Weight Loss

Can Acupuncture Really Help Promote Weight Loss?

Recent studies have shown that when acupuncture is combined with traditional methods of weight loss, patients lose more weight.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile needles at specific body points or "energy pathways." The inserted needles act to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural "feel good" hormones. This can create a calming, relaxing effect, which counteracts the need for excessive eating brought about by increased stress, frustration or anxiety. In this respect, acupuncture can calm those so afflicted and help them lose weight without resorting to drugs.


Why acupuncture works for weight loss:

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the belief is that excessive weight gains are caused mainly by an imbalance in the body due to a malfunction of the spleen and liver organ systems. Skilled acupuncture practitioners will zero in on specific body areas to effect weight loss. Among these are the endocrine system and kidneys, which are addressed to treat water retention and to stimulate nerve and hormonal rebalance. The spleen and thyroid gland are also targeted to effect sugar and hormonal rebalancing. Finally, the adrenal and ovary glands are included to treat weight gain due to menopause or Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Some people notice the effects of acupuncture fairly quickly and only require treatments every week.

Another Chinese acupuncture practice for losing weight is ear stapling. This involves manipulating points on the ear to control food cravings. Auricular acupuncture has been used successfully to help cigarette smokers and heroin addicts kick their drug habits.  When properly administered by a qualified acupuncturist, this technique may help some people lose weight. One study, published in Medical Acupuncture, found that ear acupuncture combined with a 2,000 calorie a day diet and 15-minute walk helped reduce weight. The study involved 20 obese women, 22 to 42 years of age. Half of those who received weekly 15-minute sessions of ear acupuncture lost an average of 10 pounds. Those without ear acupuncture averaged only a three-pound loss. Moreover, the women who received the acupuncture treatments reported a decrease in appetite.

The effect of acupuncture on a client’s emotions also plays an important role in aiding weight loss. Acupuncture affects the neuroendocrine system by blocking harmful neurochemicals to restore the natural balance of hormones and neurotransmitter levels. The resulting release of endorphins helps to reduce stress, which in turn helps to prevent the urge to overeat.


The order of one session treatment protocol includes:

1.       Diagnosis by interview and checking tongue and pulse.

2.       Tuna (Chinese massage skill) around abdomen and related channels

3.       Body Acupuncture (may add electronic stimulation)

4.       Auricular AcupunctureEar

c)       Recommend herbal supplements as well as diet and lifestyle changes according to differential diagnosis.


A session takes about 60 minutes.

What is the course of treatment?

  • Generally, a complete course of treatment is 12 sessions. 1 sessions/week for 8 weeks, then 1 session/2 week for 4 weeks.  

  • The effects become most noticeable and lasting on or about the eighth session. Each person responds differently, depending on his or her condition, diet, exercise and lifestyle.

  • Follow-up the initial course of treatment, maintenance sessions (1 to 2 sessions a month) can solidify and prolong the effectiveness of the treatments for 5 to 10 years.