How acupuncture for weight loss can be effective by reducing stress, cravings, and achieving overall health goals.
By: Dr. Allison Heffron, Acupuncturist & Chiropractor
Many people are looking for the magic pill for weight loss and unfortunately it doesn’t exist. Just like most good things, losing weight doesn’t come easy and honestly it shouldn’t. Weight is just like the pain signal. It’s there to show us that there is something wrong with how we are treating ourselves or that there is an imbalance in the body that needs to be addressed. Now, this post is NOT about fat-shaming, and everyone who lives a healthy life should be proud of their bodies, even if they’re not a glamour magazine model. This post is for those of you who are struggling to take care of yourselves, are unhappy about your body, feel unhealthy, and want to know what to do to make a change and how using acupuncture for weight loss can help.
Firstly, let’s talk about goals for weight loss. When you set up an achievable goal you should begin with something small. Many small goals add up to one big outcome because math.
Small goals can include losing 5-10 lbs in 1-2 months. Typically, losing 1-1.5 lbs a week is a healthy way to lose weight. Now, how do you go about it? Before revamping your entire diet it may be easier to compromise a few things first.
Going cold turkey rarely ever works and, again, you want to set yourself up for success by changing a little at a time. If you eat 5 junk food snacks a day try to substitute 1-2 for something healthy and once that becomes routine then substitute another. Making things become routine is a very good way to make healthier choices become a lifestyle.
Aside from diet there is activity. Activity does not automatically mean run a half marathon or go to the gym 5 days a week. Find something you truly enjoy whether it be CrossFit, walking, rock climbing, cycling, weightlifting, whatever it is just try to do it at least once a week. Once it becomes routine you can add another day and then another day.
Can Stress Prevent Weight Loss?
The effects of high Cortisol levels
When you are on a transformation journey it can be very stressful and acupuncture can help let your mind rest. It is very important to give yourself a break and not be so hard on yourself, but alas, that is easier said than done to do on your own.
When you stress yourself out you release a hormone, cortisol, which actually inhibits weight loss, so stressing yourself out will just make it harder for you to achieve your goals. Having acupuncture helps decrease the production and release of cortisol to help calm your mind and body.
Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Acupuncture is also helpful in the actual act of weight loss. If you are a new patient your acupuncturist may ask you a number of questions regarding the different systems of your body (i.e. your digestive system, circulatory system, sleep, menstrual cycle, etc.).
The reasoning behind this is to paint a very detailed picture of how your body is functioning and how it needs to be supplemented in order to help it function optimally.
The body undergoes a lot of stress on a daily basis, however, when you are making lifestyle changes it can jolt your system into a, “What is going on!? What are you doing to me!?” frenzy and that is where acupuncture can really help with keeping everything as balanced as possible while undergoing positive changes.
There is a whole “microsystem” of acupuncture points in the ear that are meant to help decrease addiction cravings in addition to needles being inserted in areas around the entire body.
When you make the decision to go into a lifestyle transformation, make sure you have a great support system and all the tools you need to succeed. Patience, small and achievable goals, patience, maybe a buddy to work with who is in it just as much as you are, patience, an acupuncturist, and I don’t think patience was mentioned, so patience. Make sure you pause and be proud of your successes no matter how small. Our bodies, regardless of the size, are incredible machines, so guide it appropriately and over time the positive changes will reveal themselves.
If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture for weight loss, reach out to our Acupunturist, Dr. Allison Heffron. You can start by filling out the form below or you can give us a call.