Over two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, 64.1 percent of them women and 72.3 percent of them men. The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese. Risk Factors for overweight and obesity include the following:
Type 2 diabetes; Coronary heart disease; High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol; Stroke; Hypertension; Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Gallbladder disease; Osteoarthritis; Sleep apnea and other breathing problems; Cancer (breast, colorectal, endometrial and kidney to name a few); Complications of pregnancy; Menstrual irregularities.
With most fad diets out there not promising long-term results many people find themselves yo-yo dieting with drastic ups and downs in body weight. Some find no matter what diet they’ve tried their weight doesn’t budge.
A growing body of research supports the use of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in weight loss. A study published in The Journal of Medical Acupuncture found participants receiving acupuncture lost more than three times more weight than the control group. A study conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia found 95 percent of the participants receiving electro-stimulation on acupuncture points reported appetite suppression. The results showed the acupuncture group was more likely to experience a reduced appetite and to lose weight than the control group.
From a TCM perspective, the acupuncture points, foods and herbs that are chosen to assist with weight loss directly influence the energy of the spleen and liver systems to treat the root imbalances that are causing the weight gain. So when a patient comes in for treatment, the acupuncturist does a complete evaluation of body systems, stress, nutrition and exercise to determine a successful treatment plan for the patient.
From a Western perspective, acupuncture and TCM have been shown to have an effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings and metabolism. All of which can help to energize the body, maximize the absorption of nutrients, regulate elimination, control overeating, suppress the appetite and reduce anxiety.
The treatment plan will vary depending upon the patient and the severity of the obesity, however typically one can expect to be scheduled one to two times per week for 8-12 weeks. Typically the treatments include a combination of auricular (ear) and body acupuncture, ear tacks or pellets to leave on in-between treatments, herbs and supplements, breathing exercises, food and lifestyle recommendations and nutritional cleanses.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine are powerful tools for healthy weight loss by themselves or as a supportive treatment in conjunction with other weight management programs. Most patients will find with weight loss certain disease processes they have experienced will cease and in most cases can decrease or discontinue the use of medications and pharmaceuticals.
There are so many reasons to lose weight; feel healthy again, spend less money on medications, watch your grandkids grow up, fit into that sexy dress you’ve had in your closet for five years, hike that trail you’ve always wanted to with your son or daughter ... do I need to go on? Start a guided treatment program by a licensed Doctor of Oriental Medicine today and feel the rewards.
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