If you want to lose weight, acupuncture could help you when used as a complimentary therapy in conjunction with healthy eating and exercise. But how does this ancient Chinese therapy work and what should you expect during an acupuncture therapy session? Read on to find out more.
How does acupuncture help you to lose weight?
There are a number of acupuncture points on your body that can help with weight loss. When stimulated, these points induce the following responses in your body:
- cause a reduction in food cravings and appetite
- increase your metabolism
- increase production of endorphins ('happy hormones') to tackle comfort eating in response to stress and other emotionally challenging situations
- reduce levels of cholesterol and regulate insulin
- help to promote a healthy digestive system
The acupuncture points associated with these effects are located in your stomach, legs, hands, and ears.
What to expect at your first weight loss acupuncture consultation
When you attend the clinic for your first weight loss consultation, the acupuncturist will begin by taking a thorough history of your lifestyle and general health, including details of any previous attempts you've made at losing weight. A short examination of your pulse points may then be carried out. During the acupuncture treatment itself, your therapist will insert fine acupuncture needles into the relevant points on your body. The needles will remain in place for 20 minutes or so and will then be removed. The procedure is completely painless.
At the end of the session the acupuncturist will place special adhesive 'ear seeds' onto the relevant pressure points of your ear so that you can give yourself a boost between visits to the clinic. Whenever you feel a craving for food, all you need to do is to apply mild pressure to the seed for 20 seconds or so. This pressure will trigger an endorphin release to help you resist the temptation to eat.
You may need a course of acupuncture sessions until your chosen weight loss goal is achieved, and your therapist will advise you on exactly how many sessions each week you will need.
As the treatment begins to take effect, you will develop a sense of general wellbeing, improved mood, and increased motivation. Feelings of tiredness and bloating will recede, and you will enter a positive, virtuous cycle making your desired weight loss totally achievable.
If you are struggling to lose weight, have a chat with a therapist at a local Eastern medicine clinic, such as the College of Chinese Medicine in Toronto, to see how the use of acupuncture could help you.