Different weight loss drugs and diets are always coming into and out of fashion as different celebrities endorse different programs and plans. If you are looking for a long-term, drug-free solution, acupuncture just might be the perfect fit for you.
What acupuncture does is regulate the flow of qi, or energy, throughout the body, bringing everything back into balance. It is used to manage a variety of health conditions, many of which contribute to weight gain. Helping you to manage stress, chronic pain, migraines, allergies, etc., can then help you with weight loss.
At your first appointment, your acupuncturist will take a general health history to help you identify your weight loss goals and get an understanding of your health overall. This process helps to identify the root cause of the problem (thyroid issue, binge eating, slow metabolism, etc.) and then develop the most effective treatment plan to help you reach your goals.
What to Expect
Acupuncture needles are thin and designed to work effectively without causing you pain. Typically, the needles are inserted to various acupuncture points on the body and left in place for 15 to 30 minutes per session. Your acupuncturist may lift or rotate the needles as part of your session. Specifically for weight loss, your acupuncturist may tend to focus on your ear.
Research suggests that stimulating certain points located on the outer ear help to balance hormones that help to reduce cravings and appetite. Specifically, acupuncture influences two hormones that can help with weight loss: ghrelin which controls appetite and leptin which regulates fat storage and metabolism. In addressing these two hormones, acupuncture can help you to curb those cravings, improve your digestion and boost your metabolism.
What the Research Says
Research shows that along with lifestyle modifications like introducing regular exercise to your routine and incorporating a balanced diet, acupuncture can be effective for weight loss.
It’s also important to understand that many people gain weight as the result of high stress in their lives. Research also shows that acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, also known as the body’s “feel good” hormones. Releasing these hormones can create a calming effect that can work to counteract the need for stress eating that comes when we experience tense situations or anxiety.
Another encouraging study found that overweight females between the ages of 20 to 30 years old who received six weekly treatments of auricular (or ear) acupuncture experienced a reduction in the circumference of their waist.
And yet another study compared the effectiveness of auricular acupuncture to body acupuncture in obese women and found that those receiving ear acupuncture lost approximately 8 more pounds than those who received acupuncture on other parts of the body.
If you are looking for an alternative to the much-hyped diets and drugs currently available to aid in weight loss, talk to your acupuncturist about your options. Acupuncture is a safe and effective alternative treatment to a variety of health conditions. Don’t wait another day to get your health under control. Make an appointment today to get on track and start hitting those weight loss goals.