Weight loss is a goal for most Americans given our every expanding waist lines. Acupuncture for weight loss provides a unique approach to the subject.
Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Acupuncture is a very effective treatment regime for the very common problem of weight loss. Weight loss presents one of the most classical examples of what is similar and what is different in the treatment approaches of Tradition Chinese Medicine and Western Style Medicine. They are similar in that they both recognize that a person has a weight problem for a large variety of reasons. They are similar because they both recognize that any type of treatment must be accompanied by diet and lifestyle changes in order to be effective. They differ greatly in how to deal with condition from a clinical standpoint.
The acupuncturist will use a regime of treatment that is designed to remove the underlying disorder that has resulted in the increased weight. This regime will vary from patient to patient depending on factors that would never even be considered by the Western Medicine practitioner. It is interesting that the skeptics of acupuncture very rarely deny that the treatment is effective in the treatment of weight loss. They usually concentrate their criticism on explaining alternative reasons for why the treatment works. One thing that is often cited is that the actual needle insertion releases endorphins into the body. These feel good chemicals are credited with appetite reduction.
There may be some truth to this because many of the acupuncture treatments are followed by the placement of a small pad on the acupuncture point that can be manually subjected to a small amount of pressure in between treatment sessions. This pressure is applied when an urge to overeat is being felt and helps in resisting the urges and maintaining the proper diet. Regardless of the reason for the good results, even the most vehement of skeptics admit that acupuncture does no harm. Unlike many forms of chemical diet treatments, there is no chance of addiction or adverse side effects.
The acupuncture treatments themselves will vary on the exact diagnosis that is made by the practitioner. The first step will be a complete physical examination. This examination will appear strange to someone who does not understand that principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It will examine the tongue in great detail, for example, and involve palpation of internal organs. It will also involve a complete history of the patient and his lifestyle. It should be remembered that there are different schools within acupuncture itself. Classical Five Element acupuncturists will examine lifestyle issues at an even greater depth. This form of acupuncture seeks to treat the body, soul, spirit, and mind of the patient in order to restore harmony.
Acupuncture treatments for weight loss usually involve a long series of sessions. In some cases, results can be seen very quickly. In other cases, more time may be needed and sessions must be repeated over a long period of time to maintain any weight loss success. In order to be completely successful, the acupuncture treatments will be combined with the application of various herbal supplements. The treatment plan will involve other health issues such as diet and exercise. This is both the advantage and disadvantage of acupuncture as a means to weight loss. On the one hand, when it is done properly and with a complete adherence to the entire program, the chances for success are very high. On the other hand, it is not the quick fix that too many overweight people often seek.