. I love potato salad, baked potato, roasted potatoes… ok you get my drift. *stomach growling*

One of my ideal dinners I cooked some time ago – home made rosti (a potato pancake) with lots of smoked salmon and sour cream. That much potato is SO fattening (but yummy)!!! My diet change started really slowly, and painfully. From drinking sodas almost everyday, I limited myself to 4 times a week. Then slowly, 2 times a week. I had to cut down from having pasta at least twice a week to eventually none at all. I CANNOT remember the last time I had pasta or a whole can of soft drink….. *emotional* Excuse me, I think I have tears in my eyes. *sniff* Tears of sadness, and also, tears of pride for myself.

BUT IT IS SO WORTH IT.

Every time I don’t eat carbs, I drop the most weight. The past week I’ve been very strict with myself and have seen an amazing improvement.. it makes me so happy! Even without exercising, I’ve dropped a full kilo and a half.  And don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m eating rabbit food or shit food – I’m still eating nutritious and healthy food, just not eating a lot of carbohydrates.

These have been my type of meals recently, all home cooked myself – spicy kimchi soup with spinach, cabbage, golden mushrooms, tofu, cuttlefish balls.. salad with grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, onions and italian dressing… creamy mushroom soup… grilled dory fish…

I highly recommend anyone who’s trying to lose weight to QUIT the sweet drinks (especially bubble tea omg so damn fattening!) and cut down on carbs. The difference is pretty amazing. Low carbs doesn’t mean NO carbs – have your carbs, you need it to live, but in very moderate amounts. I try to only have a carby meal either for breakfast or lunch, so I have enough time to digest it before I go to bed and it doesn’t turn into fat cells.

Feel like snacking or having dessert? Have some grapes, ditch the potato chips or ice cream!!! My physician has honestly been a true angel this whole time, gently encouraging me, giving me exercise and dieting tips, never one pressuring me too much but instead always pushing me at a comfortable steady pace for better results. Thanks to her constant support (and monitoring hurhur) I’ve been eating a lot more fruit and healthier foods these days, it keeps me sane when I get hungry in between meal times, and even though they’re full of sugar, they’re natural sugars that are much better for your body than artificial sweeteners and chemicals found in soft drinks, desserts, or anything artificially made that’s sweet.

Exercising more often goes without saying of course – surely you don’t need me to tell you how to exercise. Just skip some rope, jump around like a monkey, run on the spot, go the gym, go swimming… do anything. For me, I’ve been doing badminton playing (I’m pretty good at it I think hehehe) and hitting the gym! During the days I pig out more, I try to make up for it with more exercise. If I’ve been eating a lot lesser, I will exercise less vigorously. Overdoing exercise can cause harm to your body especially if you weren’t terribly fit to begin with.

— If I’m not overweight or looking to lose weight, can I still benefit from Traditional Chinese Medicine?

Anyone who is interested in a holistic approach to total health & well-being can seek TCM treatment. TCM treats a range of conditions from acute to chronic illnesses, such as asthma, dermatological conditions, insomnia…. the list goes on. You can find out more by visiting one of Eu Yan Sang’s clinics for a consultation. Here is a list of the all the clinics. Recently my mum has been having some leg pains, so I brought her to see Physician Yang…

TCM acupuncture is well known for treating nagging muscle aches, tense areas, or even increasing the rate of recovery for some injuries, so I hope they can ease my mother’s discomfort after a few sessions.. she’s already gone for her first session and said she noticed an improvement in the pain – it’s lessened by quite a fair bit.


— Do tell, what are the less favorable points about your experience with your treatment so far? Surely it’s not totally perfect?

Nothing is perfect. But as weight loss approaches go, this is as healthy as it is EVER going to get, besides strenuous exercising and dieting by yourself (duh, if you can do all of that alone, then you don’t need this what). There are certain things that I find is important to know if you’re interested in trying the same treatment as mine:

• Some times, you’ll get bruises on your body. I’ve had several on my stomach and legs already… it’s not very painful, it’s just a little sore when you press on it (like any other bruise) and it goes away within 10 days, sometimes less than a week.
“Since the needles are very fine in diameter, acupuncture generally does not cause bleeding. If a small capillary is punctured—and capillaries are everywhere—it may cause a tiny spot of blood to emerge. Similarly, slight bruising may occur, particularly in those who have blood vessels that are fragile. These are mild reactions and no cause for concern.” – source

• For your acupuncture treatment to be effective, you should go for sessions at least twice a week. Even more preferably, thrice a week. Not everybody can commit this sort of time to travel down to the clinic and lie there for a full hour, twice weekly.. However, acupuncture to treat other illnesses may not require as frequent visits, for example my mother is advised to only go about 3-5 times in total, an estimated time frame they think she will recover by.
• Acupuncture, obviously involves… needles. If you have a needle phobia, obviously it’s not really going to work out. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage people who are afraid of needles to man up and give it a try if they’ve a health problem that won’t seem to go away. The needles are so fine, and not painful most of the time, it is nothing like taking an injection at all.
• Traditional Chinese Medicine is damn bitter. LOL :(

For more detailed information about Eu Yan Sang, their Traditional Chinese Medicine practices and clinics, visit this link to learn more!

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As mentioned in my previous post, Thye Hua Kwan is Eu Yan Sang’s adopted beneficiary as part of their 10th anniversary celebrations, and they are now gathering donations for the non-profit organization by placing donation boxes in their clinic outlets.

So if you see one of these during your clinic consultation or treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach into your wallet and give a little something!! All donations go towards Thye Hua Kwan. What’s more, Eu Yan Sang Clinics will top up an additional 10% of all the donations collected. The boxes will be in clinics until the end of the year.  Your efforts will go a long, long way, I’m sure. :)