Home                                                                                                           Go to Acupuncture

 

The Deal with Weight Loss
by Sara Calabro, LAc

 

 


Editor's Note from Kirsten Van Nostran: This article outlines the different ways acupuncture can address weight loss.

Last week was a big one for weight-loss news. On Monday, Weight Watchers announced a revamp of its famous Points system, which now accounts for quality of foods rather than just caloric value. And on Friday, an FDA advisory committee voted to expand the indication for Allergan’s Lap-Band so that people with Body Mass Indices between 30 and 35 can be eligible for the device.

From diets and support groups to surgically implanted devices, weight-loss solutions abound—and yet consistently leave something to be desired. For every Weight Watchers success story there’s a case of backfire, in which Points counting becomes so tedious and joyless that it only increases cravings for off-the-charts foods. Similarly, the same Lap-Band that improves portion control in one person may be nothing but an ineffective and unnecessary surgical procedure for another.

Different weight-loss methods produce unpredictable outcomes because we all gain weight, and struggle to lose it, for different reasons. Acupuncture by nature is multi-pronged in its approach—it simultaneously addresses physiological and emotional imbalances—making it an especially suitable therapy for complex conditions that are difficult to isolate.

And so, The $64,000 Question: Can acupuncture really help with weight loss?

Ear points—usually some combination involving Shen Men, Sympathetic, Endocrine, Hunger and Stomach—are the best-known acupuncture approach to weight loss. The ear in acupuncture is a microcosm of the whole body, so ear points can be effective at treating conditions that involve multiple systems. The above-mentioned points, for example, address common issues in patients who are struggling to lose weight: Shen Men and Sympathetic reduce anxiety and calm the nervous system; Endocrine addresses potential hormone imbalances and affects metabolism; the Hunger point curbs food cravings; and the Stomach point targets one of the primary organs involved in digestion.

The story of acupuncture and weight loss, however, does not end at the ear.

Going back to last week’s announcements: It’s not surprising that Lap-Band surgery doesn’t work for everyone. You can reduce someone’s stomach capacity to the size of an acorn but that does nothing to affect his desire to eat. In the same way, Weight Watchers’ Points system and support groups go a long way in addressing the emotional aspect of weight loss. But if a hormone imbalance is affecting appetite and metabolism, or a digestive disturbance is making it difficult to excrete waste, weight is unlikely to come off.

Acupuncture differs in that it considers the whole picture. However, not everyone’s picture looks the same, which is why ear weight-loss protocols don’t always work. There is usually an anxiety-related component to overeating, and often an addictive quality to that behavior. Depression leading to lethargy and lack of motivation to exercise may be involved as well. But why is the anxiety happening? Where is the depression or the hormone imbalance coming from? Although effective a large percentage of the time, ear points for weight loss are not always enough to get at the root of the problem. Fortunately, acupuncturists have additional tools at their disposal.

One example of a non-ear approach to weight loss is found in Applied Channel Theory in Chinese Medicine, a fascinating and highly readable book by Wang Ju-Yi and Jason Robertson. The authors discuss body weight in relation to the Shao Yang system, which encompasses the Triple Burner and Gallbladder organs and channels. They say, “Shao yang pathology revolves around the concept that, when regulation is compromised, heat and qi become clumped in the interior.” This “clumping” can manifest as excess weight.

Detailed discussion of the Triple Burner is beyond the scope of this post. But as it relates to the topic of weight loss, the Triple Burner traditionally refers to three parts of the abdomen that regulate the environment surrounding the organs. (Those interested in a thorough description of the Triple Burner should read Wang and Robertson’s book.) With that in mind, the Applied Channel authors make the following clinical observation:

“The fact that the greater omentum (a part of the peritoneal lining that surrounds the organs) actually drapes over the lower abdomen and often has large deposits of fatty tissue provides insight into why the shao yang channel is important in the treatment of obesity.”

The Triple Burner’s role as a regulator and transformer means it also is important for metabolism, affecting the process of how waste is removed from the cells. Similarly, its paired organ and channel, the Gallbladder, affects the removal of waste through digestion. It “makes decisions” about what the body holds onto and what it excretes. Applied Channel discusses this in relation to Liver Qi Stagnation, an extremely common pattern seen in acupuncture clinics:

“Many cases of liver qi stasis are actually related to a kind of yang deficiency. In these more deficient cases, there is often a corresponding gallbladder qi deficiency….The net result is a compromise of the decision-making function of the gallbladder in the digestive system….[causing] inefficient digestion. This may involve…over-absorption of foods, leading to ever-increasing weight gain.”

This Shao Yang pathology is just one of many that can cause weight retention. But it exemplifies how acupuncture—in contrast to many more popular weight-loss options, for which outcomes are often temporary or altogether unsuccessful—addresses the underlying reasons for why someone may be having trouble losing weight.

Acupuncture can help with weight loss, but accurate diagnosis is critical, particularly in complicated cases for which ear protocols prove inadequate.

UPDATE: On December 7, 2010, an FDA advisory panel recommended approval of Contrave, a diet pill that The New York Times says has “only modest effectiveness in helping people lose weight [and] caused a slight increase in blood pressure and pulse rate.” And the list grows longer of reasons to try acupuncture for weight loss…

UPDATE 2: On February 1, 2011, FDA declined to approve Contrave.

 

 

Please "Add a Comment" at the bottom of this page or blog in our Forum here
Please do not use apostrophes in your comments.
 
 


About the Author


Sara Calabro, LAc, is a former healthcare business journalist and the founding editor of acutakehealth.com/AkuTake, an online publication created to improve acupuncture education and access. Board-certified and licensed in New York and Oregon, Sara currently practices and runs AcuTake from Eugene, Oregon. Follow her on twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a Comment   
    Recent Comments
04-01-2017 07:49:40

Nike Air Sneakers

Nike Shox discount Sale

uggs outlet

Official Toms Shoes Outlet

Yeezy Black

Moncler Jackets Discount Marketplace

cheap uggs for women

nike mercurial soccer cleats

Air Max 90

Canada goose dam

Nike Online Store

Adidas Neo Discount Sale

Adidas Superstar Sale Online

TOMS OUTLET

Michael Kors

Ray-Ban Official Discounted Site

Ugg boots Sale

official NHL jerseys

Ray ban sale online

Air max levně

toms sale

converse store

Pandora Store

Air Max Femme

Ugg Outlet Online Store

Adidas Originals Superstar

Toms Outlet Online

Vans Black Sneakers

Adidas Shoes Discount Marketplace

ugg factory outlet

Stone Island Outlet

new pandora charms

Pandora Official Website

Cheap Toms Shoes Outlet

Air Max Kopen

moncler jacket sale

Ugg Pas Cher Femme

Nike Air Women

Ugg Pas Cher En France

Michael Kors Handbags Discount

Coach Bags On Sale

goedkope nike air max

cheap uggs

Nike Air Max Cheap

Canada Goose Outlet

billige nike sko

cheap nike air max

coach factory outlet online

religion store

Nike Air Damen

Nike Air Huarache For Sale

reebok running shoes

pandora outlet store

Nike Air 90

Doudoune Moncler Femme Pas Cher

toms shoes outlet

pandora beads

Descuentos Nike

Nike Air Jordan 11

hogan scontate

Boutique Ugg

UGG BOOTS FOR WOMEN

Nike Roshe Run Sale

Boty Nike Air

Nike Pas Cher Femme

Air Max Pas Cher

Soccer Boots Outlet nike

canada goose jacket outlet

scarpe nike

Cheap Toms Outlet Store

Toms Factory Outlet

TOMS For Sale

Air max dam

ADIDAS NMD SALE ON LINE

Pandora Store

Nike Zapatos

Michael Kors Outlet

newest lebron shoes

Kobe Shoes Nike

nike air jordan pas cher

Air Max Sneakers

pandora jewelry store

Nike Shoes Sale Store

nike sportschuhe

Nike Factory Store

Nike Soccer Cleats Boots

adidas store

nike air

Nike Air Pas Cher

23 IS BACK Store

nfl store

canada goose jackets on sale

nike schuhe günstig

Nike Shoes Discount Marketplace

Doudoune Moncler Pas Cher

Yeezy Boost Sale Online

zapatillas running

fitflops sale uk

prada outlet

ugg store

Jordan Sneakers For Sale

scarpe hogan outlet

Nike Shox Cheap

Air Jordan Retro Sale

Air Nike

Hugo Boss Sale

huarache sneakers

Moncler Outlet Store

zapatilla adidas

Discount TOMS

Bottes Ugg Femme Pas Cher

abercrombie and fitch store

Uggs Pas Cher Soldes

longchamp bags on sale

chaussure Nike homme

Pandora Store Sale

Negozi Pandora

botas de futbol

new jordan releases

adidas outlet

suivre un envoi

nike tn pas cher

Oakley Sunglasses Cheap

nike jordan shoes

retro jordans for cheap

Chaussure Nike Air Max Pas Cher

moncler outlet

Discount Air Max

chaussures nike pas cher

Nike Store

Canada Goose Womens Coats

chaussure basket homme

ugg clearance

nike sneakers

Scarpe Air Max

Adidas Originals Stan Smith

Timberland Outlet

günstige nike schuhe

zapatillas nike baratas

TOMS SHOES OUTLET

Jordan Shoes Air

uggs for women

Moncler Outlet Online

nike air max running shoes

new yeezy shoes

Uggs For Cheap

Hogan Outlet

Doudoune Moncler Site Officiel

christian louboutin outlet

Boost Yeezy Sale On Line

Cheap Michael Kors Tote Bag

vans shoe store

Original Ugg Boots

nike shoes

Yeezy Shoes Discount Marketplace

air force one pas cher

Cheap Michael Kors

Yeezy Men

Adidas Superstar

The official UGG

Nike Air Max Goedkoop

Jordan Store

nike joggesko

womens nike air max

Canada Goose Outlet

louboutin heels

Moncler Sale

nike sb stefan janoski

Jordan Schoenen

Ray Ban Sunglasses Online

zapatos de futbol nike

ypMs 2017.4.1
By :ypMs

[1]

Tags

Spiritual & Healing Practices | Healthy Lifestyles | Community | Arts | Find Practitioners & Orgs | Forums
Our Store | Aldea Verde de Costa Rica | Submissions | Editors | Terms and Conditions | About Us / Contact Us

 

Disclaimer. Each category is under the supervision of dedicated editors who are passionate about their topic and believe that raising people's awareness is one way to make a difference in the world. You may or may not agree with all that is presented. Since respectful discourse is an excellent way to learn and grow, we welcome comments on articles and your participation on the Forums.

  © 2010-2017 Inspiring Change, LLC     REGISTER      LOGIN Web by MacDaddi | Developed by AWE