Can acupuncture really help weight loss?

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This is an oft-asked question. “Can acupuncture really help weight loss?” The answer is a resounding “yes!” Acupuncture can help by different means. It is not generally used as a stand-alone approach, but combined with good, sound nutrition, exercise and supplementation with food concentrates, the results can be quite pleasing. But how does acupuncture work for weight loss?

Acupuncture helps improve digestion and nutrient absorption. One of the keys of weight loss is to control appetite — binge eating, cravings, etc. Acupuncture is widely known for its superb effect on treating addictions. These addictions include smoking and other tobacco addictions, heroin, cocaine and other drugs (including prescribed medications), alcohol and food. By controlling cravings and improving digestion and nutrient absorption, weight loss is possible.

Acupuncture also has a favorable effect on hormonal dysfunction. Most weight gain problems have a root in hormonal imbalance. Any of several organs/glands can be culprits: thyroid, pancreas, adrenals, liver, hypothalamus, pituitary, etc. Balancing these hormonal intricacies is instrumental in achieving a more efficient metabolism.

Inadequate sleep and excess inflammation in the body are both reasons for slow weight loss, and are treated often by acupuncturists, successfully.

There are several methods of acupuncture for weight loss. Body points are primarily used for treating everything going on in the body at the same time. Looking for the underlying reasons for the weight (that may or may not include the wrong foods, the wrong exercise or the wrong emotional state), they work to improve organ or gland function. This results in not only weight loss, but more energy, better sleep, the ability to cope with stress better and more.

Acupuncturists may also use ear points. While these points also help organ or gland function, they are primarily used to control appetite. This should be done by a Licensed Acupuncturist and not someone trained in simply stapling the ear.

The needles used are very fine, hair-like and generally painless. Most people that come in are fearful of needles, then pleasantly surprised at how little they feel, and bemoan the fact that they waited so long to give it a try.

If you are struggling with weight loss and have “tried everything,” perhaps it’s time to try the one thing you haven’t — acupuncture. Acupuncture really does help weight loss.

Learn more about acupuncture and other things you can do to resolve weight challenges by attending our upcoming health class, 5 Key Obstacles to Eliminating Excess Weight, 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 26 at Vital Health. Fee: $10. RSVP: (208) 765-1994.

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctor of Naturopathy, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbologist with nearly four decades of experience. Carling is a “Health Detective,” she looks beyond your symptom picture and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place. Carling is currently accepting new patients and offers natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements in her Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, view a list of upcoming health classes and read other informative articles. Carling can be reached at (208) 765-1994 and would be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.

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