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Thursday, May 29, 2008

China crazy about losing weight fast

In modern society Obesity is a curse but one of China's most popular specialised hospitals is looking very eager to help weight loss hope with great techniques and long experience.

Aimin Fat Reduction Hospital situated in the coastal city of Tianjin claims to do just what its name suggests with traditional herbal remedies and treatments such as acupuncture, cupping and massage.

Chief doctor and hospital director Shi Lidong told Reuters that "The best thing about the Chinese way of losing weight is that it's safe and natural. While the weight falls away fast, we can also guarantee that all the life indicators are normal."

Hundreds of overweight and obese chinese are attracted towards the hospital , and also foreign patients are making their way there. American Alonzo Bland, who weighs 290 kgs (640 lb), checked into Aimin in May after winning a contest for one year's worth of free treatment held by a company that organizes trips to China for medical treatment.

Bland, a former social worker from Green Bay, Wisconsin, suffers from numerous health problems and has not worked in a decade because of his size. He can hardly walk and has a tube to help him breathe and offset the effect of the fat on his chest and neck which presses on his windpipe. He added "I think that fast food has played a big role, just the choices of being unable to go in the kitchen and fix something healthy, get in a car and go around the corner to get something that is fast.”

After failing to lose weight at home, Bland said he hoped China will help. "My ultimate goal is to lose weight and be healthier. It is up to me, but Chinese traditional medicine will help that along, and make the transition a lot more smooth for me," he said.

Mainly Chinese food consisting of green vegetables, tofu and rice, is the diet Bland should be on, Shi said. Bland is also being treated with acupuncture, cupping and massage. A Chinese patient who gave his name as Shen said he had come to the hospital after his weight became "inconvenient".

"You affect other people while sleeping and it is just inconvenient in life. I have to lose weight," he said while receiving acupuncture and massage treatments from doctors.

Thousands of plants, fungi and animals -- some endangered and controversial -- are used to make traditional Chinese remedies that are increasingly seen as an alternative to, or a complement for, pharmaceuticals. It is believed to have less side effects than Western medicine.

Hospital director Shi said he was confident Bland and his other patients would lose weight, but warned Aimin's traditional therapies were no replacement for another, age-old way to keep the weight off: exercise.

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