Chinese acupuncture is finally helping dieters lose weight by tapping into the body’s many hidden energy meridians. When fine needles are barely inserted into the skin along strategic points on the body it can restore balance to the flow of energy along rivers of Qi (pronounced chee), or life force.
There are many reasons people become overweight – hormone imbalances, slowed metabolism, overeating, poor nutrition and lack of exercise are some of the most common.
Using acupuncture to tackle weight loss is a multi-pronged approach.
Pinning Down the Benefits
The rationale for using acupuncture for weight control is based in the premise that weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the regulating center of the brain, called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining “homeostasis” or functional balance that allows the body to run like a finely tuned instrument. It is the body’s dispatch center that regulates hormones and neurochemicals, and helps to control body temperature, circadian rhythm, thirst and hunger.
Of particular interest is the ability of acupuncture to influence obesity hormones. Research measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss found treatments increased ghrelin, a hormone that controls meal initiation and decreased leptin, the hormone that regulates fat storage and metabolism.
The guiding principal is that acupuncture can power up any other weight control strategy by curbing appetite, quelling cravings, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, regulating obesity-related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are used. It also strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. Acupuncture may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people know that they are full.
Treatments may be reinforced with Cupping to help detoxify the body, as well as electric stimulation on the belly points to really boost the metabolism! They will also include ear Acupuncture in the form of ear magnets that patients can massage periodically in between treatments to help with cravings.
For the best results, treatment should be done two times/week for a full course of treatment (anywhere between 10-16 sessions)!
(Thank-you to the Dr. Oz Show for some of the information in this article!)