Acupuncture for Weight Loss
In a generation where physical fitness is given more and more attention, people are often on the lookout for the newest and most effective means for weight loss. People often struggle with fad diets, emotional eating, stress, and hormonal issues, all of which can derail their weight loss efforts.
But there is hope! Acupuncture, the method of inserting tiny, thin needles at certain points in a person's body, has been found to be one effectual method for losing weight.
The Skinny on Acupuncture Weight Loss
It has been found that weight gain or difficulty losing weight is often related to emotions, hormones, and/or stress. Other than physical hunger, people reach for a huge chocolate bar or a big platter of burger and fries because of the sense of comfort derived from food and eating. More often than not, excessive weight gain is an emotional issue and/or stress-related issue, rather than merely a physical one. And if it is a physical one, it is often due to hormonal imbalances.
In acupuncture, there are specific spots on the body that when stimulated with acupuncture can support the patient in achieving a greater sense of inner balance, as well as promoting balanced hormones, including those related to hunger and satiation, mood, stress, energy, and even the impulse to overeat.
How Acupuncture Supports Weight Loss
In particular, auricular or ear acupuncture isa helping in supporting weight loss and weight management.
There are over 200 acupoints on each ear that represent the anatomical parts and functions of the human body. When we stimulate these points we access the central nervous system through the cranial nerves on the auricle of the ear. This sends a direct message to the brain that results in a healing response.
Auricular acupuncture involves the stimulation of these points with tiny seeds or needles. The tiny seeds are painless, and do not pierce the skin. The patient will keep the ear seeds on for 7-10 days and re-stimulate the points by massaging the ear several times through the day. Ear seeds are most often used for addiction, smoking cessation, and weight loss.
When certain points on the ear are stimulated, endorphins are released in large doses. Endorphins are called the feel-good hormones, and these are also often referred to as natural pain and fever relievers. The release of endorphins is also what makes you feel better after an increased level of physical activity, as in the case of a good workout.
These bodily compounds allow the patient to experience better relaxation, thus considerably alleviating stress. There is a greater possibility of enhanced weight loss when the patient has already achieved emotional wellness. Additionally, a recent scientific study found that acupuncture had a positive effect on weight loss. The study concluded that auricular acupuncture may reduce appetite by suppressing ghrelin production. Ghrelin is referred to as the “hunger hormone” because excess amount of this hormone increase hunger which in turn can increase food intake. One way that acupuncture may support healthy ghrelin levels is by promoting restful sleep. Sleep plays a vital role in regulating ghrelin levels as well as levels of leptin, a hormone that is tied to feelings of fullness and satiety. Whatever the reason, research is promising so far, as are many user reports of acupuncture for weight loss support.
If you are struggling to lose weight, or simply need support on your weight loss journey, acupuncture can help! We also offer nutritional counseling and herbal therapy. Contact us now to schedule an appointment!