The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) of Hong Kong Baptist University recently completed a clinical trial on the use of acupuncture for weight control from September 2015 to October 2016 on 72 participants, comprising 13 males and 59 females aged between 18 and 68. After an eight-week treatment, the participants’ average body weight decreased by 2.47 kg, with a weight loss of 7.2 kg for the most successful participant, whose Body Mass Index (BMI) dropped by 3.2 kg/m2. The trial was initial testimony to the effectiveness of acupuncture for controlling the weight of adults.
Another research reported that, Placing five acupuncture needles in the outer ear may help people lose that spare tire. (Dec. 16,2013, journal Acupuncture in Medicine.) Ear acupuncture therapy is based on the theory that the outer ear represents all parts of the body. One needle is inserted into the area that is linked to hunger and appetite, while the other involves inserting five needles at different key points in the ear.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient form of treatment in which needles are used -about the thickness of a horse hair, into certain parts of the body to stimulate the release of hormones from endocrine glands such as the pituitary gland. The hormones released, known as endorphins, make you feel good. Acupuncture doesn’t introduce anything into the body, like medicine, rather the stimulation from the needles ask the body to heal itself. Generally, the needles are left in for between 15 and 30 minutes per session, and the practitioner may lift or rotate the needles as part of their technique.
This balancing process helps you to stop overeating, reduces stress and treats any digestive problems that could be the cause of weight gain. Additionally, traditional Chinese medicine says the body is made up of solids, fluids and energy or Qi (pronounced chee). Acupuncture is a way to direct, enhance or decrease the flow of your body’s energy.
One study reported in 1993 on Effect of acupuncture on weight loss evaluated by adrenal function, concluded that, acupuncture treatment not only affected weight loss but also enhanced functioning of the two systems, suggesting that the effect of acupuncture on weight loss may be produced by enhancing the functions of both the sympathetic-adrenal system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal system.
Note: It is very important that you take the advice of an acupuncturist or an expert to clarify the reasons for your weight problem, whether physiological due to issues such as a slow metabolism, menopause or thyroid problems, or behavioural due practices like overeating and binge eating. The number of needles used vary depending on your eating habits, your psychological condition and your general health.
Weight Issues that can be targeted by acupuncture, include
- Food Craving
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Control Appetite
- Stimulate hormonal glands
- Digestive Health Issues
Acupuncture together with a healthy low fat diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight and control overeating. It can also help improve your general health by treating digestive problems or hormonal imbalances that might be the cause of your increase in weight.