Can Acupuncture be Used for Weight Loss?

Acupuncture treatments for weight loss improve the functioning of two neuroendocrine pathways, which regulate the metabolism. Acupuncture, when combined with an effective diet regimen, exercise routine, and stress reduction techniques, can decrease excessive appetite, lower body weight and body fat, and make it easier to control overeating.

Based on Chinese pattern diagnosis, acupuncturists can also recommend herbs and enzymes that will reduce food cravings and balance digestion.

Acupuncture needles inserted into points on the ear and body can release endorphins, which have a relaxing and calming effect, making it easier to control the impulse to binge eat. Endorphins also have a beneficial reductive effect on stress and anxiety levels, which can trigger overeating and binge eating.

Acupuncture treatments begin with an intake assessment and diagnosis that takes into consideration existing digestive disorders as well as tendencies to overeat. The acupuncturist then determines body energy state by checking pulse rate and also examines the condition and health of the stomach energy. The acupuncturist then examines the tongue for symptoms of stomach energy imbalances.

Following the initial assessment, the acupuncturist would form a treatment protocol that would include acupuncture points on the ear and body to reduce weight. Acupuncture points on the ear that relate to the major organs of the body would be treated, according to the assessment and diagnosis.

Ear acupuncture points that might be treated could include: Mouth-for the impulsive overeater, Stomach-for someone who is continuously nibbling or who overeats on a full stomach, Hungry-for appetite control, Lung-for those addicted to sweets, Shenmen-a point which controls anxiety levels, and Endocrine-for weight gain due to water retention.

Points on the ear, which relate to Western medicine, might also be treated. These points could include: Adrenal and Ovary-if weight gain conditions are due either to menopause or PMS, Spleen-for hormonal imbalances or erratic sugar levels, Kidney-for nervous system imbalances or water retention, and Thyroid-for slow metabolism.

The acupuncturist practitioner typically chooses at least two points or more for each acupuncture treatment according to the prognosis and treatment plan following the initial assessment.

Later treatments would then incorporate acupuncture body points that are beneficial in reducing weight gain. Points might include the ?Four Gate? points to circulate energy through the body. Another primary point that would be effective in many treatments for weight gain would be the Ren 12, front collecting point of stomach energy.

The acupuncturist might incorporate electro stimulation into the acupuncture treatments to increase endorphin release and speed metabolism.

For the average patient, who wishes to lose five to ten pounds, two treatments a week, or every few days should be effective. More severe weight gain problems might initially require five treatments a week, tapering off slowly over a period of three to four weeks.


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