I recently attended an integrative medicine conference. For those of you who don’t know what integrative medicine is, it’s “integrating” traditional medicine with alternative medicine practices to get the best of both worlds as treatment for your patients.
At the conference, I met many interesting healthcare professionals. One of them was a naturopathic doctor from California who specialized in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In his practice, he used a combination of herbs that have been used by Chinese doctors for centuries in the treatment of various health problems.
But, this doctor also was a licensed acupuncturist and made use of the ancient Chinese medical treatment of acupuncture in a unique way. They actually use it to help their patients lose weight – particularly dangerous abdominal fat. And they had real research results to back up the claims of success. I was so intrigued by the research results that I just had to tell you about it…
Weight Loss Acupuncture: Your Ears Can Help You Lose Your Belly
If you’re over 50, you likely know all too well how losing weight – particularly that stubborn belly fat – can be frustratingly difficult. You watch your diet, you exercise several times a week and you may only have minimal success. You dream of those flat, washboard abs you had before you hit menopause or “manopause” and wonder if you can ever recapture them without cosmetic surgery.
If you’re like most people over 50, you’ve probably given up on that dream and chalked your belly up to just getting older. Yet, it doesn’t have to be that way. I think you’ll be as excited as I am about this surprising way to reclaim your beautiful belly.
Ear acupuncture can actually help you lose that “Boomer belly”. Like the licensed acupuncturist I met at the healthcare conference, more and more acupuncturists are offering this treatment to their patients and are reaping incredible results. And that’s not just not hearsay or some doctors bragging at a conference.
Recent research cited in BMJ – The British Medical Journal – revealed results that showed how much ear acupuncture can help. It can reduce your waist circumference as well as your number measurements of belly fat. But before I tell you about the results of their study, I’d like to tell you a little more about ear – or “auricular” – acupuncture and how it works to help you lose weight.
Ear acupuncture is based on the principle that the outer rim of your ear has several “meridians” that correspond to different organs in your body. Although the Chinese have known this for centuries, ear acupuncture was first used in European medicine in 1956 by a French doctor, Dr. Paul Nogier.
Interestingly, Dr. Nogier noticed that a patient’s backache was relieved when she burned the rim of her ear. Since then, stimulating certain points around the outer rim of the ear have been successful in treating drug and alcohol addictions, smoking cessation and weight loss.
In the current Acupuncture in Medicine study cited in the BMJ, several Korean acupuncturists studied a group of 91 people with BMI’s (body mass indices) of at least 23 or over – clinically overweight. Their waist circumference, weight, BMI and blood pressure were measured at the beginning and end of the 8 week study.
Via acupuncture, the doctors accessed 5 points on one outer ear of 31 people. These points corresponded to liver, spleen, stomach, endocrine gland, and hunger. Another 30 people had only 1 point (hunger) accessed on their ears. The needles were kept in place for a week with tape and then the procedure repeated on the other ear. Another group of 30 people served as control patients and received “sham” treatments.
The participants were asked to follow a mildly restrictive diet but not to do any extra exercise during the study period. Some participants (24) dropped out but those who completed the study had significant results. The group receiving 5-point acupuncture stimulation had a 6.1% reduction in their belly fat, BMI, waist circumference. Blood pressure, though, showed no reduction.
Those who received the 1-point stimulation still had an impressive 5.7% reduction. The weight of both these groups had also reduced significantly as well. Those that were left in the “sham” treatment group had no BMI, waist, and belly fat reduction results at all.
The researchers concluded that both the 5 and 1 point acupuncture treatments could significantly help reduce weight. But, the 5-point acupuncture system was the most successful in reducing abdominal fat.
So how can you take advantage of these amazing research results? Find an experienced, licensed acupuncturist in your area. Here’s how…
Finding An Acupuncturist
Here are some things you’ll want to take into consideration when seeking out the weight loss services of an acupuncturist.
1. Be Sure They’re Licensed. Most states require that acupuncturists become licensed before they can practice acupuncture on clients. The letters “L.A.c” after an acupuncturists name is what you want to see. Keep in mind that some medical and/or chiropractic doctors take training in acupuncture but may not be licensed in that practice. My advice is to stick to licensed acupuncturists only. Look up your state’s NCCAOM website (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) to find a certified, licensed acupuncturist near you.
2. Stay The Course. To achieve the most success in weight loss/abdominal fat loss, you must complete the total course of treatments recommended by your acupuncturists. Generally, an 8-10 week commitment is what’s needed to get the best results.
3. Make Some Changes. Along with your acupuncture weight loss program, be willing to make beneficial diet and exercise changes to get the most out of your program.
4. Fees. Fees can vary state to state, city to city, but most acupuncturists offer package programs for weight loss, etc. You may also need to come back periodically for a boost. The details of how long your program will be, the cost, etc, will all be worked out at your first appointment. Many acupuncturists offer free consultations as well.
If you’ve got a few, or a bunch of pounds to lose, and would like to try to regain a more youthful abdominal area again, research shows that ear acupuncture can help. In addition, adopting a more healthy diet and regular exercise program can boost the results you can get from weight loss acupuncture.
Mark Rosenberg, M.D.
Ear Acupuncture Can Help Shed Pounds, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131216204023.htm