Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

2010 is almost here. For many of you that means another round of resolutions to lose weight. However you may not realize that acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) can help you achieve your weight loss goals.

As hard as we try to lead healthy, balanced lives our American culture can make this difficult. High stress levels, long work hours, and poor diets wreak havoc on our bodies. Stress increases cortisol levels and suppresses digestive functioning, which ultimately leads to weight gain.  From a TCM perspective, decreased digestion can be described as a deficiency in spleen energy.  The spleen is responsible for processing the food we eat and creating nutritive qi (energy) for the body. When this mechanism is functioning properly we have high energy and high metabolism. But when stress and other factors interfere, the spleen energy becomes sluggish and creates phlegm and dampness instead. Over time phlegm manifests in the body as a physical weight gain.

Through a combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and diet changes, I work with you to strengthen your spleen energy, rebalance qi flow, and remove phlegm and dampness from the body. While we may not understand the exact mechanism of action, recent research supports the use of TCM for weight loss. A 2003 study published in The Journal of Medical Acupuncture found that participants receiving acupuncture lost more than three times more weight than the control group.

Acupuncture is a holistic medicine that treats the whole body, so treatments for weight loss will have other health benefits. You may notice increased energy levels, sleep quality, feelings of balance and harmony, and a stronger ability to handle stress. In addition, acupuncture can increase your resistance to upper respiratory infections (colds & flu), and decrease gastrointestinal (GI) problems, such as acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and gas.

Start the New Year off with a complimentary consultation to discuss your individual weight loss goals.  In most cases, I recommend a course of ten treatments in conjunction with diet changes and exercise.

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OHSU Comprehensive Pain Center
Center for Health and Healing
3303 SW Bond Ave
15th floor
Portland, OR 97239