Research Shows Acupuncture Benefits Weight Loss
Recently a growing body of research has supported the use of Traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture in weight loss. In 2003, the Journal of Medical Acupuncture found that participants receiving acupuncture lost three times more weight than those in a control group. In another study conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia in 1998, 95 percent of the participants receiving electric-stimulation on acupuncture points reported appetite suppression. The results showed that the acupuncture group was more likely to experience a reduced appetite and to lose weight than the control group.
How Does Acupuncture Influence Weight Loss?
Acupuncture stimulates the body to release endorphins, the body’s own “feel good” pain-relieving chemicals. One way that acupuncture weight loss treatments control the appetite is by releasing endorphins which in turn help the body combat cravings for carbohydrates, reduces the appetite, and also combats withdrawal symptoms if weight loss is related to drug abuse. When consulting with an overweight patient, most acupuncturists will ask a variety of questions and perform an examination in order to understand the main causes of the excess weight. These causes can be behavioral, or physiological in nature, and can often be a combination of the two. After identifying the root of the patient’s problem the acupuncturist will insert needles into different areas of the body. The point of this treatment is to help improve the body’s functions in a way that will promote weight loss. Practitioners often use multi-targeted approaches when treating weight loss. For example, they may attempt to encourage weight loss by increasing the output of the pituitary gland, attempt to control cravings of certain foods, or try to decrease the natural appetite.
People utilizing acupuncture to assist in weight loss should expect to participate in repeated treatments on a regular basis in order to maintain the effects. Most acupuncturists will tell a patient that acupuncture alone is not likely to result in permanent weight loss. Practitioners often assist patients in forming nutritional and herbal plans to ensure long-term weight loss.
What Acupuncture Points Are Used For Weight Loss?
When acupuncture is used to treat weight loss, practitioners often target points in the ear. During treatment, the acupuncturist places five needles in each ear. Four of these needles directly correspond to specific organs in the body - the kidneys, lungs, nervous system, and liver. The fifth needle is used for relaxation. Once the session begins, the body is stimulated to produce endorphins. In addition to the ears, other points in the body are also used to target weight loss.
The needles are inserted into certain points of the body including:
- Mouth - this point relates to an impulsive eater that is also a chain smoker.
- Stomach - this point relates to a person that is obese (continuing to eat when the stomach is full).
- Lungs - this point relates to people who are addicted to food.
- Endocrine - this point relates to those who gain weight due to water retention.
- Senmen - this point relates to the psychological reasons for anxiety, frustration and loneliness.
- Spleen - this point relates to hormonal and sugar imbalances.
- Kidney - this point relates to the nervous system and water retention.
- Thyroid - this point relates to a slow metabolism.