Weight Loss Acupuncture
A commonly unknown or otherwise unaccepted secret about weight loss is that all diets will be effective in helping one to lose weight, if the number of calories taken in is less than the number of calories burned.
However, in our modern society, exercise is not as necessary as it was in mankind's past, and food is much easier to acquire. These circumstances, the chronic stress associated with the modern lifestyle, and other psychological triggers which may cause one to over-eat, have combined to create an obesity epidemic.
Because of this, Acupuncture for weight loss is becoming more and more popular. A recently published review of 31 studies involving 3,013 individual cases of weight loss Acupuncture treatments, conducted to critically assess the effectiveness of Acupuncture in treating obesity and helping in weight loss, revealed that Acupuncture does have a significant advantage over placebo treatments, more conventional means of weight loss, and more mainstream Western medications.
The study concluded that it would be worthwhile for more well-planned, long-term studies of Acupuncture's effects on obesity to be conducted.
Natural Weight loss
People are sometimes so desperate to lose weight that they will go to drastic measures to do so. Often, though, they are unaware of what exactly they are doing to their bodies. Fad diets, for example, will typically ask one to restrict his or her diet in a very unhealthy manner. The diet may temporarily work, due to the usual very low calorie-intake requirement, but your body will not react well to this, thinking instinctively that you are going to starve. In the end, the unnatural nature of these diets may cause drastic fluctuations in body weight, malnutrition, organ damage, slowed metabolic rate, and imbalances in a number of bodily systems.
Fortunately, a comprehensive therapy for weight loss, rooted in Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, can address both the biological and psychological aspects of weight loss to smooth emotions, promote better digestion, reduce appetite, improve metabolism, and reduce food cravings, decreasing the amount of food that you take in, and increasing the amount of energy you expend.
Weight loss with Traditional Chinese Medicine
In traditional Chinese medicine's “Five Element” theory, weight problems are caused by imbalances in the body caused by malfunctioning of the spleen and liver. It is the spleen's job to regulate the digestive system, making sure that food that is taken in is converted into Qi for the body to use. The liver is responsible for making sure that Qi, blood, and emotions flow smoothly through the body.
Malfunctioning of the spleen can cause problems such as fatigue, slowed metabolism, water retention, loose stool, and a feeling of heaviness in the body. Malfunctioning of the liver (which may be caused by the stress associated with modern lifestyles) can cause a slowed metabolism and poor functioning in the digestive system. Taken together, spleen and liver disharmony leads to triggers that cause cravings and compulsive eating, and an overall increased risk of becoming overweight.
Backed by Research
A growing pool of scientific studies continually provides evidence for Acupuncture and Oriental medicine's effectiveness in treating weight loss.
For example, a 2003 study published by The Journal of Medicinal Acupuncture revealed that participants who received acupuncture lost, on average, three times more weight than participants who did not.
A study conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia in 1998 had similar results. Participants were treated with Acupuncture which included electro-stimulation of the Acupuncture points. 95% of the participants reported a suppressed appetite afterward.
The Acupuncture Weight Loss Treatment
Because problems in the spleen and liver are the roots of the weight problem, the Acupuncture treatments, specialized foods, and specialized herbs are all specifically chosen to influence and restore balance to the Qi of the spleen and liver systems.
In the Western medical view, they would say that the treatments influence the functioning of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, and metabolism in such a way that food cravings are reduced, bodily energy is increased, absorption of nutrients is maximized, overeating and appetite are suppressed, and anxiety is reduced.
Acupuncture Points for Weight Loss
As with treatments for other conditions, treatments for overeating are customized and planned based on the needs of each individual patient. For instance, although all Acupuncture treatments for weight loss will focus on restoring the circulation of blood and Qi in order to treat the root of the problem, alterations may be made to treat problems that are unique to one patient, or problems that are prevalent at the time of one session, but not others (such as urges to overeat associated with PMS).
Once again, it is generally advised to attend Acupuncture sessions once or twice weekly. Sessions commonly go on from 8 to 12 weeks, but may be cut short if the target weight is reached. In addition to the basic Acupuncture treatment, which may involve points on both the body and in the ear, patients may receive ear pellets (similar to the ones used for treatment of nicotine addiction), herbs and supplements, abdominal massages, instructions for breathing exercises, and recommendations for a new nutritional plan and lifestyle.
Ear Acupuncture Points for Weight loss
As with smokers, treatments involving Acupuncture points in the ear have been found to be especially effective in helping people who overeat. The ear is a particularly important area in Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine because it contains points that are connected to all major organs and parts of the body.
During a session, points in the ear will be stimulated with small tacks. Small pellets will be taped to the acupuncture points, so that the patient may rub them at any point in the day to combat cravings for food. Usually, the pellets will be kept in place for 3 days at a time, and massaged for 10-second intervals, if the patient so chooses.
Some commonly used Acupuncture points in the ears include the Shenmen point, the Small Intestine point, the Mouth point, the Hunger point, and the Endocrine point. These are used, respectively, for calming the mind and reducing stress, reinforcing the spleen and promoting digestion, suppressing urges to engage in compulsive oral activities (such as smoking, over-eating, and hyperactive talking), relieving hunger and decreasing compulsions to eat, and assisting the flow of liver Qi as well as aiding in metabolic function.
A Total Health Program
Although cravings and appetite can be significantly reduced with Acupuncture alone, a total health program involving herbs, specialized foods, massages, deep breathing, and exercise can be even more effective.
Foods and herbal products used for treatment are chosen for their ability to promote healthy digestion, provide energy for the body, allow for better flow of Qi, and improve the removal of water, toxins, and waste from the body. Usually, bitter, sour, and acrid-tasting foods will be chosen. These foods tend to be beneficial to weight loss, as opposed to salty, sweet, and greasy foods which usually are not.
Massages and deep breathing exercises are used for stimulating Acupuncture points on the abdomen. This can help to improve digestion, absorption of food, and the contractions of intestinal muscles. In addition, belly breathing with visualizations can be used for strengthening will power (which is important for weight loss) and as a direct tool for curbing hunger and cravings.
Traditional Chinese medicine and Acupuncture can be used as standalone tools, or in conjunction with other methods for weight loss. They have been shown to be exceedingly powerful in helping patients to lose weight. Acupuncture just might be the thing you need to push you on your way to eating less, exercising more, overcoming your cravings, and improving your willpower.