February 8

Weight Loss and Acupuncture

Weight Loss and Acupuncture

The future of weight loss programs may very well include acupuncture. Ample evidence already exists to prove that the treatment is an effective and safe method of losing weight. While the origins of acupuncture can be traced back thousands of years, one only has to look about two years into the past to find that researchers at Baptist University and Pok Oi Hospital came up with results that proved this to be true. 

Between September 2015 and October 2016, 72 overweight patients participated in a clinical trial in Hong Kong. Half received actual acupuncture, twice a week, on points located on the abdomen, legs and ears. The other half were the subjects of fake acupuncture. Special needles were used, that did not puncture the skin. All reported similar calorie intakes and exercise levels during the trial period. Their ages ranged from 18 to 65. 

The average weight loss in the real acupuncture group was roughly 5 lbs. 7 oz. In the sham acupuncture group, the reported average weight loss was 1 lb. 3 oz.  The points were selected according to theories in traditional Chinese medicine. Specific points can potentially suppress the desire for food, while others are linked to digestive activities.  

With such trials, Chinese medical practitioners are adding the objective scientific research of western medicine with methods that date back to ancient times. Now, in addition to the traditional belief that acupuncture redirects energy, professionals now have reason to believe that acupuncture increases levels of endorphins and serotonin in the blood. These are chemicals that suppress appetite and speed up fat loss. They also help you relax, which will help you avoid stress eating. 

Regular acupuncture treatments in this office will always be accompanied by diet recommendations and/or Chinese medicine prescriptions. As tempting as it is to tie this article in with the New Year, I take my clients’ health a great deal more seriously than most regard their resolutions. Acupuncture can be very powerful but it is not magical. I am very clear with my patients that acupuncture isn't the secret cure to weight loss. You must be willing to make a deep, long-term commitment to adjusting lifestyle and dietary habits as well as including exercise. If you are prepared to make dietary changes and include regular exercise, acupuncture may be a perfect additional therapy to help with your weight loss goals. 

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