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Acupuncture For Weight Loss

One of the most common questions that I hear is “does acupuncture help with weight loss?” The answer is yes, but with a few caveats. If you are looking for a magic bullet or are hoping that acupuncture will help you lose 30 pounds in 30 days, then you will be disappointed. If, one the other hand, you are looking for a safe and effective boost to your diet and exercise routine, acupuncture is definitely worth considering.

It is very common for people to come to me for other concerns (such as back pain, allergies, or insomnia) and, after several months of treatment, report that they have lost 20 pounds without really trying. This is because acupuncture reinforces physiological balance and, as a result, strengthens your body’s ability to provide you clear feedback regarding its dietary needs.

When they are getting regular acupuncture treatments, people notice that:

  • They feel satisfied with less food.
  • Their junk food cravings go away.
  • They start developing a preference for healthy food.
  • They start feeling very unpleasant when they overeat or eat unhealthy food.
  • They stop engaging in emotional eating.
  • If pain was previously impairing their ability to exercise, pain relief as a result of acupuncture enables them to be more active.

Gradually, over the course of weeks and months, these changes add up to a real difference on the scale.

The problem is that these changes are subtle, especially initially, and it takes time for a deficit of a few hundred calories a day to add up to a change in the way your clothes fit or the number on the scale. Ultimately, when people lose weight using acupuncture, the weight loss is very healthy because it takes place gradually and is the result of a real lifestyle change (as opposed to a short-term gimmick).

If you are interested in losing weight, my recommendation is that you view acupuncture as one piece of the puzzle, not a magic bullet. Commit to a course of acupuncture therapy with the knowledge that it is a whole body treatment is similar to eating healthy and exercising in the sense that it needs to be carried out over time in order to see change.