In the United States, an estimated 300,000 people a year die from obesity.
In several studies over the last five years, researchers have shown patients who receive regular acupuncture treatments see faster weight loss results than those who do not. In each case, the acupuncture treatments were combined with dietary and lifestyle changes also aimed at weight loss, but the patients who got acupuncture saw better results than those who focused on dietary and lifestyle changes alone.
In traditional Chinese medicine, obesity is linked to energy or qi stagnation, especially around the stomach and spleen. TCM teaches that the energy imbalance caused by stomach and spleen qi stagnation affects digestion, the function of the pancreas, and the insulin-glucagon pathway. Each of these mechanisms is an important part of our body’s ability to take in nutrients, cycle them through our body, and get rid of unneeded waste.
There are many acupoints and combinations of acupoints that have proven successful for people who are trying to lose weight. It depends on the particular qi stagnation they are exhibiting and other body type characteristics.
Clinical research has shown acupuncture treatments have the ability to restore bodily balance, improve physical well-being and promote healthy weight loss. In one study in Taiwan, researchers conducted a trial of 100 patients. Each patient received three months of acupuncture treatments, after which their body mass index (BMI) was an average of three points lower than before the treatments.
The researchers highlighted they saw the most success when they selected personalized acupuncture points based on each patient’s individual needs.
It can be frustrating and challenging to complete a weight loss regime, and there are so many kinds, each telling you theirs will be different and bring you success.
In TCM, any dietary or lifestyle change is recommended based on underlying causes, not surface symptoms, and with a well-rounded view of your health in mind. An acupuncturist will never analyze your health solely based on the reading of a bathroom scale. However, if you are looking for support on your weight loss journey, acupuncture may be a great thing to add to your routine.