Acupuncture, along with key dietary changes, examining nutrient status, and level of exercise are also things that will work synergistically together to spark weight loss.
Acupuncture and Metabolism
Many people come in my office saying “I want to lose weight, can acupuncture help boost my metabolism?”
The answer is often, Yes! But acupuncture, along with key dietary changes, examining nutrient status, and level of exercise are also things that will work synergistically together to spark weight loss.
Metabolism is defined as the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. That’s not something that most people consciously think about. It just happens and we automatically assume it will happen, regardless of what we do on a daily basis. But this isn’t always the case. Some people are born with genetic defects that can mess with their metabolism. Others develop metabolic disorders over time from not taking proper care of themselves. Metabolic disorders can also be trauma induced.
As with most health issues, conventional medicine typically treats metabolic issues with pharmaceuticals. For some this works very well. But there are always side effects with pharmaceuticals and the body can also develop a resistance to them over time. So when it comes to metabolic disorders, a natural approach is usually a better long term choice. This is where acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine can be very beneficial.
What does the research say about acupuncture and metabolism?
A study published by The National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health looked at the effects of acupuncture on the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. The study followed 76 metabolic syndrome patients over a period of time and divided them into two groups. The first group received only conventional medical treatments/pharmaceuticals, while the second group received conventional medical treatments plus regular acupuncture treatments. The body mass index (BMI), blood lipid, blood glucose and comprehensive therapeutic effects were compared before and after treatment in both groups. The results revealed the group that received acupuncture plus conventional medical treatments had superior improvement over the group that only received conventional medical treatments. The subjects showed improvement in BMI, triglyceride, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting insulin and insulin resistance index. This study provides strong evidence that acupuncture can greatly improve the health of patients suffering from metabolic disorders, when coupled with conventional medical treatments.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), all disease occurs in the body due to either a lack, excess or blockage of energy. TCM treats these energy imbalances using a host of modalities, but acupuncture is the most commonly known and used. Most metabolic diseases are a result of an imbalance of hormones such as insulin, glucose and thyroid hormones. These three components are key to keeping the body functioning properly and can easily be thrown off. Too much stress, poor dietary habits and lack of exercise are all reasons why the body’s metabolism may not be functioning correctly.
Acupuncture has been shown to balance hormones when accompanied by lifestyle modifications. Acupuncture helps control food cravings, boosts metabolism, improves digestion and helps the liver function optimally. The liver produces chemicals that help break down fat, while filtering out toxins that can slow our body’s ability to digest and regulate. Excess stress can lead to a slower metabolism, an increase in body fat and poor sleep. Regular acupuncture treatments can help reduce stress, improve sleep, reduce pain, and curb inflammation.
Other beneficial treatments to help enhance the acupuncture treatment and weight loss is vitamin B12 injections. Vitamin B12 is often low in people who do not consume adequate animal protein, those with malabsorptive disorders like Celiac/Crohn’s/leaky gut or those on PPI’s for the treatment of heartburn. Vitamin B12 (and other B vitamins) play key roles in the energy production in your cells. With 50% of Americans being B12 deficiency or having sub-optimal levels, it can have a huge impact on energy levels and the bodies ability to metabolize. Vitamin B12 can help to improve mood and energy, regulate sleep, helps cardiovascular system, and boosts the immune system. Adding B12 injections to acupuncture treatments may help give your body the fuel it needs to help spark weight loss.
If you’re feeling tired or sluggish, put on some weight, or are dealing with stress and depression, acupuncture and naturopathic medicine can definitely help. Give Dr. Heintze a call today (425) 686-4498 to schedule an appointment.
Engel, M. e. (2018). Micronutrient Gaps in Three Commercial Weight-Loss Diet Plans. Nutrients , 10 (1), 108.
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