Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, and Weight Control

Weight loss photoOf all the questions I am asked about what conditions acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine can treat, questions about weight loss are one of the most common. To figure out how acupuncture or Chinese herbal medicine can help with weight loss, first we need to know the cause of why the weight is there.

Weight gain most often results from an inactive life and poor diet. Here, acupuncture protocols can be used to help reset the body’s reward system around food intake. This allows a person to avoid feeling the need to go to food as a convenience, a place of safety, or as something to do to pass the time. Herbal medicine can be used to help speed up a person’s metabolism and enhance the benefits of exercise. Weight loss will occur naturally when acupuncture & herbal medicine are put together with proper dieting and exercise, and be at a rate faster than when dieting or exercising alone. Dieting and exercise have to be present though, or there will be no benefits. For problems with diet & exercise motivation, consider hypnosis.

For weight gain that’s the result of a functional or organ problem East Asian medicine plays a different role. An acupuncturist will have to address what the root cause of the problem is (for example, a thyroid hormone imbalance or a medication side effect) and construct a treatment plan addressing that, often using both acupuncture and herbal medicine. As the treatment begins to work on the root condition the weight will come off – sometimes without further action taken on your part. Patients who are losing weight for these reasons can expect to see results within a few weeks.

For those who tend to put on water weight often, herbal medicine can also help with this, and very well. Water weight can be caused by a number of different factors, including hormonal fluctuations, diet, exercise, or other major health changes. If you can’t seem to get control of excess water in your body, a properly constructed herbal formula can often do the trick and provide very quick results, typically within a week or two.

If you’re making a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight and have been looking for help, consider using acupuncture & herbal medicine to aid you in your goals. Schedule your consultation today!