At Acupuncture & Natural Health Solutions in Naples, Florida, we use a two pronged approach to assisting you with your weight loss. We use functional medicine to assess and correct the body function. At the same time, we use acupuncture and auricular medicine to speed up the weight loss and reduce cravings.
The most important factor in weight loss is to check to see how your adrenal system is working. Stress can break the “shut-off” switch in our adrenal system. This can lead to a wide variety of symptoms, including the inability to lose weight no matter what you eat. If this system is broken, you will not be able to lose weight.
I suggest starting with a new patient functional medicine appointment. We will do an extensive intake and see if you are a candidate for the functional medicine lab testing. If you are a candidate, you will receive the appropriate test kits. These labs measure how your body is handling your day to day stress levels.
In the functional medicine world, weight issues can be caused by a breakdown in one or all three of the body system functions.
The Hormone System and Weight Loss:
Balancing your hormones that control blood sugar is absolutely essential to losing weight and keeping weight off in a healthy manner. Most weight loss programs that ignore blood sugar control have only temporary benefits.
The Digestive System and Weight Loss:
The inability to digest and absorb nutrients leads to food cravings and overeating. Pancreatic enzyme deficiencies, hydrochloric acid deficiencies, and gall bladder dysfunction are all common causes of poor digestion and absorption of nutrients. With poor absorption you will overeat until your basic nutrient requirements for protein, fats, vitamins and minerals are met. Untreated yeast overgrowth, often referred to as candidiasis, is a common root cause of weight gain. Any significant disruption in mucosal immune function will trigger yeast overgrowth. This leads to the excessive consumption of carbohydrates and sweets and undesired weight gain.
The Detoxification System and Weight Loss:
People who have chemical toxicity will hold excessive fluid in the body in an attempt to buffer the harmful effects of the harmful substances. This results in weight gain due to bloating and fluid retention that is often mistaken for fat.
For more information on our functional medicine services, click here.
Weight Loss From the Chinese Medicine Perspective:
If you struggle with your weight, you’re not alone. In fact, more than 30% of all U.S. adults meet the criteria for being obese.1
Acupuncture works to control weight on various levels.
Release Endorphins – With diet changes, many people experience cravings, which can lead to binge eating. Cravings in the body are often due to a lack of endorphins. Acupuncture can help to balance out the cravings by helping the body to release endorphins.
Reduce Stress – An increase in the “stress hormone” cortisol can alter the metabolism. Through the release of endorphins, the “stress hormone” can also be neutralized.
Support Digestion – Acupuncture can support the body to generate an efficient digestive process.
Americans spend billions of dollars annually on weight loss products, but obesity is still on the rise. People are even turning to surgery as a weight loss option. This is a drastic measure and can cause unwanted side effects.
Unfortunately, excess weight is not just a cosmetic issue. Being overweight is a risk factor for many conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. The good news is that maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk. It’s never too late to get started. People seeking to address their weight concerns are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss.
A traditional approach to healing
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) take a holistic, or whole-body approach to health. This ancient form of healthcare works to restore the balance and flow of the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”), or vital energy. According to TCM, the reasons why people gain weight, or find it difficult to lose weight, are numerous. Your acupuncturist is well versed in uncovering the root cause(s) or imbalances that have affected your weight.
Your acupuncturist will also take into consideration other factors that may have led to weight gain, including your lifestyle, and emotional and mental well-being. By taking your whole self into account, you and your acupuncturist can get to the root of your health concerns, rather than just treating the symptoms.
- Exercise is an important component of any weight loss program. Adding aerobic exercise, weight training, and other types of exercise to your daily routine will have a positive effect on your weight and general health.
- Diet is another important issue to consider. In general, a healthy diet is made up of unprocessed, organic foods, including a wide variety of whole grains and vegetables. Your acupuncturist may offer nutritional counseling designed for your specific needs.
- Stress relief may also be a part of your treatment. By learning to lower stress and anxiety through techniques such as breathing exercises, meditation, or gentle exercise, you may lose weight more easily, and possibly stop destructive habits such as overeating.
What will my acupuncturist do?
During your first visit, your acupuncturist will take an extensive health history and perform various exams. At the completion of your first visit, your acupuncturist will provide you with a comprehensive diagnosis and an explanation of your treatment plan. Your treatments will focus on correcting any underlying imbalances in your body, and will also help to support you in reaching your weight loss goals.
Based on your unique symptoms, your acupuncturist will choose to concentrate on acupuncture points related to specific organs. For example, restoring balance to the flow of Qi in the Stomach can help promote good digestion and suppress an overactive appetite. Emotional issues, such as anxiety and stress, both of which can lead to overeating, can be addressed by balancing the Liver.
A partnership for better health
It is important to remember that acupuncture is not a “quick fix.” By working with your acupuncturist, and committing to long-term goals, you will experience positive changes in your overall health, including maintaining a healthy body weight.
In addition to acupuncture treatments, your practitioner may also recommend other lifestyle changes. Whether you want to lose a few pounds or a significant amount, people are turning to acupuncture as a natural and effective way to approach weight loss. By working together with your practitioner, you can help your body regain its natural balance—and start taking steps toward true health and vitality.
1. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity
U.S. National Library of Medicine Medical Encyclopedia, Article – Obesity. 4/19/2004.
Komada, J., Article – Acupuncture for Weight Loss, 2003.
Pitchford, P., Healing with Whole Foods, North Atlantic Books, 1993.