You might have heard of this before, but acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine which involves the stimulation of certain points on the body using needles that are expertly inserted through the skin.
Acupuncture has several health benefits and has been the centre of focus in several studies. It is mostly used to manage pain and stress. But there are also studies that specifically talk about how acupuncture can be related to weight loss.
Acupuncture for losing weight
For those who practice it, it is believed that acupuncture stimulates the body’s qi which in turn reverses the biological mechanisms associated with weight gain.
It is believed that acupuncture helps manage weight loss using four major mechanisms:
- Increasing the overall metabolism in the body
- Reducing your appetite to food
- Alleviating your stress levels
- Suppressing your hunger centre in the brain
Ideally, traditional Chinese medicine posits that weight gain is a consequence of the disorder of natural balances in the body, what is scientifically referred to as homeostasis.
By properly channelling your qi energy to the right places, acupuncture helps alleviate this imbalance and normalizes your entire system.
How it works
1. Increasing metabolism
For you to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than the amount you consume. This creates a deficit which makes your body to burn more fat to maintain your usually energy requirements. As a result, your fat stores reduce and you end up losing weight. Acupuncture helps in boosting metabolism, especially the metabolism of fats to help get rid of stored body fat responsible for weight gain.
2. Reducing appetite
Acupuncture effectively reduces appetite using various techniques. It produces inhibits the production of appetite stimulating hormones and also manipulates appetite centres so much so that you wouldn’t feel any cravings for food. A special type of acupuncture called ear acupuncture is used for weight loss because it is hypothesized that there are curtained regions in your ear which controls your appetite.
3. Alleviating stress
Most studies have linked stress to increased weight. Stress can range from a variety of factors such as lack of sleep, disease and/or social-economic factors.
When you are stressed, your body produces copious amounts of a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is a potent appetite inducer and may explain the reason why some people crave for junk foods when they are stressed.
By alleviating stress, acupuncture helps inhibit the excess production of stress hormones and subsequently helps in reducing appetite. By reducing the number of calories entering your body, de-stressing makes for an effective slimming treatment.
4. Suppressing hunger
Among the several benefits of acupuncture, it is also hypothesized that this procedure can suppress the hunger centre in the brain.
This makes you less hungry and lowers the number of calories you consume per day. Since weight gain is affected by how much you eat, hunger suppression is one of the beneficial effects when you want to lose weight using acupuncture.
When considering acupuncture for weight loss in Singapore, the overall results you achieve is dependent on the person performing the procedure as well as the number of sessions you undergo. Different practitioners would recommend different methods and different number of sessions. Consult a qualified practitioner to find out which procedure best suits your needs.