Our entire lives we pursue that one thing that seems to always elude us, weight loss! The journey to weight loss is fraught with every kind of difficulty imaginable, considering the weight loss fads we are constantly subjected to. So it is only natural that you would be skeptical when you will hear that acupuncture can help you shed the excess weight. Yes, acupuncture and weight loss can be pronounced in the same breath. There have been hundreds of people who have witnessed amazing transformations in their body and mind thanks to acupuncture.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine practice that though considered to be all about needles, in actuality is more about energy. A healthy person can experience the flow of qi or life energy, which flows freely through a network of meridians or channels all through the body.
When the passages of these channels are blocked, there is resulting sickness or pain. Acupuncture is a treatment where very fine needles are inserted into specific points right along these meridians to remove blockages and let energy flow uninhibited. Modern advocates also activate or calm certain nerves, muscles and connective tissue with the help of sterile needles, electricity, and magnets.
How Acupuncture Helps in Losing Weight
There have been many pieces of evidence to prove that acupuncture has been able to treat conditions like arthritis and pain. But Science has not backed these claims made by the adherents of this treatment procedure. In fact, the scientists have said that it is more because of a placebo effect than patients showing any improvement. It is when patients expect to heal, not when they really heal.
The traditional theory of acupuncture is that it is the outer ear which represents the entire body, so when you stimulate the key points with needles and/or magnets all around the location, your appetite will be greatly reduced and it will boost your metabolism.
Many reports have claimed that obese patients who underwent the five-point ear acupuncture lost oodles of weight compared to other patients who received only one-point acupuncture. However, there are other reports which came forward with the notion that acupuncture is a mind healer; that is, it made the patients believe that they can lose weight, and this made them lose weight instead of the actual treatment.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners propagate that too much of weight gain is caused because of an imbalance in the body due to a malfunctioning spleen and the liver organ systems. Acupuncture practitioners zero in on specific body areas which impact weight loss.
Among all this is the endocrine system and also the kidneys, which are addressed to treat the disorder of water retention and also to stimulate nerve and hormonal re balance. The spleen and thyroid glands which affect sugar and hormonal re balancing are also addressed.
Additionally, the adrenal and ovary glands are also addressed to treat weight gain issues due to menopause or Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Some people feel the difference in a remarkably short time phase.
Another Chinese acupuncture technique for losing weight is ear stapling. Now how can ear stapling help you lose weight? The technique involves activating points on the ear to control food cravings. Auricular acupuncture is used not only for weight loss but has also helped cure cigarette addicts and heroin addiction.
When it is properly administered by an experienced acupuncturist, this technique can help some people lose weight. In a study conducted on patients who tried ear acupuncture combined with a 2,000 calorie a day diet and a 15-minute walk, many saw great success in reducing weight. The study was conducted on 20 overweight women with an age range of 22 to 42 years of age.
Amongst 20 women, half of the women who got treated for weekly 15-minute of ear acupuncture lost an average of almost 10 pounds. Those who did not try ear acupuncture showed an almost three-pound loss. Additionally, the women who received the acupuncture treatments showed a decrease in appetite too.
But of course, you cannot get a great result just by going for acupuncture; you need to combine the treatment with an diet of reduced calories and adequate physical exercise. Also, you need to take into account that ear acupuncture treatments should be administered by a qualified acupuncturist. It should be supported with other conjunctive modalities and not taken as a stand-alone treatment option.
Like if you are trying to lose weight, just focusing on the diet won’t give you the desired results, you need to support it with exercise too; similarly, merely going for acupuncture won’t make you shed the excess pounds.
Similar to all other medical conditions, you need to always seek the advice of your doctor before you try and incorporate acupuncture for weight loss.
Now that you know that you have to pinpoint the Qi for effective weight loss, experts in acupuncture try to address the 4 acupuncture points on the ear. They are the hunger point, the Shen Men point, the stomach point, and the endocrine point.
A few tiny sterilized needles are inserted along these invisible channels to reduce the “heat” generated along these meridians and also to activate centers that trigger the release of neurochemicals and hormones.
During the courses of treatment, the needles are covered with tape so that they are left in place for a couple of days. Afterward, the patients can remove them at home or at the time of follow-ups with your acupuncturist. There are some practitioners who may use “ear seeds” that patients wear at home, which can be massaged from time to time to help with pesky hunger pangs, especially the ones which are hard to control.
Laser Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Laser acupuncture is a kind of technique which combines the ancient Chinese technique with modern technology. Here instead of needles, non-thermal, low-intensity radiation beams are used. This method has been greatly effective in treating addictions. Like needle treatments, laser acupuncture is all about releasing endorphins and activates certain points which help lose weight.
Use of Acupuncture Balls for Weight Loss
This treatment, which was invented in Japan by Dr. Junzo Kokubo, uses small balls that help shed excess weight as the other props are used for weight loss.
The Use of Acupuncture and Cupping for Weight Loss
Cupping is another process which helps in weight loss. The technique involves placing a glass container with a partial vacuum in it right on the patient’s skin in order to enable suction on the underlying tissue to solve the problem. When acupuncture and cupping are combined, it becomes a potent method to lose weight.
How to Follow Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Since you already know about the benefits of acupuncture, follow the below-mentioned guidelines, so that you get the results you want.
- Make sure you choose a qualified practitioner- Most states have given guidelines that require the acupuncturists to procure a license before they start practicing, to assure that they have already completed the required education and training standards which are needed for practice. Just check whether the acupuncturist has an L.A, which means that they are a licensed acupuncturist, following his or her name. Some medical doctors may have taken acupuncture as a postgraduate program of study.
- Complete the entire course of treatment- Acupuncture to lose weight should be followed to the tee to get the desired results. You can only get results if you follow a comprehensive program of 10 weeks. Also, besides the course of treatment, do not forget to follow the right diet along with an exercise regime to boot!
- Keep it simple- Although ear stapling is also based on the theory of acupuncture, it is a method which might prove to be a little tricky as the use of surgical staples penetrating the cartilage of the ear can promote infection.
So if you are considering going for acupuncture for weight loss, go right ahead and reap the benefits of this ancient practice.