Did you know that it’s possible to use acupuncture for weight loss and it’s proven effective by scientific studies?
Excess weight has become an increasingly serious societal menace. That is why it should come as no surprise that experts and regular people keep coming up with fresh new ways to improve weight loss outcomes. But did you know that it is also possible to use acupuncture for weight loss?
Diets, workout regimens, smart weight-loss devices, hypnotisms, and surgeries among other unconventional interventions are some of the options weight watchers are currently using in a bid to lose excess weight.
And now, acupuncture has become the refreshing new weapon in the unending battle against excess unhealthy weight. But how exactly does it work and how to use acupuncture for weight loss? If you are at a loss to understand the curious link between this ancient health and wellness therapy and weight loss, then you have come to the right place.
What is Acupuncture?
On the face of it, acupuncture is simply having needles inserted in your body. But the art is much more refined than that. These needles are sterile, and they are inserted at specific points on the body, along energy pathways to stimulate the release of feel-good hormones, otherwise known as endorphins.
Once this happens, your body will feel calm and relaxed; free of anxiety and other mental and emotional stresses that were weighing on you.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture can be used to improve how the liver, spleen, kidney, endocrine system, and the thyroid gland works. These body parts are believed to have a significant body impact on how the puts on excess weight by acupuncture practitioners; and they might be onto something.
For instance, in case you didn’t know, negative emotions such as anxiety and stress often bring about excess eating. Therefore, acupuncture helps with weight loss by giving you the ability to control your eating habits. And let’s face it, unhealthy eating habits are the main reason why many people end up with weight issues in the first place. So, if acupuncture can help get this self-destructive habit under control, it can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight; at least, to some extent.
Actually, although doctors are at a loss to explain exactly how acupuncture improves weight loss, they have been successful in establishing that the ancient alternative therapy contributes to healthier weight through reduction of stress, suppression of appetite and even significant boosts in metabolism.
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Weight Loss
As old as acupuncture is, the popularity and attention it is getting today are unlike anything the wellness technique has witnessed in history. This spike in interest has been fueled by scientific findings that have proven again and again that acupuncture has some very compelling health benefits to offer its users.
For the longest time, acupuncture has been shown to offer relief from pain. And now, researchers are curious to see what other health benefits can be obtained from this ancient therapeutic procedure.
That is actually what brought about the alleged link between acupuncture and weight loss. But in the meantime, acupuncturists are enjoying the increased traffic to their parlors. Today, over 10 million acupuncture is done on the US every year; and some of them are done to improve their weight loss results.
What Does Research Say on the Effectiveness of Acupuncture for Weight Loss?
Research says that acupuncture helps with weight loss. During one such study, those who had acupuncture in addition to using other weight loss methods lost more weight than those who did not get acupuncture as they used other weight-loss interventions.
This should be incredible news since 95 percent of Americans fail to get the expected weight loss results even after using one weight loss program after another. This is despite the fact that the country spends more than 33 billion dollars annually on weight loss programs.
In yet another study, which was published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers were able to determine, based on an analysis of 31 studies on acupuncture, that the therapy was linked to a significant reduction in average body weight.
Another study also showed that there was a significant difference between a sham and a real acupuncture session. The study, which was done on a number of women, proved that the subjects who underwent real acupuncture experienced a lowering of the body mass index (BMI).
How to Use Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Traditional Chinese Medicine also has an explanation of how acupuncture or such ancient wellness techniques can improve weight loss. This ancient wisdom explains that excess weight gain has a lot to do with body imbalances brought about by improper spleen and liver functions.
That is why, as you get acupuncture for weight loss, only certain points on the body will be targeted to help restore balance to your body and keep your weight under control. Some of the areas targeted include the endocrine system and the kidneys.
This intervention helps to deal with hormonal imbalances and water retention problems respectively.
Acupuncturists can also target the spleen and the thyroid gland, which helps with sugar and hormonal balance. Similarly, acupuncture can also target the adrenal and the ovary glands with the help of alleviating menopause and PMS symptoms, which can also contribute to weight gain.
The use of acupuncture for weight loss acts through its effects on the neuroendocrine system.
When acupuncture needles are inserted at certain points on the body, harmful neurochemicals are kept at bay. The result is the restoration of natural hormonal balance and the sustenance of proper neurotransmitter levels. In general, when the state of the neuroendocrine system improves, overeating urges are lowered due to a reduction in stress.
To help with food cravings, the ears are also targeted in what is often also called ear stapling. So powerful is this intervention in controlling unhealthy cravings that even smokers and cocaine addicts have successfully used it to overcome their bad health habits.
Similarly, when ear stapling is done by a pro, it can result in weight loss by helping you keep your food cravings under control.
The results of a study on the relationship between ear acupuncture and weight loss were very compelling. During this study, those who had ear acupuncture in addition to following a 2,000 calorie diet and a 15-minute walk lost 10 pounds on average.
On the other hand, those who adhered to a 2,000 calorie diet and did the 15-minute walk without the acupuncture lost an average of only 3 pounds. Additionally, the subjects in the study who underwent acupuncture described themselves as having experienced a reduction in appetite.
Some people have even reported witnessing a reduction in weight after using acupuncture in addition to weight loss after failing to get any positive results with exercise alone. Therefore, acupuncture can significantly enhance the weight loss benefits this ancient therapy can give you as you lose weight.
This is basically the same effect you can get from having HCG injections, which allow you to reduce your regular calorie intake without suffering through feelings of starvation. In fact, using HCG shots can even allow you to go on a calorie deficit without suffering any hunger pangs so that you can lose weight a lot faster.
Potential Acupuncture Side Effects
First of all, acupuncture should only be done by a qualified and fully licensed acupuncturist. When this happens, the risk of getting the negative side effects is significantly reduced. Additionally, you should consult with a physician before getting acupuncture treatment if you experience issues like bleeding disorders, a weak immune system, or are taking medications that cause blood thinning.
That said, a few negative side effects might result from using acupuncture; for instance, fatigue, muscle spasms, and even soreness. Similarly, the changes in hormonal balance caused by acupuncture can result in feelings of exhaustion.
Those who have undergone acupuncture can also get emotional side effects. Some people can also experience muscle tremors, even after the acupuncture session is over, but these should only last for about two days or so.
Therefore, the importance of using the services of a qualified acupuncturist cannot be overemphasized to avoid or mitigate these side effects.
In fact, in the hands of a poorly qualified professional, acupuncture sessions can even result in injury due to improper needle insertion depths. Fortunately, acupuncturists now use small plastic aids that help keep the depth of needle insertions under control to prevent any physical damage, however, superficial.
How Many Sessions Does It Take to Lose Weight through Acupuncture?
This is another important issue to consider. Obviously, the number of sessions you need will depend on the weight loss goal you are trying to attain. Additionally, how your body responds to the acupuncture treatments will determine how long it will take to lose a certain number of pounds through acupuncture.
However, if you intend to lose about 10 to 15 pounds, you should get a number of acupuncture sessions a week for about one and a half to two months.
What Are Acupuncture Sessions Like?
Acupuncture is not agonizingly painful, in case you are wondering. In fact, many people actually enjoy themselves as the needles prick them, one after another. Otherwise, once all the needles have been inserted based on targeted acupuncture points, all you will have to do is lay still for a couple of minutes as you relax and the therapy takes effect.
Some acupuncturists may employ what is known as electro-acupuncture, whereby some current is passed through the needles for enhanced therapeutic effect. All you get is a slightly weird sensation as the small number of current runs through the area around the inserted needle.
Otherwise, once you have relaxed for about 30 minutes with the needles on your body, listening to calming music and getting the energy flow in your body rebalanced, the session will end with the needles being removed from your skin. The entire process should take about an hour.
How to Enhance the Benefits of Acupuncture for Weight Loss
There are ways you can improve the results of acupuncture for weight loss. For instance, you should also workout, and follow a healthy diet. As you know, no successful weight loss can be achieved without a proper diet. Otherwise, the weight loss benefits that acupuncture will give you will be easily undone by your unhealthy eating habits.
Fortunately, controlling your eating habits should not be too difficult since acupuncture also helps lower food cravings. Additionally, having a positive mental attitude about acupuncture helps, as this will inspire the lifestyle changes that should come from using the therapy to keep your weight under control.
Obesity is making many people desperate for a way to shed excess pounds, and obvious interventions like proper diet and healthy workout routines do not seem to be offering the expected respite from this epidemic. That is why alternative interventions such as acupuncture are an increasingly important option for many people.
Fortunately, acupuncture is not a sham alternative weight loss therapy, since there are scientific studies proving its effectiveness. So, if a proper diet and a workout routine do not seem to be giving you the weight loss outcomes you desire, it is time you gave acupuncture serious consideration.
The upside is that in addition to helping you lose weight, you will get other significant health benefits as well. These include better mood, improved hormonal balance, and even stronger control over unhealthy food cravings. In fact, acupuncture could be the secret to a successful weight loss journey.
Still, the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss varies from one person to another.
With some people, the weight loss benefits become apparent quite fast. But in other cases, it can take a while before such benefits are witnessed. However, this ancient technique can improve your weight loss outcomes in several ways.
Additionally, while using acupuncture for weight loss, ensure that you use the service of a qualified professional to help avoid and control some of the side effects that might come from undergoing an acupuncture treatment.
In fact, you should consult with a physician first to understand whether acupuncture is appropriate for you, especially when you are dealing with other health conditions besides excess weight.
Also, ensure that acupuncture is not the only intervention you should be using to lose weight. It works best when combined with other weight-loss interventions. These include a healthy and appropriate diet, as well as physical workouts.
In fact, research done so far proves that acupuncture can greatly enhance the weight loss results you can get from diet control and proper exercise, so, do not view it as the only weapon you need in your arsenal as you battle excess weight.