Acupuncture, a form of traditional Chinese medicine, has been practiced for centuries. The practice involves placing fine, hair-thin needles at strategic points along the body to stimulate chi. Chi is the energy that flows through the body. While most people associate acupuncture with pain relief, relaxation, and even fertility, evidence suggests that acupuncture treatments may also aid in weight loss.
Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Have tried every weight loss trick in the book, and to no avail, you can’t seem to lose those last few stubborn pounds? Or, are you just starting on your weight loss journey? Whatever the case may be, acupuncture is an option for you to consider. Read on to discover how acupuncture promotes weight loss.
How does acupuncture work?
Acupuncture involves placing very fine, flexible needs through the surface of the skin at specific points of the body. Because the needles are so fine and flexible, they cannot be felt. In recent years, this form of natural therapy has become increasingly more popular in the United States. Today, many people are starting to break away from and end their reliance on petrochemical pharmaceutical medicines. Instead, people are turning to ancient, natural remedies that have been practiced for thousands of years, and have been proven to work.
Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for a variety of health issues. Practitioners believe that acupuncture regulates the flow of chi (energy) throughout the body, which helps to restore balance. People receive treatment to relieve chronic pain, migraine headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and infertility, as well as weight loss.
During your initial appointment, an acupuncturist will begin by collecting information that relates to the history of your general health, including information that relates to your weight loss goals. The acupuncture practitioner will also attempt to target the root cause of your weight gain. This may include a poor metabolism, an underactive thyroid, or emotional eating. Your acupuncturist will then determine a custom treatment plan to meet your individual needs.
Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Acupuncture needles are specially designed so that they will not cause bleeding or pain. An acupuncturist will place the needles in your body and leave them in place for about 15 to 30 minutes per session. The acupuncturist may leave the needles stationary, or they may lift them and rotate them throughout the session. Most people say that their acupuncture sessions are painless and promote a sense of relaxation.
The part(s) of the body that the acupuncturist will focus on during treatment sessions depends on the purpose of the therapy. For weight loss, the ears are usually the area of focus. Numerous studies show that the stimulation of key points along the outer ear will help to balance the hormones that stave appetite and minimize cravings. These hormones include:
- Leptin – This hormone regulates metabolism and the storage of fat.
- Ghrelin – This hormone controls meal stimulation and appetite.
The stimulation of these two hormones can help to ease cravings, suppress your appetite, enhance digestion, and speed up your metabolism.
What does the Research Say?
Several research studies have been performed to determine the effects of acupuncture on weight loss. Some of the key findings of these studies include the following:
- In one study, the effectiveness of ear (auricular) acupuncture was compared to body acupuncture in obese women. Researchers found that participants who receive ear acupuncture lose more weight than those who receive body acupuncture; roughly 8 pounds or more.
- In another study, researchers tested females who were between the ages of 20 and 30, and overweight. The women received six treatments of ear acupuncture and the circumference of their waists reduced.
- Research shows that high-stress levels can trigger weight gain. Because acupuncture can reduce stress, researchers can link acupuncture treatment to supporting weight loss.
Additional Reading: 5 Acupressure Points for Weight Loss
Southlake Natural Family Wellness
Our mission is to support the health and well-being of our patients by offering individualized, comprehensive holistic care including acupuncture, herbal recommendations, customized nutritional counseling, allergy elimination (NAET), whole food supplements, lifestyle suggestions, moxibustion, and cupping, as well as helping couples get pregnant and STAY pregnant by supporting all the paths to conception.
About Farrah Hamraie
Farrah Hamraie, L.Ac, MOM, Dipl.OM (NCCAOM), is licensed and board-certified in Acupuncture and Herbal medicine in the State of Texas with a Masters of Oriental Medicine from the Dallas College of Oriental Medicine. She is also a Diplomat of NCCAOM (the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), a Board Certified Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and a member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine.