Nearly everyone at some point has tried diet and exercise to lose weight. Although shedding the first 10 pounds is typically easy for most of us, attempts at losing weight and keeping off the weight are often unsuccessful, primarily because so many physiological and psychological factors make it exceptionally challenging to lose weight. If you are tired of "yo-yo" dieting (losing weight, gaining weight, losing weight, gaining weight), your Omaha chiropractor recommends trying acupuncture to help you lose weight.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) views the body as an interdependent system in contrast to Western medicine, which regards the body as composed of independent systems. According to TCM, the body and mind are guided by a powerful energy called Qi that, when flowing freely through the body, maintains our overall health and well-being. However, when Qi is disrupted by illness, disease, poor eating habits and/or stress, we experience physical and mental unwellness.
By stimulating points on the body called meridians with tiny needles, your chiropractor in Omaha restores your flow of Qi and encourages your body's natural ability to heal itself. Acupuncture works to help you lose weight by boosting metabolism and increasing oxidation (burning) of excess fat. In addition, the stimulation of specific meridian points helps suppress your appetite by decreasing the release of hormones responsible for feeling hungry.
Acupuncture also reduces feelings of anxiety and stress, two common reasons for eating when you are not hungry. Large amounts of the stress hormone cortisol are released into the bloodstream when you feel nervous and anxious. Cortisol "tells" your body to eat more for energy during times of stress. By naturally reducing cortisol levels, acupuncture can help you control your appetite while simultaneously relieving anxiety.
A review of studies researching the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss published in found that when subjects underwent auricular (ear) acupuncture for six weeks, they reported "hunger reduction" and the loss of two pounds per week over a period of four weeks. Auricular acupuncture is commonly used to help people lose weight because the outer portion of your ear (auricle) contains several nerves such as the trigeminus and vagus. The vagus nerve interacts with cranial and digestive tract nerves to inhibit appetite signals coming from the gastrointestinal tract.
An Australian Family Physician study involving 60 overweight individuals who received acupuncture for two weeks reported the subjects lost weight because they did not feel hungry as often as they did prior to treatment with acupuncture. Authors of the study suggest acupuncture stimulates release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter implicated in hunger, mood and sleep.
A pilot study published in the British Medical Journal of Open Gastroenterology found that just one week of acupuncture reduced levels of ghrelin, the main "hunger" hormone responsible for telling us it's time to eat. Released by specialized cells lining your pancreas and stomach, ghrelin has been implicated in contributing to obesity and eating disorders.
Acupuncture is used throughout the world to treat many illnesses and chronic pain conditions. If you suffer from any one of the following conditions, acupuncture may be able to help you regain your well-being and quality of life:
In addition, acupuncture is currently being researched as a holistic way to improve fertility in women. By encouraging blood flow to the endocrine and reproductive systems, acupuncture has been shown to elevate levels of estrogen, progesterone, luteinizing hormones and follicle-stimulating hormones to promote fertilization of healthy eggs.
Kosak Chiropractic and Acupuncture is one of Omaha's leading acupuncture, chiropractic and wellness clinics serving adults and children. In addition to developing individualized weight loss/acupuncture programs, Dr. Kosak also offers adjustments, prenatal care and physical therapy for people suffering work, sports or auto injuries. Call us today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Kosak if you want to learn more about how acupuncture may help you lose weight and improve your overall health.