Acupuncture helps lose weight

We already have some research to back up use of acupuncture use for weight loss.  Some patients who try acupuncture for weight loss get great results.

Thanks, Stephen for the emailed video.  It is funny that acupuncturist in the video actually would benefit from some weight loss himself :)


Acupuncture weight loss

In a study published in the current issue of International Journal of Obesity, researchers found acupuncture was effective and significantly reduced body weight in obese patients. The researchers compared acupuncture to placebo or sham treatments. Acupuncture also showed more improved outcomes than conventional medication.

My comment:

Maintaining optimal weight for otherwise healthy people has numerous health benefits. This study shows acupuncture to be helpful as a treatment for weight loss and more studies are needed. This study focused on obese patients.

You should not see acupuncture as a replacement for a healthy eating habits and exercise.

Acupuncture helps to decrease anxiety, stress, regulate appetite. It helps to relieve depression and increase motivation (including motivation to exercise).  Acupuncture improves quality of sleep. This will help to restore healthy lifestyle, which will benefit weight loss.

In my clinic I see numerous fertility patients suffering from PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). Acupuncture can help these patients to reduce sympathetic nervous activity and restore regular ovulation. Maintaining body mass index between 20 and 25 is another way to alleviate symptoms of PCOS. This study also suggests that there may be more than one way acupuncture is helpful for PCOS patients.

Acupuncture Treatment for Obesity

This study examines the effects of acupuncture in treatment of obesity.
This is mostly interesting to qualified acupuncturists, medical professionals and erudites that are interested in the science behind acupuncture.

Cabyoglu MT, et al. Department of Physiology, Selcuk University, Faculty of Meram Medical, Konya, Turkey.

The present study is an investigation of the results of the studies on the effects of acupuncture application therapy on obesity. It has been reported that acupuncture application in obesity treatment is effective in procuring weight loss. It can affect appetite, intestinal motility, and metabolism, as well as emotional factors such as stress. Increases in neural activity in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus, in tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach and in levels of enkephalin, beta endorphin, and serotonin in plasma and brain tissue have also been observed with the application of acupuncture. It has been observed that acupuncture application to obese people increases excitability of the satiety center in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus. Acupuncture stimulates the auricular branch of the vagal nerve and raises serotonin levels. Both of these activities have been shown to increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach, thus suppressing appetite. Among other things, serotonin enhances intestinal motility. It also controls stress and depression via endorphin and dopamine production. In addition to these effects, it is thought that the increase in plasma levels of beta endorphin after acupuncture application can contribute to the body weight loss in obese people by mobilizing the body energy depots through lipolithic effect.

Int J Neurosci. 2006 Feb;116(2):165-75.

Source: PubMed