Worldwide obesity has nearly doubled since 2000. As of 2008, an estimated 1.4 billion adults were overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For many individuals struggling with excess weight, dietary changes and regular exercise are not enough to take off the pounds – especially for individuals who are obese. With more adults than ever before fighting the battle of the bulge, acupuncture treatments for weight loss are growing in popularity. These treatments are a safe, effective alternative therapy that supports natural weight loss by increasing metabolism and stimulating the digestive system.
Modern-day acupuncture treatments are based on an Ancient Chinese healing art. According to the Ancient Chinese, energy blockages within the body are responsible for pain, illness, injury and other health problems, including weight gain. To relieve these energy blockages, thin needles were inserted into pressure points along the body. Today, scientific research links these “energy pathways” to the central nervous system. Inserting thin needles into pressure points along the body stimulates the central nervous system and enhances physiological function, restoring balance to the body.
Acupuncture treatments for weight loss help to stimulate the body’s digestive system and endocrine system. These treatments are designed to suppress appetite and increase metabolism, restoring a patient’s natural eating patterns. During an acupuncture treatment, thin needles will be inserted to pressure points that correspond with the digestive and endocrine system. If hormonal imbalances, water retention, stress, or anxiety are also contributing to weight gain, additional needles may be inserted to stimulate the kidney or thyroid meridians.
In addition to stimulating internal organ systems, acupuncture treatments are also designed to enhance body awareness. Many individuals who are overweight have lost touch with their body’s natural rhythms of hunger and fullness. Emotional eating and eating out of boredom are two common causes for weight gain. Acupuncture treatments help individuals become more aware of unhealthy eating habits that are sabotaging their weight loss.
Acupuncture is not a “quick fix diet” for instant weight loss. Patients should not expect to drop all the pounds overnight. However, when treatments are used in conjunction with healthy eating habits and regular exercise, many patients find that they are able to take off the pounds faster and are better able to achieve their weight loss goals.
World Health Organization, “Obesity and Overweight: Key Facts.” March 2013.