During the beginning of the New Year, resolutions are made. Most of these resolutions contain some sort of health goal, and a good majority of them incorporate weight loss or maintenance into these aspirations.
I am often asked – can acupuncture do anything for weight loss? The answer is: Yes!
Then comes the follow up question – how?
Acupuncture can help with some of the reasons why people become over weight including: coping with an increase in stress, overeating, metabolism decline, and hormone imbalances.
The rational behind acupunctures effectiveness for weight loss/control is that it helps to restore balance and communication to the hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that regulates hormones, which in turn helps to control hunger and thirst.
Hormones that contribute to weight gain include the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol helps the way the body processes insulin and in turn the production of glucose (blood sugar) and this affects hunger and energy.
A study done to prove the effectiveness of acupuncture on insulin and glucose levels in obese women showed that glucose levels did decrease after having a series of acupuncture treatments1. Another study showed that acupuncture increases the hormone ghrelin; this hormone is responsible for regulating fat storage and metabolism2.
Therefore, one can conclude that with the help of restoring hormone balance through acupuncture by lowering glucose levels and increasing ghrelin levels, overeating due to the sensation of being hungry is easier to manage and it helps to increase metabolism so that weight loss/control can be achieved.
1 Cabioglu, M.T and Ergene, N. (2006). Changes in levels of serum insulin, c-peptide and glucose after elecroscupuncture and diet therapy in obese women. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine, 34 (3). From www.worldscientific.com
2 Gucel, F., Bahar, B., Demirtas, C., Mit, S., & Cevik, C. (2012, September). Influence of acupuncture on leptin, ghrelin, insulin and cholecstokinin in obese women: a randomized, sham-controlled preliminary trial. Acupuncture in Medicine: Journal of the British Medical Acupuncture Society, 30 (3). From www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pubmed/22729015.
Obviously, for higher success in weight loss a proper diet and exercise regiment has to be incorporated with your acupuncture treatments in order to further your success in achieving your goals.
If you need support with the diet and exercise area of weight loss, our massage therapist/trainer Jillian Rieckmann can help through the programs she offers via Shakti Health.