Access ChARM Patient Portal Account

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.

Acupuncture for Weight Loss?

by in Acupuncture
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 1558
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

b2ap3_thumbnail_20130805165357_weightLoss1.pngMany people are familiar with the use of acupuncture for pain relief, alleviation of nausea, or its use in conjunction with IVF. Not as well known is that acupuncture is an excellent complement to a healthy weight loss program. It is by no means a quick fix, but, it can be an important piece of the puzzle for people struggling with weight issues.

Acupuncture is a major part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). TCM views excess weight as a symptom of a deeper underlying imbalance in the body. This imbalance can have a physical or psycho-emotional basis (or both). Until the underlying health issue is resolved, lasting weight loss is difficult, even with the most restrictive of diets.

TCM considers stress to be one of the most common causes of excess weight (or in underweight individuals, the inability to gain weight). Acupuncture can help to relieve stress and address other deeply rooted issues contributing to weight problems, allowing the body to naturally and easily shed unwanted pounds.


  • Reduce appetite1 2
  • Reduce food cravings3
  • Modulate gut bacteria4
  • Modulate hormones (specifically hormones that play important roles in metabolism, appetite regulation, and fat accumulation)5
  • Modulate neurotransmitters that promote a feeling of well-being, and reduce the effects of stress on the body.6
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Enhance motivation


  • Improving sleep quality
  • Raising immunity
  • Increasing energy
  • Relieving pain that restricts a more active lifestyle.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Ac.jpgFor maximum benefit, I recommend starting with a series of six sessions. Although people frequently notice some changes after one treatment, the effects of acupuncture are cumulative and the response is much stronger if treatments are done regularly for a period of time. Acupuncture is not a magic bullet. For significant weight loss it must be combined with healthy diet and lifestyle changes. But with little to no negative side effects, and so much benefit, why not give it a try?

1Yao H1, Chen JX, Zhang ZQ et al. Effect of acupuncture therapy on appetite of obesity patients. 2012 Dec;37(6):497-501 Available from

2Aust Fam Physician, Richards D, Marley J. Stimulation of auricular acupuncture points in weight loss. 1998 Jul;27 Suppl 2:S73-7 Available from

3Kang OS, Kim SY, Jahng GH, et al. Neural substrates of acupuncture in the modulation of cravings induced by smoking-related visual cues: an fMRI study. Epub 2013 Feb 28. Available from

4Xu Z, Li R, Zhu C, Li M. Effect of acupuncture treatment for weight loss on gut flora in patients with simple obesity. Epub 2012 Sep 8. Available from

5Güçel F1, Bahar B, Demirtas C. Influence of acupuncture on leptin, ghrelin, insulin and cholecystokinin in obese women: a randomised, sham-controlled preliminary trial. Epub 2012 Jun 22. Available from

6Sheng-Xing M. Neurobiology of Acupuncture: Toward CAM. 2004 Jun; 1(1): 41–47 Available at articles/PMC442119/

b2ap3_thumbnail_katiewinslow_thumbnail.jpgRegardless of your health history and physical background, almost anyone is a candidate for acupuncture. If you have an ailment, acupuncture can help relieve it. If you feel well, acupuncture can help you maintain wellness, boost immunity, and manage stress. At Integrative Medicine, practitioners provide acupuncture in collaboration with Dr. Nielsen’s recommendations. Patients very often see greater improvement in their condition when treated by both an MD and an acupuncturist. If you are interested in a consultation or appointment, contact our office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 231-638-5585.