With the New Year comes the inevitable New Year Resolution. And the big daddy of them all is usually the one regarding weight loss. It can come in lots of varieties such as the broad proclamation of “I’m going to eat better this year” or be as specific as “I WILL lose 25 pounds by June 17th, 2012”. If you’re really taking your resolutions seriously then you might be looking into resources to help you out and at this time of year there are plenty of products and people promising how they can help you reach your weight loss goals.
In fact, during January we get more inquiries than ever asking how Acupuncture can help with weight loss. Here’s what I tell my patients… YES! Acupuncture can help with weight loss but there is no magic point on your body that we can poke with a needle and you will begin to shrivel like a balloon. You must still do the work yourself! You must commit to eating more fruits and vegetables, less sugar and drink more water. You must plan physical activity into your week… something simple likes 20 minute walks at lunch or maybe you want to get a little more GI Jane with it and look into things like boxing or boot camps. Just do something! Our bodies were made to MOVE!!! Ok, enough with the nagging, here’s what you came for… how Acupuncture can help you lose weight:
- Acupuncture has a proven effect on the hormonal systems in the body. This is useful for people, especially women, who are gaining weight as their hormones are changing (think estrogen, progesterone and thyroid). As we keep these systems as balanced as they can be that will have a positive effect on your ability to lose or maintain weight.
- Is chronic pain keeping you from being active? Well good news…Acupuncture is phenomenal at treating pain! If you have injuries like back pain, achy knees or foot issues then try Acupuncture and I’d bet that within a few treatments you’ll have one less excuse that’s keeping you on the couch.
- Acupuncture can be very beneficial at regulating the appetite. It’s easy to blame a lack of will power for your bottomless stomach but we actually look at something like an excessive appetite as a true symptom of something that can be corrected.
- Emotional eating (and this is the BIG one!). As a society, we eat when we’re happy and we definitely eat when we’re sad and our body usually tells us to eat when we’re stressed too. All that eating will only lead to one thing… weight gain. And what do we want to eat during these times??? For me, it’s never salad! Unfortunately, our body knows that we are sad or stressed (or whatever we are) and it wants to help us feel better. It knows that those comfort foods like candy, baked goods or rich pastas will release just the right combination of chemicals in our brain to make us feel better but our body doesn’t understand that this isn’t a long term solution so you just stay on the same roller coaster. Acupuncture is very effective for working with brain chemistry and changing this scenario for the long term so you don’t feel the need to eat all of your emotions… and as an added bonus you FEEL BETTER IN GENERAL!
Those are four of the things that Acupuncture can do for YOU to help you reach your health goals this year. And if losing weight isn’t already enough of a reason to try Acupuncture, then just think of the other added health benefits like having more energy, sleeping more soundly and reduced stress levels.
Image by: (puks)