Complimentary Weight Management Consultation
There are many causes that contribute to adults and children to become overweight including inadequate education about healthy diets, time constraints in busy lifestyles, and the prevalence of nutritionally empty, sugar and/or fat laden fast foods.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine For Weight Management
Being overweight, from a Chinese Medicine and acupuncture perspective, is due to your digestive system not working properly, leading to an imbalance in the body. When your body is in harmony, you feel hungry only at meal times and are able to feel satisfied with the proper amount of food. You have plenty of energy and motivation to do activities. You feel the joy of eating food but are not dependent on food for comfort.
What is Overweight?
Over 25 percent of Americans are overweight and trying to lose weight. Although Americans spend over 33 billion dollars annually on weight loss programs, unfortunately many people fail to lose weight. Fortunately, acupuncture can help people lose weight by balancing the body from within.
To change your physical appearance, you have to change the emotional and mental habits that caused you to gain weight in the first place. These habits have resisted changes for a long time. Acupuncture will help you break these habits. Losing weight will make you healthier, more self-confident and more successful in life.
Weight loss according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
According to TCM, the root of excess weight is an imbalance within the body caused by malfunctioning of the spleen and liver organ systems.
In five-element theory, the spleen is responsible for the proper functioning of the digestive system, ensuring that the food we eat is transformed into Qi or energy which is the vital substance of life. Disharmony of the spleen will have symptoms such as fatigue, slow metabolism, water retention, loose stool, and feeling of heaviness. According to the TCM theory, each organ has a certain taste that corresponds to that organ. The Spleen organ is for sweet foods. When your body is deficient, your body craves certain foods to help it regenerate. By regulating the Spleen and the spleen meridian acupuncture points, the imbalance of the spleen can be addressed and the cravings can be calmed down.
The liver’s job is to keep the flow of your body’s Qi and blood, as well as the emotions associated with the liver running smoothly. Our modern, fast-paced lifestyle and chronic stress can negatively impact the liver’s ability to function properly and smoothly, which, in turn, can cause the spleen and the whole digestive system to function poorly and decrease your metabolism. Most people when their emotions are triggered look for food as a comfort. According to the TCM theory, each organ has a certain taste that corresponds to that organ. The Liver organ is sour foods. When your body is deficient, your body craves certain foods to help it regenerate. By regulating the Liver, with the stimulation of acupuncture points on the liver meridian these cravings can also be calmed.
How Does Acupuncture Work in Weight Loss?
According to the Chinese theory of medicine, weight gain is a result of a digestive system that is not in harmony. The use of acupuncture for weight loss is effective, as it will help in strengthening the digestive system.
It is important to address both the physiological and psychological aspects of weight loss. Since Acupuncture and Chinese herbs treat the physical, mental and emotional components to any illness, there are several ways that they can benefit you while you are trying to lose weight. Acupuncture and TCM address both the physiological and psychological aspects of weight loss. A comprehensive therapy for weight issues rooted in TCM promotes better digestion, smoothes emotions, reduces appetite, improves metabolism, and eliminates food cravings.
Regulates Metabolism: Acupuncture also helps to regulate metabolism. A history of irregular eating, overeating and even thyroid dysfunction all contribute to a slow metabolism. Acupuncture can help to increase metabolism by stimulating the thyroid and endocrine glands as your body adjusts to the changes in your diet and exercise. Affecting the endocrine system also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Stops Food Cravings: Regular acupuncture treatments can help curb food cravings, just as it has been proven to help cravings for other addictive substances like tobacco and alcohol. Support from acupuncture helps to eliminate cravings and increases the will power to overcome them.
Benefits Digestion: Over time, things like crash diets, irregular eating habits and excessive greasy or fattening foods all take their toll on the digestion. Chronic symptoms such as bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea are all signs that the digestive system is out of balance. Acupuncture can help to harmonize the digestive organs so that you are symptom-free. Proper digestion ensures that you are getting the nutrients you need from your food so you feel less hungry.
Calming and Relaxing: When acupuncture needles are inserted into specific points on the body and in the ear it stimulates the release of endorphins. Endorphins have a calming and relaxing effect on the body. Naturally releasing endorphins makes it easier to deal with stress, frustration and anxiety which can be triggers for emotional eating, overeating and bingeing on fattening foods.
Cleansing: Acupuncture treatments during weight loss help to cleanse your system. Toxins that have been built up over time from excess weight and adipose tissue can cause symptoms such as fatigue, acne and depression. These can be relieved or eliminated with acupuncture, whether or not you are trying to lose weight.
How Many Treatments will I Need?
The number of acupuncture treatments depends on the client’s goals for losing weight, the speed at which they want to lose, and their commitment to a new, healthier lifestyle. In general, in the beginning it is important to come for consistent weekly or bi-weekly treatments to help get you started. When you have reached your weight loss goals, you need only monthly treatments to help maintain balance on all levels for continued success with your weight management goals.
It is important to keep in mind the benefits of having a trained professional to assist you during your weight loss process. It is helpful to have someone help monitor your symptoms during weight loss, and your acupuncturist is someone who can help treat any symptoms that may arise as your body’s natural rhythms are restored. Using acupuncture can be a wonderful way to assist you on your goals toward better health and losing weight.
What points are used for Weight Loss?
The beauty of acupuncture is that each treatment is specifically designed to meet the needs of the individual client. Acupuncture points on the body will be chosen for overall well being with the objective of increasing circulation of the blood and Qi (stimulating the metabolism) and calming the nervous system. In addition to treating the root of the imbalance within the body, different acupuncture points may be chosen for each treatment as different symptoms arise. For instance, if you are experiencing a desire to overeat related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS) one week, then that can be addressed at that week’s appointment.
Generally treatments are scheduled once or twice a week for 8 to 12 weeks or until the goal weight has been reached. The treatments include a combination of auricular (ear) and body acupuncture, ear pellets to leave on in-between treatments, herbs and supplements, and food and lifestyle recommendations.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are powerful tools for healthy weight loss, by itself or as a supportive treatment in conjunction with other weight management programs.
In the struggle to eat less and expend more energy, you may find that acupuncture is just what was needed to overcome cravings, boost energy, enhance your metabolism, and increase your willpower to succeed!