You have probably ever heard of acupuncture for weight loss . Is this form of alternative medicine really helpful? What does this treatment consist of?
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a form of alternative medicine originating in China that involves the insertion of needles into the body . According to the studies carried out, it is useful for various types of ailments, to stop smoking, and even to supplement a strict diet.
In ancient times, acupuncture was expressed by the phrase: ‘ Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong ‘, which roughly means’ free flow: no pain; no free flow: there is pain ‘. With this they wanted to express that acupuncture allows the vital energy that they called ‘Qi’ to flow through the body and thereby alleviate ailments.
Some experts in this field assure that more than 2000 acupuncture points have been registered in the human body, and that each of these is connected to the other points by 20 ways to which people who work in this type of treatment they call ‘ meridians ‘.
This method has been used in China and other countries on the Asian continent for thousands of years. To this day, it has also spread to Europe and America. In fact there are a lot of people known all over the world who use this therapy that seems to be fashionable.
We can find a large number of celebrities who resort to acupuncture to lose weight, below you will find some examples:
- José Manuel-García Margallo (former foreign minister of Spain) who maintained that acupuncture had helped him to endure a diet with which he lost 15 kg in four months without anxiety. He himself said that the only secret was acupuncture, because otherwise there is no other way to endure a 900 kilocalorie diet without suffering anxiety. Moreover, according to him, if one day he ate more than the diet prescribed, he would get sick.
- Another example is the well-known actress Jennifer Aniston , who used it to overcome the death of her puppy and lose some weight. So satisfied was she that she subsequently subjected her other dog, Norman, to some stress relief session .
- The actress and model Penelope Cruz was seen at the presentation of her film ‘Volver a Nacer’ where some experienced observers found that she was wearing tiny studs in her ear which, as will be explained throughout the article, is an area widely used in acupuncture to lose weight.
What is acupuncture based on?
Acupuncturists say that the human body has several points related to our brain’s perception of hunger . This means that by stimulating specific points in our body we could reduce our feeling of hunger.
This therapy is based on a stimulus directed to sensitive areas of the nervous system that unleash a cascade of biochemical signals that improve and relieve pain. The stimuli are arranged in places that affect the digestive and hormonal systems, thus helping digestive disorders.
What points in our body are key to reducing the feeling of hunger? To reduce our feeling of hunger, acupuncturists mainly seek to stimulate our ears , but also the neck and other parts of our skin. An extended way is the use of studs and a series of magnets that can remain in the ears for days.
The branch of acupuncture that deals with the treatment of the ears is called auriculotherapy. It works as a microsystem in which the ear reflects different body areas, organs and physiological functions.
Once located in the ears there are several points , one of them is in the ‘tragus’. This point can be massaged if the person has a food craving or diet-related anxiety symptoms. You can also press for two minutes a day in this area to relax anxiety caused by diet.
Another part of the ear that has a stimulus point related to loss of appetite anxiety is the ‘triangular fossa’ located at the top of the ear. In addition, to improve digestion, a point located in the ‘shell’ of the ear, located in the central area of the ear, is usually stimulated.
Acupuncture treatments for weight loss are usually performed by combining the points mentioned with other body treatments, such as massages in the abdominal area, performing specific breathing exercises and healthy lifestyles.
Despite the aforementioned points, the treatment is carried out to people individually. This means that there is no single method for all people, but the acupuncturist must adapt his way of acting according to the requests and needs of each person in particular.
Is acupuncture painful?
If you are afraid of needles, you may be interested to know that the needles are usually made of stainless steel (there are also copper, silver or gold needles), they are solid and very fine, they are not designed to penetrate deeply the skin , but simply to stimulate and they introduce only 1 cm, depending on the type of treatment.
The length of the needles is usually between half a centimeter (less than the width of the nail of the little finger of the hand) and 15 centimeters (approximately half the length of a sheet of A4 paper). The needles used can be single-use or reusable.
This treatment must always be performed by trained people , so it is important to consult your doctor and check the licenses or certificates of the professional who is going to perform the treatment. It is also important to check that the place where the treatment is carried out has optimal hygiene conditions.
There are some contraindications to acupuncture to lose weight , you should not undergo this method if you suffer from diabetes , epilepsy or hemophilia. It is also important to know that there are some totally inadvisable points if it is a pregnant person.
There are some very rare side effects that also go away very quickly. Some of these possible unwanted effects are:
- Fatigue : The person undergoing this treatment may feel tired, although it should not be a cause for concern as it is nothing that cannot be solved with some rest. It is simply a sign that you need to rest.
- Bruises : Although they are rare, there are some cases in which the treated person perceives the temporary appearance of bruises. Usually this possible side effect is simply a cosmetic nuisance.
- Dizziness : It is not very frequent but there are situations in which it can cause dizziness or fainting. In the same way that when a person takes a blood test, there are those who are prone to dizziness.
- Pains : It does not happen regularly but sometimes it is recorded that some patients say they feel pain. It mostly happens when the areas of the body to intervene are the hands or feet.
Experts insist that many of these problems could be solved if the treatment were carried out with sufficient hygiene. This is because, among other things, many acupuncturists clean their needles with alcohol rather than sterilize them properly.
How is the first time?
It is best to attend the sessions wearing comfortable clothing, which facilitates the expert’s access to the selected acupuncture points. It is preferable to wear a few accessories and makeup as they may be counterproductive to perform the treatment in the most correct way. It is better not to go on an empty stomach, but not too full either.
The first acupuncture session is usually very similar to a conventional doctor visit . It begins with an interview in which the acupuncturist asks the client a series of questions. After receiving this information, you will begin to apply the treatment. It is advisable to take a medical history, although it will not always be necessary to consult it.
We must inform the expert of all the medications that we are taking and even, if possible, bring the leaflets that are in the container containing these. In this way we will provide data that could be of relevance.
It is often asked if they suffer from a series of diseases and in the case of women if they are pregnant. Although some questions are also asked that serve to test the state of health in general.
After the session, patients usually describe their sensations in these treatments as tingling accompanied by heat and other atypical sensations that are not really pain. Some say the needles are so fine that instead of hurting, they heal.
Generally, the patient, after this first session, usually notices some improvement. But depending on the specific case, other people say they perceive the effects the next day or even not perceive them. The price of a session like this usually ranges in Spain between € 20 and € 80. There is no stipulated duration for this treatment but 5 or 10 minutes is usually enough.
There is a catch phrase that ‘you need one month of treatment for every year you are sick’. But the treatments do not depend only on the disorder that is suffered but also vary with the person and the age so there is not an exact and generic number of sessions for everyone .
It is usually recommended that the frequency with which the sessions are carried out is one week, although depending on the case it could be more or less. Many people undergo a monthly session to maintain their health despite having no problems.
Electroacupuncture, a part of acupuncture
The electroacupuncture involves insertion needle in the body connected to a low voltage. The potential difference causes the flow of a small electrical current through the body that offers a low impedance to the passage of this.
The needles are connected to a device capable of managing the frequency with which the electrical signal is sent. To carry out this method, at least two needles must be connected, although it may be a greater number. The reason is that the body, as if it were electrical components, needs to close the circuit for the existence of the flow.
According to some acupuncturists, this variation is applied to the same points as regular weight loss acupuncture, but allows the results of it to be amplified . The average duration of an electroacupuncture session is between 15 and 20 minutes.
The benefits of electroacupuncture are the decrease in the frequency of headaches, the relief of muscle pain, the reduction of anxiety that people suffer from quitting smoking, and following a diet.
Is it reliable or is it a tall tale?
Previously, what is acupuncture for weight loss has been explained but: is it really reliable or not? The first thing to understand is that this therapy is not miraculous and that it does not work on its own. However, it is great for losing weight.
The conclusions of different studies are confronted:
The detractors of this treatment state that acupuncture for weight loss is not effective and argue that the effects are mainly due to a ‘placebo effect’. This effect is a phenomenon whereby symptoms such as pain or a feeling of hunger in a patient undergoing acupuncture can diminish or disappear simply by the perception of the capabilities of the treatment and not by the treatment itself.
Proponents of acupuncture explain that it brings clear benefits to the patient and that it is a good supplement to dieting. They maintain that it is not only necessary to resort to acupuncture to lose weight, but that it must be accompanied by a good diet and physical exercise.
In conclusion, it has been proven that acupuncture for weight loss has two conflicting positions on its reliability. What we can say is that normally people who have undergone this treatment end up largely satisfied and repeat again. It is important to understand that there are no magic bullets.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.