Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Obesity has become a serious medical problem for Americans. While our efforts to reduce obesity with diet and exercise routines are helping, we could also benefit from some additional support to reach our weight loss goals. Acupuncture treatments can help advance our weight loss while reducing stress and balancing the energy in our body.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of Oriental Medicine treatment where needles are inserted into meridian pathways on the body. The principle of acupuncture treatment is to adjust the flow of Qi, or energy, in these acupuncture meridians to control aspects of our body’s functioning. Acupuncture can decrease our appetite and improve our metabolism to assist us in weight loss and conquer obesity.
Why Is Weight Loss So Difficult?
With obesity statistics showing that two-thirds of the US adult population being overweight or obese, we need to ask why is weight loss so difficult. Oriental Medicine provides a unique perspective on weight loss showing that certain imbalances in our body may be making weight loss harder than we think.
Our Spleen and Stomach are the two organs in Oriental Medicine that control our digestion. The Stomach receives the food, and the Spleen is responsible for transforming our food into Qi for use in the body. The Spleen also works to transform our body fluids which can congest in the body and cause obesity. When either organ is in disharmony, our digestion, appetite, and metabolism can be affected making weight loss difficult.
What we eat and how we eat can also affect our weight loss in ways you may have not considered. A common cause of overeating is Stomach Heat. Spicy food and alcohol are often the cause, so eliminating these from our diet can improve our weight loss.
Overeating can also overburden our Spleen. When the Spleen is weakened, fluids congest in our body leading to dampness. This excess dampness eventually becomes fat stores in our body.
Poor digestion can lead to food stagnation in our digestive tract. This stagnation causes even more Heat, which can transfer to our Stomach increasing our appetite even more.
As we age, our Kidney Yin energy naturally declines. Unfortunately as our Yin weakens, deficient Heat accumulates and transfers to the Stomach. Combined with the Kidney’s decreased ability to firm our body and manage fluids, obesity can easily result.
All of these patterns show signs of poor digestion. Without proper digestion, weight loss will always be difficult. Even our specific food cravings can show different imbalances in our body. An Acupuncturist can help identify the imbalance in your body, correct this imbalance, and assist your weight loss.
How Can Acupuncture Help Weight Loss?
Acupuncture treatment for weight loss can include Auricular acupuncture, full body acupuncture, and Chinese Herbal Medicine. An Acupuncturist will start will a comprehensive intake that includes your medical history, tongue and pulse diagnosis, and possibly abdominal palpation. The intake will help the Acupuncturist determine which treatment would be best for your health and to increase your weight loss.
Auricular Ear Acupuncture
Auricular acupuncture, or ear acupuncture, is a micro-system of acupuncture where small needles or seeds are used to stimulate points on the ear. Auricular acupuncture has been found to be very effective for weight loss. There are several protocols used, including the five point NADA protocol that is effective for various forms of addiction, including food addiction. Other specific points can be added that enhance weight loss, such as hunger, stomach, mouth, spleen, and thyroid.
You may have ear seeds placed over some of these ear acupuncture points at the end of the treatment. This will allow you to squeeze and stimulate the Auricular acupuncture points when you experience cravings for food or in times of stress. This technique can enhance the effect of acupuncture for weight loss between acupuncture treatments.
Full Body Acupuncture
Full body acupuncture uses needles in specific points on the body to balance your system. A harmonious flow of Qi in your body will improve its functioning, especially your digestive functions. Good digestion and metabolism are important for weight loss. Acupuncture treatment can utilize point combinations like the Four Gates and Four Doors, which circulate Qi strongly throughout your body and your digestive system. By adding additional points to strengthen your Spleen and Stomach organs, acupuncture can balance your digestive system and improve your weight loss.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal Medicine can improve your acupuncture treatments for weight loss. Most Acupuncturists are also trained in the use of herbs. There are many formulas which can improve digestion, clear Stomach Heat, dissolve food stagnation, manage stress, and of course balance your body for improved functioning and metabolism. All of these actions can enhance your weight loss.
Tips for Weight Loss
Most of our difficultly in weight loss has to do with our life-style. Proper digestion is important for weight loss, so consider adjusting your life-style in the following ways:
- Don’t rush your meals. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly to aid digestion.
- Don’t watch TV or engage in heavy conversation during meals.
- Avoid fast food and enjoy natural products as these are easier to digest.
- Always eat cooked food, and avoid cold or raw food if possible.
You can also add foods at home that will aid your weight loss goals. Foods that strengthen your Spleen would be the best choice for weight loss. Chinese pearl barley, or Job’s tears, is a grain that is available in most Asian markets. Chinese Yams and aged Tangerine peels can also promote a healthy Spleen for weight loss.
Several Chinese teas are designed to improve the digestion and can aid weight loss. Pu’er tea is a fermented green tea that clears Stomach heat and dampness, common causes of obesity. Bojenmi tea is a Chinese product that contains the Chinese herbal formula Bao He Wan (Preserve Harmony Pill) mixed with white tea and is well known to improve weight loss. You can drink either tea before or after meals to help weight loss.
If you are having a difficult time with weight loss, seek the help of an Acupuncturist. Not only will you feel more relaxed and balanced, but you will lose weight in a positive and healthy manner.