Can acupuncture help me lose weight?

Dr. Andrea Pennington, MD
Integrative Medicine
A study in the journal Medical Acupuncture suggests that the practice of ear acupuncture may help those trying to shed pounds. The study states that ear acupuncture (auriculotherapy), in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise, can be effective in treating obesity. The randomized control trial found that acupuncture helped diminish cravings, curb appetite and ease anxiety. The ear is considered a microsystem of the body. Every part of the body including internal organs, the brain, bones, etc., is said to be represented on the ear. It is suggested that we can contact the “energy” of the body and target specific organs by placing tiny needles in certain points of the ear that correspond to the mouth, small intestine and stomach, all of which are critical for eating, digestion and absorption. Acupuncture was applied to the endocrine point, which helps the body metabolize food, and to a point called Shen Men (translated as “Spirit Gate”) to help ease anxiety related to dieting.

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