Weight Loss

Obesity has reached epidemic status here in the United States, and despite increase awareness and many weight loss products on the market, obesity levels continue to rise. Currently, about 65 percent of Americans are overweight while 35 percent of women and 31 percent of men age 20 and older are considered obese (30% or more above recommended Body Mass Index), up from approximately 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively, in 1980. What’s worse is that children are becoming more obese as well. Obesity is a major crisis facing our country as it is a significant cause of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, sleep disorders, cancer, fatigue and many others. There are many reasons why we are unsuccessful at weight loss as a nation. Stress, lack of time to prepare healthy meals, psychological connections to junk foods, lack of exercise, processed foods with damaging ingredients etc.

Successful and lasting weight loss usually requires a general lifestyle change, which is a gradual acceptance process. This involves learning which foods are really healthy (NOT the food pyramid), how to avoid systemic inflammation by avoiding certain common foods (previously touted as healthfoods!), where to obtain the most nutrient dense foods, how to manage cravings, and how to incorporate a reasonable exercise program. In addition to diet and acupuncture therapy to boost metabolism and correct organ malfunction, we also generally recommend an initial cleanse process, designed to remove toxins which accumulate in the fat cells and make them very difficult to burn. The body stores toxins in fat cells (usually in the abdomen) to protect the vital organs if the load on the liver is too high to metabolize them. By incorporating several days of detoxification, we can reduce the ‘work load’ on the liver, which allows the liver to begin to metabolize the fat cells containing toxic accumulation. This detox process is completely safe, well researched, and results in 7-9 pounds of fat loss (not water weight) which effectively jump-starts most weight loss programs.

Acupuncture is a great adjunct therapy for weight loss, not a standalone strategy . Acupuncture has been repeatedly found to be more effective than dietary restriction alone in weight loss. Electro-acupuncture increases beta endorphin levels (feel good chemicals) that decrease emotional eating and increase leptin (satiety hormone) that experts think contribute to acupuncture effectiveness for weight loss. Another study found “Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels. Both of these activities have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. Among other things, serotonin enhances intestinal motility. It also controls stress and depression via endorphin and dopamine production. In addition to these effects, it is thought that the increase in plasma levels of beta endorphin after acupuncture application can contribute to the body weight loss in obese people by mobilizing the body energy depots through lipolithic (fat burning) effect.” Acupuncture also lowers blood lipid levels (LDL and triglycerides) in obese patiets.

[1] Cabio?lu MT, Ergene N. Changes in serum leptin and beta endorphin levels with weight loss by electroacupuncture and diet restriction in obesity treatment. Am J Chin Med. 2006;34(1):1-11

[2] Cabýoglu MT, Ergene N, Tan U. The treatment of obesity by acupuncture. Int J Neurosci. 2006 Feb;116(2):165-75.

[3] Cabio?lu MT, Ergene N Electroacupuncture therapy for weight loss reduces serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in obese women. Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(4):525-33