Acupuncture and Weight Loss
Chinese acupuncture is finally getting under the skin of dieters by
tapping into the body's many hidden energy meridians. The ancient
practice of acupuncture helps to heal a host of ailments, and
practitioners of Western medicine now embrace it to quell chronic pain,
postoperative pain, nausea and vomiting, high blood pressure, addictions
and weight loss. When fine needles are barely inserted into the skin
along strategic points on the body it can restore balance to the flow of
energy along rivers of Qi (pronounced chee), or life force.
There are many reasons people become overweight - hormone imbalances,
slowed metabolism, overeating, poor nutrition and lack of exercise are
some of the most common.
Using acupuncture to tackle weight loss is a multi-pronged approach.
Pinning Down the Benefits
The rationale for using acupuncture for weight control is based in the
premise that weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to
and from the regulating center of the brain, called the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining "homeostasis" or
functional balance that allows the body to run like a finely tuned
instrument. It is the body's dispatch center that regulates hormones and
neurochemicals, and helps to control body temperature, circadian
rhythm, thirst and hunger.
Of particular interest is the ability of acupuncture to influence
obesity hormones. Research measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture
for weight loss found treatments increased ghrelin, a hormone that
controls meal initiation and decreased leptin, the hormone that
regulates fat storage and metabolism.
The guiding principal is that acupuncture can power up any other weight
control strategy by curbing appetite, quelling cravings, boosting
metabolism, improving digestion, regulating obesity-related hormones and
enhancing the way nutrients are used. It also strengthens the function
of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for
digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. Acupuncture
may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help
people know that they are full.
Earmark of Acupuncture
To pinpoint the Qi for effective weight control, acupuncturists take aim
at 4 acupuncture points on the ear - the hunger point, Shen Men point,
stomach point, and endocrine point. A few tiny sterilized needles are
inserted along these invisible channels to decrease the "heat" generated
along these meridians and to stimulate centers that trigger the release
of neurochemicals and hormones.
During some courses of treatment, the needles are covered with tape so
that they can be left in place for a few days. Patients later remove
them at home or during follow-up visits to the acupuncturist. Some
practitioners may also use "ear seeds" that patient wear home that can
be massaged periodically to help with difficult-to-control urges.
Guidance For Using Acupuncture For Weight Loss
Choose a qualified practitioner - Most states require that
acupuncturists be licensed to assure that they have completed the
necessary education and training standards to practice. You may see
L.Ac. (licensed acupuncturist) following his or her name.
Acupuncturists may also be medical doctors or other medical professional who have completed a postgraduate program of study.
Complete a full course of treatment - Acupuncture for weight loss is
best achieved with 10 treatments delivered over a few weeks.
Follow a comprehensive weight-loss plan - Acupuncture should be used
alongside a comprehensive weight-loss plan, like the Dr. Oz Diet that
includes healthy food choices coupled with exercise.
Don't Confuse Treatments -- Although ear stapling is loosely based on
the concept of acupuncture, it is an imprecise method that uses surgical
staples that penetrate the cartilage of the ear, which is know to
Call Dr. Scott for more information and to make an appointment, at (407) 682-3632. Insurance will only cover lab testing.