Using acupuncture for weight loss is something of a conundrum as patients report benefits despite there being no empirical scientific evidence that it works. One reason it works could be that mental conditions such as stress, anxiety and insecurities are behind emotional eating which is in turn the main reason behind weight gain. Acupuncture is effective in alleviating some of these conditions so may help with weight loss. Here we will look at four reasons your mind, not your body, could be behind your weight loss and how acupuncture could help.
Research Shows That Genuine Acupuncture Has A Positive Impact
Most recently, Vitaly Napadow, professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, used MRI-scans to measure the brain activity of people who have had both real and fake acupuncture. He is convinced that the brain is only stimulated by genuine acupuncture, pointing to the need to visit a qualified acupuncturist. If the reasons for weight gain are mental, not physical, these finding suggest that acupuncture could make weight loss easier.
Reason #1. Only A Doctor Can Diagnose You With A Medical Condition
Trained acupuncturists are the first to point out that acupuncture itself cannot make you lose weight. You have to consume less energy that you expend. If you have a mental problem such as compulsive overeating or frequently turn to food because of the way you feel, acupuncture can make it easier for you stop these habits. You can’t self-diagnose yourself with these conditions and neither can an acupuncturist. You should consult a trained nutritional therapist who will ask you to complete food log or what you eat and when. They will help identify what issues you may have and from there an acupuncturist may be able to help you overcome them.
Reason #2. Some Diets Sanction Overeating
Acupuncturists have been trained to tap into 400 known points in the human body. The Shenmen is a known calming point that helps people address anxiety and reduce stress. One reason that acupuncture makes it easier to eat less is that it helps people become less anxious about what they are eating whilst on a diet. The Atkins diet is a good example of an eating plan that causes people quite a lot of stress and anxiety as low-carbohydrate foods are quite difficult to find making eating out socially quite difficult. Cutting out one type of food and over-eating another is quite stressful and acupuncture can help address your anxiety.
Reason #3. The On/Off Mentality
The biggest single reason why people give up on their diet is this all-or-nothing mentality. When people go ‘on’ a diet and then eat something they shouldn’t, they feel as though they have failed and give up, going right back into unhealthy habits. The Shenmen point that acupuncturists can tap into may help some dieters focus on progress, not perfection. Some diets such as Bill Phillip’s New York Times bestseller ‘Body-for-LIFE’ had one cheat day built in. Every Sunday you could eat whatever you wanted. Acupuncture, in conjunction with a common-sense diet plan, may serve as a reminder of the powerful role that you mind plays in the state of your body.
Reason #4. Diets Ban Foods You Can’t Give Up
Many diets have a huge amount of flexibility built in and give followers hundreds of options of healthy foods they can eat. Despite this, people spend hours ruling out every single food they cannot eat, however unpractical this will be to follow. According to one center specializing in acupuncture for weight loss in Toronto, the best way to avoid this is to use acupuncture to reduce anxiety and make more practical decisions.