Oddly enough, your weight has very little to do with the calories you consume and acupuncture is not the miracle you have been told it is.
I am often asked about the use of acupuncture for weight loss, what kinds of Chinese herbs can be employed for appetite suppression or if Chinese medicine in general is effective in the treatment of obesity, metabolic disorder, or other kinds of digestive issues, especially those related to weight loss.
The answer is a qualified yes. Acupuncture, and auricular therapy, can be quite helpful in shifting the body's endocrine balance, help with appetite control, and promote a general sense of well being, which is key to creating behavioral change around the habits of food and eating.
Chinese herbal medicine also plays an important role in metabolic health, weight loss and digestive function. In the past various less than ethical companies promoted the use of ma huang as an appetite suppressant, thermogenic agent and miracle weight loss herb. Not surprising to anyone actually schooled in Chinese herbal medicine this caused problems for lots of people, as ma huang is NOT an herb that is to be treated lightly, nor is it an herb that we use for weight loss.
Weight loss is not something that can effectively be achieved from taking pills or supplements. It is the natural byproduct of a system that is in balance, and that balance comes from a healthy diet and lifestyle. But, you already know that. What you may not know is that the low fat craze of the past 30 years has contributed to the problem.
So, how does acupuncture help with the process of losing weight and then maintaining your new figure?
Again, it is by helping your body to find and maintain its natural homeostatic balance. When this occurs food cravings are naturally reduced, your metabolism functions at a higher level, and you have more energy. Additionally you more quickly feel the effects of eating poorly, thus helping you to make better choices in what you eat and how much.
I've heard that staples in the ear will reduce my appetite and make me lose weight, is that true?
If you are looking for a magic bullet, or some way to have acupuncture force you to do something you don't really want to do, then it would be best to seek out some other method. Auricular therapy can be very helpful in the process, as it is excellent at helping with cravings and anxiety. That being said, it will not make you loss weight without also changing the various lifestyle habits that put it on in the first place. The good news is that if you are looking to make some lifestyle changes that will improve your health and vitality, acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help you to loss weight, regain your metabolic health and work through the emotions and anxiety that go with habit change.
Finally, when it comes to taking Chinese herbs, do be sure that you are seeing a qualified practitioner who has studied this effective, and complex form of medicine. Just as you would not randomly sample pharmaceutical medication, randomly trying herbs for “weight loss” is an invitation for trouble. So do make sure that when you contact a practitioner concerning weight loss you inquire as to both their training and experience.