Acupuncture may be most common for the treatment of depression, arthritis, nausea, and as a treatment for back pain, but as acceptance of this alternative medical treatment grows, so do its applications. Did you know that acupuncture has proven to be effective in aiding weight management?
How does acupuncture work to enhance weight management efforts?
Acupuncture works by resolving energy flow in the body along meridian lines. It is believed that when there are issues of weight control, it is the hypothalamus that is not experiencing a regular flow of energy. If you remember from high school biology, the hypothalamus controls everything in the body from hunger and thirst, to body temperature, and your circadian rhythm. When acupuncture is used to help improve weight control, research has found that the treatments actually increase the abundance of a hormone called ghrelin. Ghrelin is intricately tied to the regulation of metabolism. By activating this hormone, acupuncture effectively improves metabolism, curbs cravings, and allows the hormone to regulate the body the way that it’s normally supposed to.
Where will the needles go?
To treat weight problems, a Chinese acupuncturist will probably focus the treatment plan to points along your ear. There are four points in the ear that target your stomach, your endocrine system, and other related systems. Some acupuncturists will also use an ear seed, which is an actual plant seed that gets taped to an acupuncture point on your ear. The pressure on your ear works in the same way that acupuncture does, and by pressing the seed you can stimulate the desired effects more readily.
Is there any data to back this up?
Medical Acupuncture published a study that compared obese women receiving acupuncture along with standard weight loss measures, to women that only used the other weight loss measures. The control group lost an average of three pounds, while the acupuncture group lost an average of 10 pounds! If your weight gain or overeating is at all tied to anxiety, or stress, then you might consider also getting acupuncture as a treatment for fatigue, or a treatment for anxiety.
From 2001 to 2002, the use of acupuncture among Americans jumped by 2.1 million people. Scientists are now understanding that acupuncture, whether it’s used for weight management, or back pain, stimulates the release of endorphins, and is capable of changing brain activity and increasing blood flow. There is no silver bullet for weight loss, but acupuncture may be one effective treatment that can boost your efforts.