America’s obesity epidemic is downright frightening; more than a third are considered to be obese and that number is expected to grow to 42% by 2030. Americans spend over $33 billion annually in an attempt to lose weight, but 95% fail.
Unfortunately, there is no magic fix. Your best bet is to live a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, regular exercise and incorporating stress reduction techniques.
If you’re one of those people who are struggling to achieve an ideal weight and a healthy shape, but no matter how hard you try you find that you can’t eliminate that “muffin top,” or stubborn belly roll, there is another option that may help you to get rid of it once and for all.
Studies have shown that acupuncture treatments, when combined with traditional methods of weight loss, can help patients lose more weight, especially in the abdominal area.
One recent study out of China found that after 8 weeks of acupuncture treatments, patients’ body weight, BMI, waist and hip circumferences, as well as total body fat, declined significantly. Researchers determined that acupuncture intervention has a significant effect on reducing abdominal obesity.
How does it work?
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is thought that excessive weight gain is caused by an imbalance in the body due to a malfunctioning spleen and liver. Skilled practitioners are able to zero in on these areas, helping to stimulate weight loss. The endocrine system and kidneys are addressed to reduce water retention and to stimulate nerve and hormonal re-balance.
Treatments involve inserting very fine, sterile needles into specific body points, or “energy pathways.” It is not painful and can actually be quite relaxing; the needles serve to stimulate the release of endorphins, which are the body’s natural “feel good” hormones, similar to the “high” one experiences while running or taking part in other strenuous physical activity. This creates a natural calming effect which can help counteract stress, frustration and anxiety – all of which are known to contribute to weight gain.
Many Western medicine practitioners are beginning to open up to the idea of Eastern medicine’s approach to weight management after noticing real results. Patients have reported a decrease in cravings for unhealthy snacks as well as a suppressed appetite following treatments.
Scientific research has backed up these claims, showing that acupuncture promotes weight loss by boosting the metabolism and reducing appetite as well as improving insulin resistance and decreasing abdominal fat storage.
While there is no easy fix for obesity, combining proper nutrition, including avoiding processed foods and others that contain harmful toxins, maintaining an active lifestyle and utilizing stress management techniques along with integrative approaches like acupuncture can help you to achieve optimal health and a slim waistline.
-The Alternartive Daily