There are many routes to take if losing weight is your goal. Exercise regimen, machines, diet plans, and diet supplements are all your disposal to help you achieve your goal. Each of them claims to be the fastest and most effective. While it may not intuitively seem like the most obvious choice for losing weight, acupuncture can successfully lead to natural and effective long-term weight loss.
Acupuncture: Prick Yourself to a Fitter You
Acupuncture may help with weight loss by stimulating the digestive functions, helping the body clear waste dispose of excess weight and improving overall well-being. Studies have shown that acupuncture can aid weight loss by removing some of mental stresses and frustrations that can contribute to over-eating. And by helping remove any built up toxins from the body, and triggering the release of endorphins, it can help improve metabolic processes and digestive function. Acupuncture is an ancient remedy that has the potential to address pain and encourage healing in any part of the body or mind. Be sure that if you choose acupuncture as a way of addressing a weight problem you are prepared to deal with any deeper underlying energetic or psychological issues.
The origins: Acupuncture was developed in China between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago. It is said to be an adaptation of the ancient procedure of removing or draining abscesses with sharp stones and tools. Even though acupuncturists have long known about its benefits regarding weight loss, it’s just now becoming mainstream.
How it works: The main purpose of acupuncture is to heal the energy channels of the body. The Chinese believe that when these channels are blocked, and energy cannot flow normally, toxins will accumulate that can affect body and mind. The exact mechanism by which acupuncture works is unknown but the insertion of acupuncture needles causes the release of endorphins which have a calming and relaxing effect that makes it easier to deal with stress, frustration, and anxiety; triggering overeating and fattening food craving.
- Weight loss- A number of studies show that acupuncture can help weight loss. In a meta-analysis of these studies published in 2003 in the International Journal of Obesity, it was suggested that more research is needed as these studies tended to be descriptive in nature and last less than 12 weeks. However, there are numerous anecdotal reports from people who have been helped to lose weight and kept it off by including acupuncture as part of their weight loss program.
- Pain – Acupuncture is known for its ability to relieve pain in all areas of the body, including internal areas. Specific points on the skin are connected to particular organs and tissues deep in the body. By putting the needles in these areas, blood flow and energy will be directed into the painful inner area.
- Digestive problems – One of the ways acupuncture can address weight problems is by promoting digestion. Problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cannot easily be diagnosed by western medicine but has been helped by acupuncture, lessening the symptoms and healing the disease. Acupuncture is believed to tweak the digestive system in ways that make digestion and absorption easier.
- Depression – A common factor behind weight gain is depression. Some people overeat when they’re feeling sad. Depression is rooted in negative energy, which can be easily addressed through acupuncture. It is sometimes called “spiritual detoxification” because it releases the negative energy from the body.
- Can cause injury – Acupuncture is a highly specialized skill. If the person you see is not a professional and is not careful, he or she may insert the needles in the wrong places, which could cause infection or other health problems. Be sure to get acupuncture therapy only from a licensed professional.
- Contamination – Acupuncture needles can sometimes become contaminated if they are not sterilized properly. Look for a licensed and reputable clinic to avoid this problem.
- Blood pressure drop – some patients experience a sudden drop in blood pressure or a sudden feeling of weakness during an acupuncture session. Although the mechanism is still under investigation, the theory is that acupuncture triggers the release of chemicals in the brain that in turn dampen the response of the cardiovascular system. Hypertension can accompany obesity. An experienced acupuncturist will know how to deal with any blood pressure changes.