New Year, New You! Part 1: Weight Loss
We all make goals at the start of the New Year. Let us help you stick to your resolutions and achieve your goals this year!
Do any of these goals sound familiar?
- Weight loss
- Quitting smoking
- Reducing Stress
Over a 3 part series we will cover each of these topics and how acupuncture can assist you.
Part 1: Weight Loss
There are many reasons people become overweight. Hormone imbalances, slowed metabolism, overeating, poor nutrition, holding onto emotions and lack of exercise are some of the most common.
Using acupuncture and Chinese medicine to tackle weight loss is a tool of a multi-facet approach. This ancient form of healthcare works to restore the balance and flow of the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. According to TCM, the reasons why people gain weight, or find it difficult to lose weight, are numerous. Your acupuncturist can perform diagnostic exams to uncover the root cause(s) or imbalances that have affected your weight.
Acupuncture is effective in making it easier to lose and maintain weight loss if the patient is also willing to change their lifestyle habits. The reason for using acupuncture as weight control is based on the premise that weight gain could be the result of disturbed energy flow to and from the hypothalamus, which is the regulating part of the brain. The hypothalamus is responsible for maintaining “homeostasis” or functional balance in the body. Here the body regulates hormones and helps to control body temperature, circadian rhythm, thirst and hunger.
Interestingly acupuncture has the ability to influence obesity hormones. Research measuring the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss found treatments increased ghrelin, a hormone that controls meal initiation and decreased leptin, the hormone that regulates fat storage and metabolism.
Acupuncture can power up any other weight control strategy by curbing appetite, quelling cravings, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, regulating obesity-related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are used. It also strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats. Acupuncture may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people know that they are full.
As was mentioned earlier, a good weight loss program includes many facets such as nutritional counselling and exercise as well as a commitment to make permanent lifestyle changes. An acupuncturist can help with nutritional advice and a diet regimen that the patient can live with and maintain for the long term. Otherwise working with a nutritionist can be most beneficial. We can also assist with de-stress techniques and provide a herbal supplement that works!
How many Treatments will I need?
In conjunction with our weight loss herbs, the number of acupuncture treatments necessary depends on your goals for losing weight, the speed at which you wish to lose, and the commitment to keeping the weight off.
If overeating is very severe, a treatment every day for the first five days is appropriate and can then taper off the second week to every other day and the third week to every three days. For the average patient who wants to lose between five to ten kilos, one treatment twice a week until you reach your goal is appropriate and then a booster treatment once every two weeks to a month is optimal.
After a few booster treatments, the patient and practitioner will mutually decide when to terminate frequent treatments, after which one can choose to come in for a maintenance treatment approximately four times a year at the change of seasons when energy levels are unstable and tonification and harmonizing of one’s system is appropriate.
Whether you want to lose a few kilo’s or a significant amount of weight, consider acupuncture as a natural and effective approach to weight loss. By working together with your practitioner, you can help your body regain its natural balance—and start taking steps toward true health and vitality.