In Traditional Chinese Medicine, excessive weight is caused by malfunctioning spleen and liver organ systems. To manage weight, an acupuncturist will stimulate “acupuncture points” in the body using thin needles. The acupuncture points correspond to a specific organ. The needles are inserted on the superficial layer of the skin.
Acupuncture Points for Weight Loss
In weight loss treatments, the following acupuncture points are stimulated:
Mouth, stomach, and lungs. The mouth is stimulated for impulsive eaters. The stomach is stimulated for patients who eat even when they are full. If the patient is addicted to sweets, the lungs acupoints will be manipulated. The spleen, adrenal gland, and ovaries are stimulated for weight gain caused by menopause or PMS. The kidneys are stimulated for water retention and hormonal imbalance. The thyroid is stimulated for patients with a very low metabolic rate.
Usually, an acupuncturist will stimulate one or two of these organs for every treatment. Of course, the organs will depend on the root cause of weight gain as well as the personality profile of the patient. Do note that to make acupuncture work, there should be willingness to change the lifestyle and eating patterns.
What to Expect Before and During Treatment
Before going ahead with the treatment, you will go through a series of consultation from a licensed acupuncturist.
The acupuncturist will discuss your pattern of overeating. You will be given a general overview of organs that are malfunctioning. Then, the acupuncturist will take your pulse and determine the general state of your energy. He will measure your stomach energy then check the tongue for suspicious yellow or thick coating. Tongue coating could be a sign of excessive heat or coldness in the stomach. After the physical evaluation, you will be presented with different ways to manage weight using acupuncture.
Types Weight Loss Acupuncture Treatments
The acupuncturist will focus on specific organs to activate specific body processes. For example, he will stimulate the endocrine system and kidneys to minimize water retention and rebalance the hormones. He will also activate the spleen and thyroid glands to regulate sugar and rebalance the hormones. Finally, the adrenal and ovary glands are stimulated to address weight gain caused by menopause or Premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
This type of acupuncture treatment involves the stimulation of the ears to control food cravings. Essentially, an acupuncturist will manipulate the acupoints on the ears using the needles. Ear stapling is used to treat other addictions, including heroin addiction and cigarette addiction. Ear stapling can also suppress the appetite, leading to healthy eating habits.
A study found that ear acupuncture combined with a 2,000 calorie a day diet and 15 minutes of walking can lead to significant weight loss. The study involved 20 obese women. Half of the participants received a 15-minute ear acupuncture. After the study, those who received ear acupuncture lost an average of 10 pounds. Those who did not receive the acupuncture treatment only lost three pounds.
But is it effective?
Modern scientists have no idea how acupuncture works. But the general belief is that inserting needles to certain areas of the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are neurochemicals that relax the body and alleviate stress. These brain chemicals soothe anxiety, and frustration that trigger overeating. Endorphins could also rebalance the hormones, boosting metabolism and will-power. As long as there is willingness to improve one’s lifestyle and food choices, it’s possible to lose weight through acupuncture.