How Does Acupuncture Help in Weight Loss?
Acupuncture can help with weight loss by regulating neuroendocrine function, improving the metabolism, optimizing digestion, reducing inflammation, suppressing the appetite, lessening water retention and optimizing other bodily functions that are related to obesity and weight loss.
Leptin and ghrelin are the hunger hormones in the body; ghrelin tells the body that it is hungry, while leptin tells the body that it is full. Acupuncture can modulate the levels of these hormones to reduce appetite and curb overeating and snacking habits.
Using points along with the stomach and kidney channel systems, it is possible to improve the function of the digestive system, which can increase the number of nutrients absorbed by the body. By improving digestion and gut health, one can address symptoms such as constipation and bloating, as well as other gastrointestinal issues that lead to weight gain.
Inflammation in the gut, muscles and other tissues of the body can slow down the metabolism which can strain the immune, cardiovascular, and digestive systems. By modulating inflammation and regulating the immune response of the body, acupuncture for weight loss can reduce oxidative stress and optimize weight loss.
Reduces Fluid Retention
By stimulating the endocrine system, acupuncture is able to help reduce fluid retention in the body.
When hormone levels are out of balance, many body systems can be negatively impacted, from digestion and cognition to healing and immune function. Acupuncture, along with Chinese herbs, is highly effective in balancing hormone levels, particularly for perimenopausal women who have experienced abdominal weight gain.
Acupuncture is able to stimulate the thyroid and pituitary glands, which are key players in relation to metabolism. By stimulating these endocrine glands, acupuncture can increase baseline metabolism to improve fat-burning, making exercise and daily activities more effective, resulting in more calories burned and potential weight loss.
Acupuncture is able to induce the release of endorphins in the body, which are feel-good hormones that can reduce stress and anxiety. Many people overeat when they have high levels of stress hormones or are feeling overwhelmed. Acupuncture can help to eliminate those urges.
One of the best reasons to use acupuncture for weight loss is that it is able to provide long-lasting relief without the need for crash diets, invasive surgery, dietary medications, or excessive exercise. It requires a small amount of energy, a moderate amount of time, and a willingness to trust in traditional medicine. Acupuncture helps to align the body with your weight-loss goals, namely through its effects on metabolism, inflammation, and hormones, but it doesn’t replace the need to eat properly and exercise regularly.
When it comes to acupuncture for weight loss, there are a number of key areas on the body that should be focused on. The areas related to digestion and food intake are particularly important, such as the spleen, stomach, and kidney channel systems as well as auricular (ear) points related to the mouth and thus appetite. Acupuncture aimed at stimulating the neuroendocrine system to ensure proper Qi flow in the body can help improve appetite and metabolic rate.
As with any weight-loss strategy, a single change in lifestyle or behavior is not likely to deliver desired results. Even though acupuncture can effectively alter your metabolic rate, immune function, and hormone levels related to weight loss, it is recommended that one should complement such treatment with proper diet and regular exercise. A few acupuncture sessions each week doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want, nor does it mean that you should stop going to the gym or being physically active 4-5 times per week.
The best diet for weight loss consists of eating simple whole foods, that are easy to digest, nutrient dense, and not overly processed or high in sugar. Ideally, one would eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, while reducing the number of dairy products, refined sugar, saturated fat, and soy-based foods.