Unlike fad diets, I use ancient techniques of acupuncture for appetite and stress reduction accompanied with custom nutritional and exercise plans.
Considered more of a secondary goal in acupuncture, weight loss is often the result of treating the physical, emotional, and mental imbalances that lead to weight gain in the first place. When a person is feeling relaxed, emotionally stable, and is thinking more clearly, it is easier to deal with the stress, frustration, and anxiety that can trigger overeating and binging on fattening foods. Endorphins also affect the digestive and hormonal systems, so acupuncture can help restore the body systems that may be out of balance (i.e., metabolism and will power).
According to a very recent article by Dr.Oz’s research team:
“In addition to acupuncture’s efficacy on weight loss, scientists have provided explanations on how acupuncture promotes weight loss:
- Increases metabolism: Auricular (ear) acupuncture has been shown to temporarily increase basal metabolic rate and suppresses appetite via effects on the autonomic nervous system.
- Improves insulin resistance: There is some data supporting acupuncture’s effectiveness on addressing a condition called insulin resistance, which is associated with metabolic syndrome. Altering activity of the sympathetic nervous system and possibly correcting the insulin signal defect do this.
- Decreases abdominal fat: An MRI study demonstrated a decrease in abdominal fat storage after acupuncture treatments.
- Appetite suppression: In the rat model, electro-acupuncture influenced the hypothalamus and obesity-related hormones to promote appetite suppression.”
My weight loss program includes custom twice a week acupuncture treatments, auricular therapy, nutritional counseling, and exercise tips (smarter rather than harder). Complete programs are developed to meet individual needs and goals.
Two more studies regarding acupuncture and weight loss are listed below:
Electro acupuncture in obese women: a randomized, controlled pilot study.
Hsu CH, Hwang KC, Chao CL, Chang HH, Chou P.
Community Medicine Research Center and Institute of Public Health, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan.
To compare the effects of electroacupuncture and sit-up exercise on reducing body weight (BW) and waist circumference (WC) among obese women.
A randomized, controlled clinical trial was conducted from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003, in the outpatient department of Taipei Hospital, Taiwan. The subjects were 72 obese women, with WC>90 cm and body mass index (BMI)>30 kg/m2 and who had not received any other weight control maneuver within the prior 3 months. The subjects were randomly divided into groups A, B, and C. Group A (n=22) received electroacupuncture, group B (n=20) was assigned sit-up exercises, and group C (n=21) received no intervention. All three treatments lasted for 6 weeks. The measurements of BW, BMI, and WC were performed in the beginning and after 6 weeks. The data were compared and expressed as percent reductions.
Electroacupuncture showed significantly greater percent reductions in BW (p=0.009, 0.004), BMI (p=0.008, 0.016), and WC (p=0.013, 0.006) compared with sit-up exercises or no intervention.
In this pilot study, electro acupuncture treatment was more effective than sit-up exercise or no intervention in reducing BW, BMI, and WC.
Stimulation of auricular acupuncture points in weight loss.
Richards D, Marley J.
Department of General Practice, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
Many overweight people are aware that diets can help with weight loss but have difficulty in suppressing their appetite. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels, both of which have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation of specific auricular acupuncture points on appetite suppression.
Sixty overweight subjects, randomly divided into an active and a control group, used the AcuSlim device twice daily for four weeks. The active group attached the AcuSlim to the acupuncture ear points shenmen and stomach, whereas the control group attached the device to their thumb where there are no acupuncture points. The goal of a 2 kg weight loss was set and changes in appetite and weight were reported after four weeks.
Of those who responded, 95% of the active group noticed suppression of appetite, whereas none of the control group noticed such a change. None of the control group lost the required 2 kg, with only 4 subjects losing any weight at all. Both the number of subjects who lost weight and the mean weight loss were significantly higher in the active group (p < 0.05).
Frequent stimulation of specific auricular acupuncture points is an effective method of appetite suppression which leads to weight loss.
[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]