In Eastern Medicine obesity and/or excess appetite can be viewed in a variety of ways. This is based on the patient’s health status and weight. A variety of acupoints are targeted in the treatment of obesity.
It has been shown, acupuncture works to alter central nervous system neurotransmitter levels by stimulating peripheral nerves at acupoints. These nerves then carry the signals centrally, including to the spinal cord, pituitary, and midbrain.
Activated centers can then release neurochemicals:
Acupuncture for Weight Loss:
Auricular (Ear) acupuncture is the method most often used for the treatment of obesity. Common auricular points used in the treatment of obesity include ‘Hunger’ and ‘Stomach’ points (for satiety and fullness). At Balanced Body, Ear acupuncture points are commonly stimulated with in office with ear beads (pressure points), cold laser, or electric stimulation. After stimulation, if ear beads are not used, they will be placed in the ear for the patient to stimulate during time outside of the office.
Current Research Shows:
Satiety, Hunger, and Appetite
Rat studies suggest that stimulation of the auricular regions associated with the ventromedial hypothalamus affects:
- The satiety center and leads to improved weight loss (or reduced gain) in both obese and non-obese rats.
- There have been anecdotal reports of reduced appetite and cravings from patients wearing auricular acupuncture devices (press needles, staples, or beads).
By increasing the release of neurotransmitters, acupuncture may improve mood, which, in turn, might lead to improved regulation of food intake and weight loss. Alternatively, acupuncture may suppress appetite by endorphin-induced decreases in stress and depression. The positive effects of standard acupuncture and electroacupuncture on mood have been observed in treating clinical depression. Given the relation between medications that are thought to alter serotonin levels and improved mood and weight loss, acupuncture may exert an effect by increasing serotonin levels.
During initial evaluation goal, we will offer a variety of recommendations based on the individual. Treatment frequency can range from 1-2 treatments per week for a period of time depending on the individual’s goals and current state of health. As progress is made and health is improved treatment frequency can be decreased.