Can acupuncture help with weight loss?
Last month I wrote about how acupuncture can help us to achieve optimum digestive health. Not long after that was published, a string of stories appeared in the media about how fad diets had begun to have a negative mental and physical effect on people.
First Peter Andre opened up about how five years on fad diets had left him with depression and a reluctance to take his shirt off in public.
And the Manchester Evening News reported on a make-up artist who abandoned crash diets and lost 7st in a year simply by making healthier eating choices after a weight-related health scare.
So, as a follow up to my article on digestive health and given the spring and summer months are traditionally those where people feel most self-conscious about their weight, I wanted to look at how acupuncture can support you in leading a more healthy lifestyle.
Along with New Year, this is the time of year when we tend to see a spike in sales of slimming recipe books, gym membership take-up and new slimming club memberships.
It’s not really surprising – July and August are typically the months when people head off to the beach for a week or two of relaxation, and the notion of ‘getting your body beach-ready’ goes back to the start of the package holiday boom in the early 70s.
For others, though, the trigger to ‘diet’ can be anything from low self-esteem to the more serious body dysmorphic disorder.
Personally, I don’t like the concept of a ‘diet’. Everything you eat is your diet and we probably all know that while a few sweet or savoury treats every now and then is totally fine, it would always be better if your diet was predominantly healthy all the time.
If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you’ll know that I’m a strong advocate for integrative health.
This particular article isn’t specifically about that, but integrative health forms the basis of what I believe is the best approach – one in which clinical care, complementary health and the patient all contribute to an ongoing health plan.
In everyday life, when your health is generally good, your contribution to that is to try to live as healthily as possible – eating well, avoiding alcohol and coffee and other stimulants, and taking regular, moderate exercise.
Ultimately, losing weight is about expending more energy and using more calories than you consume. But For many people, trying to keep those ratios under positive control is easier said than done.
This is where acupuncture – one of the complementary health pillars of integrative health – can be really helpful.
How can acupuncture help me to lose weight?
Acupuncture can aid in weight loss by controlling hormone production, enhancing digestion, lowering inflammation, suppressing hunger, reducing water retention, and optimising other biological processes linked to obesity and weight.
Here’s a more detailed look at each of those:
Acupuncture supports the digestive system’s performance and can boost the amount of nutrients the body absorbs.
This may include treating conditions such as constipation, bloating, and other gastrointestinal problems that can be the cause of a sedentary lifestyle or the delayed digestion caused by fat deposition.
Reduction of Inflammation
Inflammation or tension in the gut, muscles, and other body parts can decrease metabolism, tax the immune system, and potentially affect digestion and heart health. Acupuncture for weight loss can reduce oxidative stress levels and help your body lose extra pounds by reducing stress and controlling the immune system.
Prevention of Water Retention
Water retention in the body is reduced when the kidney and endocrine system’s neurons are stimulated. Working in harmony with a healthy diet, preventing the body from retaining extra water is an easy strategy to lose weight and help it stay off.
Production of Hormones
Hormone imbalance can have a negative impact on a variety of biological functions, including digestion, cognition, healing, and immune system performance. Hormone levels can be balanced through acupuncture.
When your metabolism rate increases, you burn more energy. When you burn more energy, you use more calories. One of the major organs that controls metabolism is the pituitary gland, whose function is improved through acupuncture.
Endorphins are hormones that make you feel good and can instantly relieve stress and anxiety. Acupuncture has the ability to cause the production of endorphins in the body. When stress hormones are high or they feel overwhelmed, a lot of individuals overeat. Getting acupuncture can help you stop having those desires.
Taking the next step
As with any weight-loss plan, making just one modification to your routine or behaviour is unlikely to yield the desired outcomes – and the simple fact is, there’s no silver bullet to help you control your weight.
Crash diets may work for a few weeks or even a few months, but they’re usually so restrictive that they become unsustainable – and worse, when we crash off a diet, we often end up in a worse situation than when we started.
Even though acupuncture has the power to significantly affect your hormone and metabolic levels and address a variety of problems associated to weight loss, you should still combine this treatment with a healthy diet and consistent exercise.
Finding a skilled acupuncturist is a crucial first step in formulating a treatment strategy meant to encourage weight loss. Here at The Acupuncturists, we work with a number of patients to help them achieve a healthier lifestyle.
So if you’d like to know more about how acupuncture can help you to control your weight in a healthy and sustainable way, why not get in touch? We’d love to talk to you.