Acupuncture originated in China and over the years has become a popular therapy across the world. It is an important component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The acupuncture process involves inserting needles at various points in the body. The basics of natural weight loss under the therapy revolve around the release of vital energy known as chi or Qi in Chinese.
Qi is considered to be the circulating life energy in Chinese philosophy. It is thought to be inherent in all things. The Chinese theory believes that Qi flows through pathways that are known as meridians. There are 20 meridians in the body out of which 12 are primary and related to specific organs or functions. The other 8 are called secondary meridians. Any imbalance in the flow of Qi through these meridians caused by a blockage within the body is considered to be the root cause of all disease and disorders including obesity.
There meridians are used by acupuncture specialist to stimulate and restore normal flow and balance of Qi. This is the process that is used for treating all disease. Modern science however believes that acupuncture needles actually stimulate the release of endorphins, a naturally occurring neurochemical that has analgesic properties. It is the excess availability of endorphins that gives a temporary sense of well being.
As far as weight loss is concerned, acupuncture attempts to restrict appetite and cravings for foods. It also eliminates excess water from the body and stimulates the pituitary gland, the master gland of the endocrine system, to burn extra fat. An acupuncturist inserts five needles, four of which are targeted at specific organs – kidneys, liver, lungs and the nervous system. The fifth one is simply inserted to calm an anxious patient. As per TCM theory, this releases the blocked energy and inhibits appetite and craving for carbohydrates and helps in general detoxification.
American acupuncturists have developed a process of ear staples for weight loss. In this process only the upper and lower part of each ear is stapled. This adapted method is less safe than the conventional method of inserting needles because needles are removed after every sitting while the ear staples are left in the ears for several days. The ear cartilage is not resistant to infection and is therefore not recommended by traditional acupuncturists.
Acupuncture treatment for weight loss has been around for years but there is no scientific proof of its efficacy besides the recently discovered release of endorphins. However, it is also not known to cause any harmful effects as long as the needles are sterilized. It does not involve ingestion of any artificial weight remedies whose efficacy is doubted by skeptics. Considering these aspects there seems to be no harm in trying acupuncture along with exercise and natural weight loss supplements provided they have proven credentials.