By studying the organic patterns of heaven and earth a fool can become a sage. So by watching the times and seasons of natural phenomena we can become true philosophers. 

Li Quan, Yin Fu Jing (A.D. 735)

Acupuncture is one of the foundations of Chinese medical therapy, where many aspects are derived from the patterns of disharmony identified through a diagnostic process.


Just like healing herbs, acupuncture needles can counteract excesses within the human body, relieving stagnation through increasing circulation and strengthening specific meridians within the body to overcome deficiencies.

In a study conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia in 1998, 95 percent of the participants who received stimulation on acupuncture points reported appetite suppression. In contrast to the control group, the results showed that the acupuncture group was more likely to experience a reduced appetite and increased weight loss.

This is not the only case for backed research findings regarding acupuncture. Another study in 2003 that was published in The Journal of Medical Acupuncture had similar positive results, when participants receiving acupuncture lost more than three times more weight than the control group.

From a Western medical perspective, acupuncture for weight loss has been shown to have a positive effect on the function of the nervous system, endocrine system, digestive system, food cravings, and metabolism.

All of these can help to energize the body, maximize nutrient absorption, regulate elimination, control over-eating, suppress the appetite, and reduce anxiety. These affects alone will cause a reduction in weight and help to restore a positive energy within the body.

Acupuncture is not a wonder cure in the treatment of weight loss

but rather an effective way to combat further weight gain and aid in internal bodily restoration through an increase in metabolism – specifically basal metabolic rate; improvement in insulin resistance – which is associated with metabolic syndrome; decrease in abdominal fat; and appetite suppression – positive effect on the hypothalamus and obesity-related hormones to promote such.

Highly restrictive and unnatural diets can lead to yo-yo dieting with drastic high’s and low’s, leading to rapid fluctuations in body weight. It is through these diet practices that harmful effects are obtained causing malnutrition, organ damage, slowed metabolic rate, and imbalances within the body.

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Acupuncture for weight loss addresses the physiological and psychological aspects

through promotion of enhanced digestion, appetite reduction, metabolism improvement, elimination of food cravings, and leveling of emotions.

Clearly, losing weight is not a simple issue, nor is it an easy fix or else we would not have the amount of studies, drugs, and information relating to this topic.

However, focusing on how we can obtain optimal health – through proper nutrition, maintaining an active lifestyle, and applying the proper stress management techniques – is a beneficial start to a happy and healthy life. Incorporating integrative approaches, like acupuncture, to further complement our lifestyle may be just the additional resource needed to enhance the regime.


Lead image by hradcanska, internal image by Marnie Joyce.

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