It was around 200 BC that the first book on acupuncture was written. In the United States the failure rate of programs that deal with weight loss is 95%. Acupuncture weight loss treatments however have a success rate of at least 60%.
Modifying Your Lifestyle
When a person undergoes an acupuncture treatment, especially a treatment for losing weight, it is always accompanied by a recommendation of lifestyle change. Weight gain (and even weight loss, for that matter) occurs due to emotional and mental habits that have been shaped over time. These habits become entrenched so deeply that any attempt to change them usually fails. Most weight loss programs are miserably unsuccessful because of this.
Unlike most conventional weight loss programs, acupuncture has the ability to destroy these emotional and mental habits. There are bioelectrical forces that help maintain the energy balance in your body. At certain points in one’s life, this balance becomes disrupted mainly because of a sedentary lifestyle, medications, poor diet, stress, and several other factors. When a person gets treated with acupuncture, these bioelectrical forces become rebalanced helping the various organ systems to optimally function once more.
The equilibrium of your brain and other organs are reestablished, the sensory points are calmed and the mind and body are sedated with acupuncture. This is a treatment that is extremely beneficial for stopping excessive eating or binging resulting from strong emotions such as anxiety, frustration, and stress. People who have gained weight due to severe stress will find acupuncture to be the most effective way to lose weight. Acupuncture boosts your willpower to succeed, helps you alleviate stress, and improves the flow of energy in your body to help you lose weight in a much easier and more efficient manner and maintain that weight loss for long periods of time, sometimes even permanently.
The Five Element Theory of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
Can acupuncture still be an effective way to lose weight if the cause of weight gain is not due to stress? There is a theory in TCM known as the five-element theory that views the underlying reason for weight gain to be a malfunction in the liver and spleen systems. Liver is the organ system that regulates the flow of energy (Qi) and oversees the smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. Any disharmony experienced by the liver can trigger compulsive eating and food cravings. The spleen, on the other hand, regulates the digestive system and is the system that converts the food you eat into energy (Qi). A malfunctioning spleen can result in slower metabolism, edema (water retention), and fatigue.
External factors may affect the functions of the liver and spleen. Nervousness, fear, worry, anxiety, lack of exercise and other causes can impair the function of the liver. This can affect the spleen as well as the entire digestive system causing them to function less effectively and slow down metabolic rate.
Before initiating actual treatment, the acupuncturist will ask you a number of questions regarding your motivation to lower weight, cravings, stress, and eating habits. In addition to that, the practitioner will also determine if you have a family background of obesity. Treatment begins when the acupuncturist knows what points in your body need to be needled to bring out the best outcomes.
Acupuncture is a medical procedure that uses tiny thin needles inserted at specific points in your body. The needles are inserted manually and they may be augmented with mild pulses of electricity to make the treatment more potent. The procedure usually takes about 40 minutes and treatments at first may be done on a daily basis. After a while, treatment sessions can be performed every other day and may eventually be done one or two times a week until the desired results are achieved.
Maintaining Your Weight Loss
Maintaining the results of your weight loss program is one of the hardest things to do. To help you preserve your results, acupuncture is able to alter your mindset in a way that makes you want to live a healthy lifestyle. There are acupuncturists who incorporate massage therapy, supplements, and herbal remedies into the treatment to help preserve weight loss.
Acupuncture Points That Can Help with Weight Loss
Acupuncture points associated with the thyroid gland and spleen are targeted for treatment in a weight loss procedure. The aim of the treatment is to lower sugar and food cravings and rebalance the hormones. Edema or water retention is resolved when the kidney points are treated. Hormonal balance is attained when certain nerves are stimulated. In women, the adrenal gland and the ovaries can be targeted for treatment if menopause or PMS is the reason for the weight gain.
The shenmen point located on the ear is one of the most important acupuncture points for weight loss treatment. Though it is not connected to any organ system in your body, this point serves as a microcosm of your whole body. Reduction of stress and calming of the mind is often achieved when the shemen point is treated.
The effectiveness of acupuncture in losing weight has been verified through numerous clinical studies; this therapy in fact, has a 300% to 400% rate of effectiveness than conventional weight loss programs. Acupuncture controls your cravings in such a way that your anxiety and appetite are suppressed. Besides eating less and feeling a lot better, acupuncture can optimize the body’s ability to absorb food and normalize the elimination processes in a much more efficient manner.
Acupuncture is a great way to reduce your cravings, eat less, and relieve stress. It also makes your metabolism much more efficient and best of all, boosts your will to successfully lose weight.
Scott Paglia is a licensed and board certified acupuncturist in Bellingham, WA and provides master level pulse diagnosis, Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture in Whatcom County, WA.