Acupuncture and Weight Loss

Over the last 5 years of practice  I receive phone calls and patient inquiries about how acupuncture can help them with weight lose.  I even had a woman who shared with me that her mother went to an acupuncturist who put a press tacks in her ear (a small needle that can be left in).  She was supposedly losing weight.  I was unable to make that guarantee and would advise you to be cautious if a practitioner promises weight lose by the method.  What I I have done is  researched information about acupuncture and weight loss and below is what I have found.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that obesity has more than doubled over the past two decades.  It is estimated that 65 million American adults are considered clinically obese.  This epidemic creates many health problems and usually a poor quality of life. 
The research on acupuncture and weight loss is mixed.  In 1995 a trial of 24 obese patients found acupuncture to be ineffective in reducing weight when compared to a control group.  In 2003 another trial contradicted these results and found that weekly ear acupuncture helped women lose more weight than without acupuncture.  In Spring 2006 a small Australian trial was published in the journal of Medical Acupuncture.  It stated that acupuncture can be an effective adjunct to a diet and exercise program and that people who received acupuncture with a specific diet and exercise program lost more weight than expected.

From this study we can see that acupuncture is an adjunct therapy to diet and exercise.  If you are willing to make changes to your lifestyle, then acupuncture can be an effective tool in making it easier to lose and maintain weight loss.

If you are interested in losing weight, take it on as an exciting time to create a whole new possibility for yourself and your life.  Create a new diet and new activities.  Imagine that you are painting a picture of your life. What would it look like?  Find new and interesting recipes.  Look for walking paths near your home or work.  Buddy up with someone and get support.  In the study that was conducted in Australia the participants were contacted once a week regarding their adherence to the diet and exercise routine.  They were encouraged to discuss any issues or concerns about the program.  This illustrates the need for support in this process.

Tell your friends, family and co-workers what you are up to and share with them the possibility you see for yourself.  Create reminders on sticky notes and place them around the house, in your car, and at work. Remind yourself that you are a beginner at this new way of living.  Be gentle with yourself as you begin this new process.

It was said by a great teacher of mine that as a society we have become so overweight because we have forgotten how to breathe.  Observe yourself before and during eating. Are you breathing?

If you are looking for a coach in weight loss and are interested in lifestyle changes, I believe that acupuncture can be an effective tool in helping you achieve your goal.