Acupuncture, one of the most commonly used medical procedures in the world, has origins in ancient China. Using acupuncture to attain weight loss became popular in 2003 when CNN reported success stories from weight loss clinics in China.
China has experienced an increase in obesity with the introduction and popularity of Western diet choices. The Standard American Diet often consists of too much protein, too much fat, too much sugar and not enough fruits and vegetables. Even when Americans eat fruits and vegetables they are frequently canned and over cooked leaving them without any nutritional value and no live enzymes.
The Asian cultures routinely practiced acupuncture medicine before it was made popular in the West, also used it to assist with weight loss. Chinese medical theory says that overweight people have an unbalanced digestive system, and through the use of fine needles to open blocked energy pathways, they are able to rebalance the system with the final result of weight loss.
Acupuncture has been shown to strengthen the digestive system, control the appetite and may also improve metabolism causing you to burn calories more quickly. Weight loss has always been a balance between burning more calories than you eat. Acupuncture offers another system to decrease intake and burn more calories. (1)
During the procedure a trained practitioner will use thin stainless steel needles under sterile conditions. The needles are sometimes combined with lasers or electrical stimulation. Other times the practitioner will manipulate the needles manually to produce the desired results. The needles are then left in place for up to 30 minutes while the client relaxes in the practitioner’s office.
Clients often report feeling heat, tingling and perhaps some numbness in the area where the needles are inserted. Other common side effects are dizziness, headaches and nausea. These side effects are minimal compared to the potential side effects of using other drug related diet supplements to help with appetite suppression and boost metabolism.
Along with the acupuncture treatments, a trained practitioner may recommend some herbal supplements. These treatments are not believed to be enough to maintain weight loss but rather jump start sound nutritional dietary changes. Clients are able to experience immediate results which will often help them make better choices. Medical studies show that daily exercise, diet choices and dealing with food issues are also an important part of the process.
It can take some time for the body to adjust to acupuncture for weight loss but clients report that with patience, food cravings and overeating do disappear. Acupuncture also helps to reduce stress which can be a huge boost to stress eaters.
Before going to a practitioner do your homework. Look for referrals from people who are satisfied with their experience. Practitioners should be certified doctors who hold certifications through the National Certification Commission For Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. The costs will vary with the area of the country and the experience of the practitioner. Not all insurance companies will cover the costs.
Acupuncture for weight loss is becoming more popular as a weight loss option to diet supplements and making it on your own. It appears to have the least number of side effects of any of the diet ‘helpers’ and has thousands of years of documentation and case study to prove the effectiveness.
The choice is yours, but those needles are not as scary you might think!
(1) International Journal of Neuroscience: THE TREATMENT OF OBESITY BY ACUPUNCTURE