Acupuncture and Weight Loss Works by Reducing Stress and Promoting a Healthy Lifestyle
Summary: While acupuncture isn’t a cure-all, it can help make your weight loss plan work for you. Acupuncture — an ancient medical treatment using small needles at precise points — stimulates the nervous system. One result is pain reduction, by triggering the body’s own hormones that stimulate a sense of well-being. You feel more energetic and mobile, which makes it easier for you to exercise and enjoy being more physically active. Following a healthy eating plan is an important part of successful weight loss. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce cravings and stress levels that can make it harder for you to follow healthy lifestyle changes. Many people looking to lose weight and keep it off find that acupuncture is just what they need to over come cravings, boost energy, decrease appetite, and reduce stress. It may be the little extra help you need to succeed.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a medical treatment to encourage the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting small needles into precise acupuncture points.
The classical Chinese explanation is that channels of energy run in patterns through the body. These channels are called meridians. Acupuncture helps restore the natural flow when there is an obstruction in these energy channels.
The modern scientific explanation is that needling the acupuncture points stimulates the nervous system to release chemicals in muscles, the spinal cord, and the brain. These chemicals can decrease or eliminate pain; they can also trigger the release of other chemicals and hormones, which influence the body’s own internal healing system.
The improved energy and biochemical balance produced by acupuncture results in stimulating the body to heal itself and promote physical and emotional wellbeing.
How can acupuncture help me lose weight?
We all know weight loss is a complex subject, and a program must be multifaceted to be effective. A good program would include, a healthy diet, exercise, stress reduction and behavioral modifications. As an adjunct therapy acupuncture can help. It is not magic, and is not a substitute for adopting a healthy lifestyle. However it can be effective in making it easier to lose weight and keep it off in those individuals who are willing to make appropriate healthy lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that people following a healthy diet and exercise plan can lose more weight when acupuncture is included in their weight loss program. If you need ideas to get started on your weight loss program, call or contact us to learn more about acupuncture as part of a whole-person treatment plan.
How does acupuncture help with weight loss?
When acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points in the ear or the body the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are proteins similar to opioids. When these proteins are released into the body they cause a sense of well being. They also act as an analgesic, which means they can reduce pain. These endorphins have a calming and relaxing effect on the body. When a person is calm and relaxed it makes it easier not to overeat and gain weight.
Acupuncture can relieve stress, a major contributor to weight gain.
When needles are placed in specific point in the ear they stimulate the auricular branch of the vagus nerve. This nerve functions to increase the smooth muscle tone of the stomach, which decreases your appetite by causing a sense of fullness. Stimulation of this nerve also causes an increase in serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter produced in your brain. When released it gives you a ‘feeling of happiness’ and helps to keep you calm. In addition, serotonin also helps to suppress your appetite. This may be particularly important in a subset of overweight people who have low levels of serotonin.
What happens at a treatment session?
Needles are placed in specific points in the ear and body based on your particular eating type. There are specific points in the ear that correspond to different eating habits. Depending on your particular needs different points will be used. After the area is clean with an alcohol wipe a small disposable needle is inserted into a precise acupuncture point. After the needles are inserted they will be left in place for about twenty minutes while you relax. Before leaving press tags are placed in the area that is best suited for your treatment. These small beads are attached to a small piece of tape and placed in the area most appropriate for you. They can be stimulated for 10 seconds gently when needed to suppress appetitive or cravings or induce a feeling of calm.
How many treatments are needed?
The number of treatments depends on your personnel wellness goals. Dr.Keller will assess you at each visit and determine the appropriate number of treatments for you.
What happens when the treatments are completed? Will I gain all the weight back?
Congratulations, if your treatments are completed you have reached your wellness goal. You now have made permanent healthy lifestyle changes and these changes will help you maintain you’re your new healthy weight. The positive effects of acupuncture will persist. This may be because not only does acupuncture release endorphins and serotonin and other beneficial chemicals it may also cause the body to continue to release a higher level of these chemicals even after the treatments have stopped. Once you have reached your goals you and Dr.Keller may decide to have a treatment every four to six months to stay on track with your wellness goal.
Those who follow a healthy diet and exercise plan in combination with acupuncture should see a boost in their weight loss and energy levels.
What are some of the advantages of adding acupuncture to your weight loss program?
- Both men and women of all fitness levels can benefit from acupuncture.
- Patients can help reduce their stress while losing weight.
- Acupuncture helps suppress your appetite.
- Acupuncture may help reduce fat, increase lean muscle mass, and improve joint mobility.
- Acupuncture can also be used to relieve pain, a benefit, which will make exercising easier.
- You may find that in addition to healthy life style changes that acupuncture is just what you need to over come your cravings, boost your energy, decrease your appetite, and reduce your stress. It may be the little extra help you need to succeed.
As with any weight loss program, acupuncture treatments for weight loss will not work for everyone. You will need to evaluate your health and fitness goals. Contact us to to learn more about weight control therapies and to decide if trying acupuncture for weight loss is right for you.