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
01-06-2018 02:42:49

My spouse and i felt peaceful that ray bans Edward managed to atl jerseys complete under armour outlet his reports memphis grizzlies jerseys from thomas sabo the barbour outlet store ideas cheap barbour jackets he grabbed orlando magic jerseys in coach factory your web site. It tory burch is the north face now and ralph lauren outlet online again cheap jordans perplexing chi flat iron just lacoste outlet to always be michael kors handbags giving nba jersey for nike soccer shoes free christian louboutin outlet solutions mont blanc pens which flat iron often converse sneakers men and women might nfl bengals jerseys have puma online shop been making new york knicks jersey money hornets jersey from. And burberry outlet now we recognize nfl ravens jerseys we ray ban uk now nfl saints jerseys have the nike mercurial blog washington wizards jerseys owner nfl jerseys to be c.c beanies outlet grateful to burberry handbags for that. Those explanations michael kors bags you nike have christian louboutin made, bulls jersey the straightforward blog christian louboutin navigation, swarovski canada the ralph lauren uk friendships ray-ban sunglasses you help to instill jimmy choo - nike shoes it is salvatore ferragamo mostly cle Jerseys awesome, and it is oakley store helping hugo boss our michael kors son michael kors handbags in addition thomas sabo outlet to birkenstock taschen deutschland the skechers shoes outlet family milwaukee bucks jerseys reckon jimmy choo outlet that that topic is oakley standard issue interesting, which is nike outlet extremely essential. fendi shoes Thanks for everything!My bcbg max spouse michael kors outlet and fidget spinner i felt michael kors bags peaceful that beats headphones Edward managed nike running shoes to longchamp outlet complete coach black friday his prada sunglasses reports burberry outlet online from nike uk the iphone 4s cases ideas bottega he oakley sunglasses cheap grabbed pandora bracelet in nfl steelers jerseys your longchamp handbags web nfl bills jerseys site. It is now coach shop factory and again philipp plein clothes perplexing just new balance shoes to giuseppe zanotti sneakers always nfl titans jerseys be nfl jerseys giving for nfl patriots jerseys free rolex watches solutions nfl jaguars jerseys which often men air max and coach factory outlet women michael kors bags might miami heat jersey have designer handbags been making north face money nuggets jersey from. And mizuno wave now omega watches we recognize we now have the michael kors outlet online sale blog asics owner to new balance be ferragamo grateful to oakley for that. Those nfl dolphins jerseys explanations you utah jazz jerseys have hermes tracksuits made, thunder jerseys the burberry handbags straightforward blog navigation, the friendships you help oakley to hollister co instill - polo ralph lauren outlet it is nike id mostly oakley sunglasses cheap awesome, michael kors and hogan shoes it is ed hardy helping our mcm backpack outlet son ferragamo shoes outlet in addition to the hermes birkin family nike reckon pandora charms that coach outlet store that topic nhl jerseys is interesting, burberry handbags which is extremely prada essential. Thanks oakley holbrook for nfl 49ers jerseys everything!My timberland outlet spouse phoenix suns jerseys and kate spade bags i felt beats by dr dre peaceful pandora charms that Edward managed to mcm backpack complete his jordan retro 11 reports northface from the ideas huaraches he grabbed in ray-ban sunglasses your web site. nba jersey It is now and salomon again polo outlet online perplexing just swarovski crystal to always be oakley sunglasses giving mavericks jerseys for barbour free solutions which true religion outlet often reebok outlet men nfl packers jerseys and women marc jacobs handbags might have free running been making money jordan retro from. And air max now oakley we recognize giuseppe zanotti we nhl jerseys now cheap eyeglasses have the nfl redskins jerseys blog pandora jewellery australia owner to be grateful to for omega watches that. nfl raiders jerseys Those explanations detroit pistons jersey you have made, nike air max the moncler jackets outlet straightforward tommy hilfiger outlet stores blog juicy couture handbags navigation, givenchy the nfl falcons jerseys friendships new balance store you help adidas zx to instill michael kors - it is mostly hogan sito ufficiale awesome, and eyeglasses frames it toronto raptors jerseys is helping thomas sabo our prada shoes son roshe in addition to nike free the family moncler outlet reckon that golden state warriors that ferragamo shoes topic vans is lakers jersey interesting, asics gel which nfl eagles jerseys is michael kors outlet online extremely nike shoes essential. omega Thanks for dansko shoes outlet everything!My jordans spouse and i felt peaceful converse outlet that Edward easton bats managed nfl jets jerseys to spurs jerseys complete converse his reports coach factory outlet from the burberry outlet ideas he grabbed nfl texans jerseys in new orleans pelicans jerseys your ralph lauren uk web site. It moncler outlet is nfl buccaneers jerseys now mcm bags and true religion jeans outlet again perplexing just celine outlet to nfl rams jerseys always be giving woolrich clearance for polo ralph free nfl panthers jerseys solutions nfl chargers jerseys which celtics jerseys often nfl colts jerseys men and barbour jackets outlet women birkenstock deutschland might adidas online shop have long champ been supra shoes making money from. ray ban And coach factory online now nfl browns jerseys we rolex watches recognize baseball jerseys we now ray ban have the blog owner nike to oakley sunglasses be coach factory outlet online grateful nfl chiefs jerseys to coach bags outlet for michael kors outlet online that. ralph lauren outlet Those red bottom shoes explanations you ray ban pas cher have fred perry polos made, louboutin shoes the rockets jerseys straightforward polo ralph lauren blog nike store navigation, the friendships levis outlet you ralph lauren help to instill michael kors outlet online sale - it is mostly air max pas cher awesome, air max 95 and rolex replica it adidas is hollister clothing helping valentino shoes our mcm bags son polo ralph lauren outlet online in tommy hilfiger outlet addition to adidas clothings the burberry family pandora reckon that air yeezy that topic ray ban sunglasses is polo ralph lauren interesting, which is extremely essential. minnesota timberwolves jerseys Thanks long champ for everything!My basketball shoes spouse and i felt skechers mens shoes peaceful that Edward managed fred perry to complete his nike roche reports air max 2007 from nfl bears jerseys the juicy couture clothings ideas he burberry outlet online grabbed clippers jerseys in your nfl seahawks jerseys web doudoune north face site. kate spade handbags It is lebron james shoes now true religion jeans outlet and adidas.nl again louboutin shoes perplexing polo ralph lauren outlet just cheap true religion to always north face jackets be nfl lions jerseys giving for air force free hogan solutions montblanc which often soccer shoes outlet men ray ban wayfarer and 76ers jerseys women prada outlet might have been nike factory outlet making huarache money armani watches from. hollister co And veneta now we recognize we now huarache have burberry sale the marc jacobs handbags blog polo ralph owner to be vans shoes grateful nfl azcardinals jerseys to burberry handbags for burberry outlet online that. Those explanations nba jerseys you have made, tommy hilfiger canada the true religion straightforward blog nike free navigation, michael kors purses the friendships oakley outlet online you michael kors help to instill ralph lauren - coach outlet it cheap oakley is mostly awesome, air max 90 and nike free trainer 5.0 it nike roshe run is omega watches helping our son nike roshe run in pumas addition tory burch sale to the dsquared2 sale family adidas reckon that hollister that michael kors purses topic dre headphones is north face interesting, versace clothes which is cheap ray ban extremely tommy hilfiger essential. adidas online shop Thanks for horloges everything!My nike air spouse supra shoes outlet and timberland pas cher i michael kors handbags felt tommy hilfiger online peaceful new balance that Edward jerseys from china managed to north face backpacks complete his reports chrome hearts clothings from the ideas coach factory outlet online he louboutin shoes grabbed mens hoodies in barbour mens jackets your web air max shoes site. swarovski jewelry It coach outlet online is tommy hilfiger online shop now and again converse perplexing air jordan shoes just birkenstock to rolex watch always be giving ralph lauren outlet for free solutions new balance which often ray ban prezzi men coach bags friday and ray ban women wholesale handbags might nike roshe run have purses and handbags been making money brooklyn nets from. air jordan retro And now kate spade handbags we babyliss flat iron recognize we now michael kors outlet online have cheap oakley sunglasses the ralph lauren polo blog owner to nfl giants jerseys be vibram five fingers grateful nba jersey to for that. Those explanations swarovski crystal you mcm handbags have made, air max thea the hollister kids straightforward hilfiger outlet blog tn requin pas cher navigation, the michael kors outlet friendships coach outlet you help nike jordan to instill pandora jewelry - it cheap oakley sunglasses is mostly michael kors outlet online sale awesome, beats by dre headphones and michael kors uhren it longchamp is nike outlet helping uhren shop our son hollister clothing store in addition michael kors outlet store to burberry outlet online the mlb jerseys family nike air max reckon that polo ralph lauren that topic versace is air jordan interesting, timberland boots which is kate spade outlet extremely nfl vikings jerseys essential. Thanks longchamp for everything!My spouse and rayban i ralph lauren factory store felt peaceful coach factory outlet that nike air max Edward ferragamo managed mbt shoes to instyler complete replica watches his north face canada reports from ray ban outlet the ideas fitflop shoes he grabbed indiana pacers jerseys in mizuno your burberry outlet online web site. the north face outlet It is swarovski now ralph lauren outlet online and again michael kors perplexing just soccer jerseys to montre femme always oakley pas cher be ray ban outlet giving for reebok free solutions which sacramento kings jerseys often adidas shoes men dsquared2 shoes and oakley outlet women might have been easton bats making money ecco mens shoes from. louboutin And shoes outlet now we boutique clothing recognize coach factory outlet online we now hermes birkin bag have the oakley sunglasses outlet blog nfl broncos jerseys owner swarovski online shop to michael kors outlet be calvin klein outlet grateful nike air max 90 to plein shoes for hollister online shop that. nike factory Those explanations longchamp you have made, the straightforward oakley vault blog navigation, the skechers canada friendships cheap coach purses you help oakley to wholesale handbags instill - ray ban pas cher it is portland trail blazers jerseys mostly air max awesome, nfl cowboys jerseys and ray ban sunglasses outlet it burberry is ralph lauren helping michaelkors.com our vans son air max in nike roshe run addition bcbg max azria to stone island jackets the coach outlet usa family cheap ray ban reckon hermes belt that that topic is north face outlet interesting, mlb jerseys which iphone 5s cases is michael kors extremely timberland shoes essential. true religion jeans women Thanks for prada handbags everything!

By :wqwq

[1]

Tags

Spiritual & Healing Practices | Healthy Lifestyles | Community | Arts | Find Practitioners & Orgs | Forums
Online Learning Center | Costa Rica Retreat Center | 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.

  © 2008-2018 ATH     REGISTER      LOGIN Design by MacDaddi | Developed by AWE