Acupuncture For Weight Loss
Shift your cravings
Acupuncture is a powerful, effective tool for losing weight and keeping it off. The key is that it helps you to shift your relationship with food, as opposed to pointing you towards a fad diet that is hard to maintain for the long term. Through acupuncture your cravings can shift, and your body actually starts to direct you towards health and wellness.
Weight Loss in Five Element Acupuncture
Acupuncture helps you to lose weight by helping you to become more aware of your body, be satisfied faster, and have healthier cravings. The specific mechanisms at work involve shifts in the functional system called “Spleen/Stomach” in Chinese medicine theory, healing imbalances in this system and bringing about an easier flow of qi through your whole system. This the job of the needles. But acupuncture is more than just allowing needles to shift your systems towards balance and health. For optimal benefits, this treatment also must involve a partnership between you and your practitioner in which you both agree to take the steps necessary to achieve your goals.
Simple lifestyle shifts
Don't eat distracted
Your first bit of homework to successfully lose weight with acupuncture is this: don’t eat distracted. That means no eating in front of the tv or the computer (or your smartphone), and no reading a book or newspaper while eating. Eating with other people is fine of course, but having some practice eating solo can be an excellent focusing tool. Being focused on your food will help you to notice more quickly when you’re satisfied (as opposed to full), and stop eating at this time. Acupuncture will help your body to become more aware of the distinction between satisfied and full, but it’s up to you to be clear and present when eating so that you notice your body’s signals.
Eating undistracted also helps you to eat more slowly, savoring the flavors in your mouth. You begin to chew more slowly and mindfully. Eating becomes a kind of delicious meditation. And being a meditation, this takes practice. Your mind will wander to past interactions, future lists of things to do, and all sorts of ideas other than what is on your plate and in your mouth. The key is not to judge yourself for switching off and going back to auto-pilot mode. As soon as you notice that you have shifted out of your present space, though, bring yourself back. Taste again. Be present to your plate. Savor your food. This helps you naturally to be present to your stomach as well, and to notice the signal that your are satisfied.
Naturally eat less
Stopping when you’re satisfied means eating less, which will naturally help you to shed pounds. Acupuncture helps clarify these signals, as well as the focus noticing these signals entails. You will find it easier to stay present, and even find a heightened capacity to savor your food. Nonetheless, if you stay on auto-pilot mode at the table you will not reap the benefits of these shifts. This why acupuncture for weight loss is a partnership between you and your practitioner. You each must play your role to get the results desired.
Tackling emotional eating
Another aspect of your job is to take note of when you’re actually hungry vs. when you eat for comfort, boredom, or other reasons other than your body asking for food. If you find yourself reaching for a snack and notice that your stomach isn’t the one asking for it, try drinking a glass of water first. This can be surprisingly satisfying, as many of us mistake thirst for hunger. Acupuncture will help these internal signals also become more clear. This too takes practice, though, and initiative on your part for the shifts to really take hold and become part of your lifestyle.
Healthier You, Healthier Cravings
Acupuncture helps you lose weight by shifting your body towards healthier cravings. When your Spleen/Stomach is healthy and balanced, you naturally crave what your body needs rather than what you are trained to crave through force of habit and advertising. This, too, will take some meditative effort, and a bit of rewiring of your habits on your part. A great practice is this: when you’re out at a restaurant looking at the menu, ask yourself how you would feel after eating each of the options as opposed to asking yourself how your mouth would enjoy each in the process of eating it. This shift can really make a big difference in your food choices, and allow you to begin to listen to the way your body’s cravings are changing. Again, acupuncture will help shift your cravings, but it’s up to you to jog yourself out of your normal routine and begin to listen to your body.
All of these simple shifts are keys to healthy weight loss, shedding pounds and keeping them off for the long term. These steps are not effortless, but with practice and a mindset of allowing yourself to be a beginner, they are definitely do-able. And the acupuncture helps! Acupuncture is a wonderful way to lose weight and develop greater health and well-being. Remember, though, acupuncture is not something that is done to you; it is the partnership between practitioner and patient that is your invaluable tool for reaching your goals.
Curious about acupuncture? You can learn more by taking a look at About Acupuncture or How Acupuncture Works. You can also read about Our Philosophy, Eastern Medicine, or Five Element Theory. To learn more about Wisdom Traditions Acupuncture, read About Us. If you have any additional questions, feel free to Contact Us. Or Schedule an Appointment Online.
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Marni Adhikari, M.Ac, L.Ac, Dipl.Ac, is the founder and acupuncturist at Wisdom Traditions Acupuncture of Essex Junction, VT