Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese technology which uses various acupuncture points on the body to treat various physical ailments. It is not scientifically proven that acupuncture helps in weight loss but use of this technique produces endorphins, which helps in curbing the appetite.
This 5000 year old Chinese system has widely been used for healing. The basic fundamental of acupuncture is based on the Chi. It is the energy that flows through the body. This energy uses pathways within the body. These pathways are called meridians. There are 20 meridians in the body. 12 are the primary meridians and 8 are secondary. Illness in our body is caused when there is some imbalance in the flow of energy in our body, or chi. Acupuncture helps to restore this flow to normal and cure the illness.
Excessive eating is a kind of disorder which can be caused by many factors. Stress, anxiety, depression and low self esteem are few of these. Endorphin is the chemical produced by the body that makes us feel good as it has a calming and relaxing effect. During acupuncture, very fine needles are inserted in the various parts of the body which stimulate the release of hormone endorphin. Acupuncture helps in relieving stress and controlling the eating habits.
Some of the acupuncture points that are used for weight loss are spleen, kidney, lungs, stomach, mouth and adrenal.
How acupuncture works?
You need to meet the practitioner first who will diagnose the problem. In case of highly obese patients, variety of questions will be asked to find out the underlying cause of excess weight
The practitioners will deicide the points of treatment depending upon the problem diagnosed.
Once the needles are inserted in the chosen points, they stay there for 30-45 minutes for each session.
This helps in releasing endorphin and unblocks the passage for the free flow of chi throughout the body.
To help the patients with weight issue, the practitioner inserts the needles into the body parts that improve the functions of a body in a way that aids in weight loss. One way to do this is to increase the output of pituitary gland.
Acupuncture weight loss is one of the very few methods that does not have any side effect and is not addictive.
It must also be kept in mind that acupuncture should not be the only means of losing weight. Equal importance must be given to a healthy dietand regular exercise. Acupuncture must be repeated on a regular basis for it to be effective in the long run.
For weight loss, acupuncture points are thought to be in the ears. Ear acupuncture is also a means to treat obesity. Ear stapling is used to stimulate auricular acupuncture points by stapling them.
Other method is to place upto five needles in the ear which helps in the release of endorphins, a feel good hormone in the body. A research has been conducted and it has been found out that women having higher BMI index who used exercise, diet and acupuncture lost more weight than those who did not use acupuncture in addition to other two.
It is a very specialized practice. But in few states of USA it cannot be practiced without the license. If not done carefully, it can cause serious ear infections. The pain of infection is not only restricted to the ear, but also spreads to jaw and patients may find it difficult to chew food.
If done by an experienced and licensed physician, ear acupuncture coupled with limited calorie intake and increase in the physical activity can aid the weight loss.
Acupuncture is also quite effective in treating many disorders related to the digestion of food. This includes constipation, Irritable bowel syndrome, reflux, ulcers, stomach aches and nausea to name a few. Acupuncture can also help you if you are an over-eater or sugar lover. It helps you by curbing those cravings and increasing the metabolism.
Acupuncture has shown some extremely effective results if done in a proper manner. Though, one must keep in mind that every body is different and reacts differently to different treatments. On an average, you need to visit your acupuncturist 7-15 times to achieve a weight loss of 5 to 15 pounds. Again, it varies as per the individual, diet and exercise.