Could Acupuncture Help You Lose Weight?

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know that there are many factors that can affect the number on the scale. Nutrition, movement and even sleep may make a difference in weight loss for some people. Paired with lifestyle modifications such as diet and exercise, acupuncture can be used to help support healthy weight loss, too.

How may acupuncture help with weight loss?

Acupuncture may help with two important weight loss factors: metabolism and hormones.

Some people’s digestive system and metabolism can become out of sorts and work inefficiently because of busy lives and from not eating well. Poor digestion and metabolism can cause some of us to keep on the weight and feel tired and sluggish. Our metabolism may also change as we age, making it difficult to lose extra pounds.

Healthy digestion and healthy metabolism are crucial for weight management. Acupuncture may help to re-balance the digestive system so that the gut is working efficiently again. When digestion is functioning properly, it can help stimulate metabolism.

Hormone balance also plays a part in how some of our bodies store and process fat. When we are stressed, the hormone cortisol is released, which may change how we process fat. Daily life comes with a lot of stressors and finding ways to manage the stress could help with weight loss by lowering cortisol levels in the body.

Acupuncture sessions can be very calming and relaxing for many people and cause the body to release “feel good hormones” such as endorphins, which help the body handle stress. As a person de-stresses during an acupuncture session, the body goes from the stressed “fight or flight” response into the calm “rest and digest” by stimulating the nervous system. This calm “rest and digest” response increases blood flow to the digestive system. As previously mentioned, healthy digestion is important for healthy weight.

For some women, hormone changes during menopause can make it challenging to maintain or lose weight. Research has shown that as estrogen levels decline, the amount of adipose tissue (fat) in women may increase. The decrease of estrogen makes it challenging to keep weight off. Acupuncture, along with diet and exercise, may help regulate hormone levels during menopause.

What can I expect with acupuncture?

At ProMedica Natural Wellness Shop, acupuncture visits are customized to your individual needs and goals. That’s why a consult with a licensed acupuncturist and natural wellness practitioner is done at the first visit to discuss your needs, goals and what to expect from visits.

Studies have shown that acupuncture, along with lifestyle modifications, may help decrease waist circumference. But results like this will take time and effort from both you and the acupuncture practitioner. Any possible effects from the acupuncture are cumulative, so it may take several visits to see effects. We typically suggest weekly visits for at least 3-5 weeks to jump-start the process and help a person along their weight loss journey; our licensed acupuncturist and wellness practitioner will discuss an approach to help support your needs and goals during your initial consultation.

Learn more about the basics of acupuncture in this video:

Kylie A. Study, M.Sc, MSTOM, Dipl.OM is a licensed acupuncturist and natural wellness practitioner at the ProMedica Natural Wellness Shop in Sylvania, Ohio