Acupuncture For Weight Loss: Is It Scientific?

Acupuncture, as a wonder in the treasury of Chinese traditional medicine, now play an important role in weight loss. According to experts, the mechanism of acupuncture for weight loss is primarily to adjust the body’s metabolic and endocrine functions. Weight loss with acupuncture is more effective in young and middle-aged obese people aged 20 to 50. Because the human body is more mature at this age and various functions are more sound, it is easier to adjust the various metabolic functions of the body, promote fat decomposition, and achieve the effect of weight loss and fat reduction through acupuncture treatment. After acupuncture, the peristaltic movement of the stomach and intestines is inhibited, as is the secretion of gastric acid.

How acupuncture works for weight loss

Modern medicine believes that simple obesity is often associated with endocrine disorders, such as hormonal imbalances, particularly with insulin, sex hormones, adrenocorticotropic hormone, leptin and other hormones. Acupuncture can help to regulate these hormones and bring them back to normal levels. Chinese medicine, on the other hand, holds that obesity is mainly related to the function of the liver, spleen, and kidneys, which can also be regulated by acupuncture.

Acupuncture works for weight loss focuses on three main aspects:

Regulation of gastrointestinal function  

Acupuncture can inhibit the hyperactive appetite of obese patients, reduce the amount of food eaten, and at the same time inhibit the hyperactive gastrointestinal digestive and absorption functions of patients, reducing the body’s absorption of energy and thus reducing energy intake, thus achieving the effect of weight loss. Acupuncture can have a positive impact on weight loss by reducing appetite and promoting smooth bowel movements. Many cases of obesity are caused by excessive food intake, so regulating gastrointestinal function through acupuncture can be highly beneficial. Many people who have received acupuncture for weight loss report observing this phenomenon. By prolonging gastric emptying time, acupuncture can suppress or decrease hyperactive appetite. Additionally, it can also improve intestinal function, such as increasing peristalsis and bowel movements in individuals with constipation, due to acupuncture’s ability to enhance the function of the intestinal tract.

Improving body metabolism     

Through the promotion of energy metabolism and an increase in energy expenditure, acupuncture can help with weight loss. This causes the body to break down body fat, which ultimately causes weight loss. During therapy, specific acupuncture sites as Hand Sanli, Sanyinjiao, Fengshi, and Zhongdu might be treated. Acupuncture can increase metabolism, which will help the body burn more fat for weight loss. Acupuncture can also help with metabolic dysfunction, such as problems with sugar or fat metabolism, which is present in many obese people. For example, patients with diabetes or hyperlipidemia often report an improvement in their condition during acupuncture treatment.

Regulation of endocrine secretion in the body   

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine technique used to regulate the body’s endocrine function and achieve weight loss. It offers many advantages such as being painless, effective, and not causing pain that other weight loss methods may cause. Obesity is common during adolescence, postpartum, and menopause, especially in women, who experience intense endocrine changes during these periods. Acupuncture weight loss can help with these symptoms, many women who have irregular menstruation and amenorrhea can find relief through acupuncture, this is due to the improvement of endocrine function.

Effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss

Acupuncture can be an effective treatment, but it’s important not to have unrealistic expectations of immediate results or a significant change in body shape after just a few needles. Acupuncture weight loss must be combined with diet control and moderate exercise. Obesity can be classified as pathological or physiological, and while acupuncture can help with pathological obesity, it cannot be the only method of weight loss. Many obese people have an excessive appetite, which is a pathological condition that must be treated. Some people suffer from endocrine disorders, which can lead to obesity. To achieve balance and the desired results, acupuncture weight loss should be tailored to the individual’s condition and physiology.

Some individuals may believe that they must restrict their diet strictly while undergoing acupuncture for weight loss, which can cause pain and hunger for patients. However, it’s important to note that patients should only be advised to pay attention to their diet and have balanced nutrition. It’s also important to note that not everyone is a suitable candidate for acupuncture weight loss. Acupuncture treatment requires the penetration of the patient’s skin, and it’s strictly prohibited for individuals with hematological disorders. Additionally, unexpected situations such as fainting or shock may occur during the acupuncture process, and immediate rescue treatment must be required.

Unsuitable people   Acupuncture can be an effective method for weight loss, but it’s important to keep in mind that it may not produce ideal results for everyone. People under the age of 20 and over the age of 50 may not see optimal results from acupuncture treatment alone, as obesity in young people before the age of 20 is often caused by over-eating or genetic factors and for people over 50, metabolic capacity and skin elasticity decrease. It may be better for them to lose weight naturally through appropriate diet and exercise. However, for people between the ages of 20-50, acupuncture can be highly effective as they are going through a longer period of physiological changes and a decrease in daily energy consumption which makes them more susceptible to obesity, and their body functions are more sound and it’s easier to adjust internal function for weight loss. This group is an effective target group for acupuncture weight loss treatment.

Advantages of Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Acupuncture for weight loss offers several benefits over other methods of weight loss, such as diet pills, excessive dieting, intense physical activity, and restricting water intake. These methods can be dangerous and have many negative side effects.

Taking diet pills    Diet pills can cause diarrhea and dehydration, leading to electrolyte imbalances and metabolic acidosis.

Excessive dieting    Excessive dieting can lead to unsustainable weight loss and ketoacidosis, with symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

Too strong exercise   Intense physical activity can consume glucose rather than fat, making it less effective for weight loss.

Reduce water consumption  Restricting water intake can negatively impact fat metabolism, put strain on the liver and kidneys, and cause the build-up of toxic waste products.

The advantage of acupuncture for weight loss is that none of these problems exist, so all these fast weight loss methods are not advisable. You should lose weight through steady and fast healthy weight loss, and acupuncture weight loss is just safer, more reliable, and without any damage to the human body.

Acupuncture for weight loss does not have any of these negative side effects. It is a safe and reliable method for weight loss that does not cause harm to the body. It is advisable to lose weight in a steady and healthy way, and acupuncture is a great option for this.

Recommend Recipes of Acupuncture for Weight Loss

There are several recommended recipes that can be included in a diet plan for weight loss through acupuncture treatment. Some examples include:

Grilled Chicken Breast: A lean protein source that is low in calories and fat, making it a great option for weight loss.

Steamed Vegetables: Vegetables are a great source of fiber and nutrients, and steaming them helps to preserve their nutritional value.

Quinoa Salad: Quinoa is a high-protein, low-calorie grain that is also a good source of fiber, making it a great option for weight loss.

Fish: Fish is a lean protein source that is low in calories and fat, and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce inflammation in the body.

Berries: Berries are a great source of antioxidants and fiber, and they are low in calories and sugar, making them a great option for weight loss.

Green Tea: Green tea is a great source of antioxidants, and it can also help to increase metabolic rate and promote weight loss.

It is important to note that acupuncture treatment should be combined with diet control and moderate exercise for best results, and you should always consult with a health professional or licensed acupuncturist before starting any new treatment or diet regimen.

Five misconceptions

Acupuncture is a quick way to lose weight?

Acupuncture is not considered a quick way to lose weight. While it may help with weight loss, it is typically recommended as a complementary therapy to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. It may take several sessions to see results and the weight loss will be gradual. Additionally, individual results may vary depending on a variety of factors such as overall health and lifestyle habits.

The more needles are stuck,the better?

The number of needles used during an acupuncture treatment does not necessarily determine the effectiveness of the treatment. In fact, using too many needles can be counterproductive and cause discomfort or even injury.Acupuncture treatment is highly individualized, so the number of needles and the points used will vary depending on the patient’s condition, symptoms and the practitioner’s assessment. A skilled practitioner will use the minimum number of needles necessary to achieve the desired effect. It is important to consult with a licensed acupuncturist who can determine the appropriate number of needles for you.

Acupunture is prone to infection?

Acupuncture is generally considered to be a safe procedure when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner using sterile needles. The risk of infection with acupuncture is considered to be low, but it is not completely eliminated. To minimize the risk of infection, practitioners should use sterile needles and maintain strict hygiene protocols. It’s also important to seek treatment from a qualified practitioner, as improper technique can increase the risk of infection.

No hair washing for ear acupuncture?

There is no universal consensus on whether hair washing is prohibited before ear acupuncture. However, it is common for practitioners to request that patients refrain from washing their hair or using hair products for a period of time before an ear acupuncture session. This is because the oils and products in the hair can make it challenging for the needles to stay in place during the treatment. Additionally, some practitioners may advise patients to avoid washing their hair because oils and other substances on the skin can impact the effectiveness of the treatment. To ensure the best results, it is recommended to follow the instructions of your practitioner and abstain from washing your hair for the recommended period of time before the session.

Get it done once and for all?   

Acupuncture weight loss is a gradual process that requires multiple treatments to adjust the body and establish a new state. It is recommended to undergo intensive and consistent treatment for at least 3 months, and up to 6 months to a year for those who are particularly overweight. The slow adjustment process allows the body to adapt and when the treatment stops, the weight can be maintained at a normal level for an average of 1 to 3 years. It should be used in conjunction with healthy diet and exercise and it’s best to consult with a licensed acupuncturist and a healthcare professional before starting any weight loss program.

Side effects of acupuncture for weight loss

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by a trained and licensed practitioner. However, as with any medical treatment, there can be potential side effects. The most common side effects of acupuncture for weight loss include:

Infection of infectious diseases    

If proper sterilization protocols are not followed, there is a risk of infection when using acupuncture needles. This is why it’s important to ensure that the practitioner follows safe and sterile practices, including the use of disposable needles or proper disinfection methods for non-disposable needles, such as high temperature and pressure sterilization. To avoid the risk of infection, it’s best to seek treatment from a qualified practitioner who uses disposable needles and follows the principle of “one person, one needle, one point” strictly. It’s always best to check the credentials of the practitioner, to ensure that they are licensed and have the necessary qualifications to perform the treatment safely.

Dizzy needle coma    

Acupuncture for weight loss can be ineffective, wasteful and even dangerous if proper protocols and safety measures are not followed. When performing acupuncture in the abdomen, it’s important to avoid going too deep with the needles to prevent injury to organs, particularly for young women with thin abdominal walls. It’s also important to choose a qualified practitioner who has the ability to handle any abnormalities that may occur during the treatment such as dizzy needles, stagnant needles, bent needles and broken needles. An acupuncturist who has not undergone systematic training in anatomy and acupuncture and is not paying enough attention might not be able to understand these situations and may not be able to offer safe and effective treatment. Therefore, it’s important to choose a practitioner with good reputation and professional qualifications.

Damage to internal organs   

Improper needling techniques during acupuncture can cause injuries to internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and liver. Furthermore, the use of silver needles inserted into human acupuncture points may cause capillaries to break, and if they are not properly sterilized through high temperature and pressure methods when used repeatedly, patients can easily spread blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B among themselves. To avoid these risks, ensure that the practitioner follows proper sterilization protocols and uses disposable needles. It is always preferable to seek treatment from a qualified practitioner who adheres to safe and sterile practices and possesses the necessary qualifications to perform the treatment safely.Acupuncture weight loss is very demanding in terms of professionalism. Instead of saying that acupuncture weight loss is healthy weight loss, it is more appropriate to say that strictly regulated acupuncture weight loss is healthy weight loss.

    Bottom line

    Finaly, research data shows that the effectiveness of various acupuncture therapies ranges between 73.3 and 89%. Laboratory studies provide a basis for clinical treatment. Acupuncture for weight loss is effective and has become popular worldwide. It has minimal side effects and is completely convenient, making it popular among patients.

    Dr. Haisheng Zhang

    Dr. H Zhang is a highly qualified TCM practitioner and acupuncturist, holding a medical doctor degree in TCM, L.Ac, and a tenured professor at UEWM. He has also been a visiting scholar at Stanford University, and have studied under the guidance of Six generation family Master Yang for 30 years. His areas of specialty include acupuncture, treating incurable diseases, and qigong tuina.

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