What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture, according to it's practitioners, is a medical treatment involving the insertion of very fine sterile needles into the body at specific points according to a mapping of "energy pathways."
Historically, Acupuncture is one component of an overall program of Chinese Medicine that includes theory, practice, diagnosis, physiology, and the use of herbal preparations. Acupunctureis used to control pain, treat allergies, relieve addiction withdrawal, and help people lose weight.
Many researchers from both Eastern and Western cultures liken Acupuncture to hypnosis. A quiet and calm conscious state is achieved allowing improved energy flow through blocked neuronal pathways which can cause disease.
Weight loss comes under the topic of "Weight Control", because we are concerned with the loss and MAINTENANCE of loss of weight. This is a multi-faceted problem, and a good program involves diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques. Chinese acupressure and digestive aid exercises are also useful tools in the battle with weight loss.
Acupuncture is an ADJUNCT therapy. It is not a panacea or a wonder cure in the treatment of weight control. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to lose and maintain that loss if the patient is willing to change their lifestyle. The exact mechanism by which Acupuncture works is unknown but we know that Acupuncture needles inserted into specific points on the body and in the ear release endorphins which have a calming and relaxing effect that makes it easier to deal with stress, frustration and anxiety that can trigger overeating and bingeing on fattening foods. Also endorphins affect the digestive and hormonal systems so Acupuncture can help rebalance the organ systems that are running too fast- or in this case too slow—i.e., the metabolism and the will power.
Going to Extremes
People will go to drastic measures to lose weight. Fad diets ask you to eat an unnatural and unhealthy diet, such as a meal plan of cabbage soup or pineapples or rice or no-carbs, They may work in the short term because of the low caloric intake, but there is absolutely no way you can keep it up. Your body and mind will rebel and take revenge for putting it on such a restrictive regime, rather than providing whole foods and a “whole diet” with proper nutrients. Instinctively, your body will crave foods and gorge, filling up, terrified of and preparing for the next starvation, packing on fat for stored energy.
Eating an unnatural and highly restrictive diet can cause yo-yo dieting and drastic ups and downs in body weight. Improper diet practices can also cause malnutrition, organ damage, slow metabolic rate and imbalances within the body.
Wouldn’t it be great to decrease the amount of food that you take in, and increase the amount of energy you expend? It’s entirely possible, thanks to Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). 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, smooths emotions, reduces appetite, improves metabolism, and eliminates food cravings.
Weight loss according to Traditional Chinese Medicine
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 — 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.
The liver’s job is to keep the flow of your body’s Qi and blood (as well as your emotions) 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. Liver disharmony can also cause some of the “triggers” that lead to cravings and compulsive eating.