Obesity has become increasingly common in recent years and it is a major contributor to many serious illnesses. The major causes of obesity are stress, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise. Therefore, maintaining a proper body weight is important. A proper body weight can be achieved through an overall healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits, stress reduction techniques and regular exercise. These days, acupuncture is being used quite effectively to help people lose weight and keep it off.
How acupuncture works
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese practice, is a natural and drug-free treatment, which does not pose any harmful effect on a person’s health, if done by an expert acupuncturist. Acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into specific points in the body and in order to stimulate certain nerves. Acupuncture alone is not enough in losing weight. It is not a quick fix. It works gradually and is a supplemental treatment that should accompany regular exercise and proper diet.
Acupuncture manages stress
An acupuncturist inserts sterilized, thin, long needles in the body, thereby encouraging the discharge of endorphins, which offers a calming and relaxing effect. This reduces stress and anxiety. Stress, anxiety, and frustration are major triggers for overeating that eventually leads to weight gain or obesity.
Regulates the hunger hormones
Ghrelin, is a hormone that induces feelings of hunger, while leptin induces feelings of fullness and satisfaction. Acupuncture controls the levels of these two hormones to induce the feeling of being full and reduces the unnecessary cravings for food.
Corrects the function of the pituitary gland
The process of acupuncture re-energizes the hypothalamus and stimulates the pituitary, which activates a slow thyroid gland and improves metabolism. This causes the body to automatically utilize its stored, inactive fats and burn excess fat.
The Acupuncture Points
Ear acupuncture is based on the theory that the outer ear represents all parts of the body. There are about 130 acupuncture points on the ear and it is an essential point of focus during acupuncture sessions. Many of the points from ear acupuncture systems which are important for weight loss treatment include:
- The mouth for the impulsive eater who may also smoke and talk a lot.
- The stomach for the person who eats even after they are full or who is constantly nibbling.
- The lung for food addicts, and people who love chocolate and sweets.
- Shenmen, is a point in the ear, putting pressure on it treats anxiety, anger, frustration, insecurity.
- Endocrine for water retention that is responsible for some of the weight gain.
- The spleen for sugar imbalances and hormonal disturbances
- Adrenal and ovary, if weight gain is due to menopause and P.M.S.
- Kidney for water retention, and nervous system and hormonal imbalance.
- Thyroid for slow metabolism.
The acupuncturist chooses two or more points for each treatment depending upon the patient.
- The treatment points depend on the diagnosis of the patient.
- The needles are about the thickness of a human hair. They are relatively painless, some people might experience numbness and tingling.
- The goal of inserting the sterilized needles is to suppress appetite, reduce stress, reduce cholesterol levels, improve blood circulation and increase metabolism.
- In general, the treatment can be done 1-3 times a week. The program can continue for 8 to 12 weeks.
- Once inserted, the needles remain in the acupuncture points, just beneath the skin, for 30 – 45 minutes each session
- Acupuncture therapy also involves breathing exercise, herbal treatment, massage, diet and lifestyle advice.
Contact Integrated Medical Care (IMC)
At Integrated Medical Care (IMC), our acupuncture specialists can help you restore the balance of your body and help you live a healthy life.