Acupuncture is one of the oldest healing practices in the world, and its success in treating a variety of health concerns is to credit for its continued and growing popularity today. Though the thought of having thin needles inserted through the skin may seem unnerving to some, acupuncture has an ever-growing amount of scientific research and clinical success touting its effectiveness in aiding weight loss.

There is no such thing as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ acupuncture treatment, as the true causes of weight issues are complex and involve multiple factors, ranging from poor lifestyle habits, hormone imbalance, genetic influence, addictions, depression, thyroid conditions, and more. By taking these factors into account, acupuncture works as an effective weight loss therapy when used in conjunction with lifestyle and dietary changes.

Modern science proposes that acupuncture can help with weight loss by stimulating the nervous system with the insertion of thin acupuncture needles. When stimulated, the nervous system releases hormones and neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) into the muscles, spinal cord and brain, which can stimulate the body’s own natural healing abilities and also change the experience of pain, addiction, hunger, thirst, sadness, and so on.

In practice, I have witnessed acupuncture’s effectiveness in helping reduce cravings and promote weight control, especially when combined with Auriculotherapy, a form of ‘acupressure’ using pressure points on the ear. Auriculotherapy can be done on its own, or as a complement to an acupuncture treatment, and requires small painless ear ‘seeds’ instead of needles. Ear seeds may stay affixed to the ear for 1-2 weeks, allowing the treatment to continue after leaving the clinic.

A study done in 2011 evaluating the effectiveness of acupuncture on simple obesity found that the acupuncture group in the study had significant reductions in BMI, total cholesterol, blood sugars, and hunger sensation scores as compared to the placebo-acupuncture control group.1 A study from 1993 compared a treatment group of 110 participants receiving body acupuncture points and ear seeds with a control group receiving an oral weight loss medication.2 The researchers found the acupuncture and ear seed group to have an average reduction of body weight of 5kg compared to 2kg in the control group, and body fat reduced by 3% in the acupuncture group compared to 1.4% in the control. Another study from 1998 gave Auriculotherapy and a high protein diet to 42 obese participants and found after the 12-week study period a mean weight reduction from 206lbs to 187lbs, as well as significant reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol and a reported decrease in cravings. 3 

When combined with diet and lifestyle changes, acupuncture and Auriculotherapy can be remarkably safe and effective tools in helping to reduce appetite, improve mood, reduce cravings and help overall weight loss!

For a free 15-minute consult to see if Acupuncture and Auriculotherapy may be right for you, call Healthoholics wellness clinic!

You the individual can do more for your own health than any doctor, any drug, or any exotic medical device

Joseph Califano

1 Tong, J., Chen, J., Zhang, Z., Liu, C., Pan, Y., Zheng, J., Yao, H., 2011. Clinical observation on simple obesity treated by acupuncture. Zhong. Zhen Jiu. 8, 697-701.
2 Sun, Q., Xu, Y., 1993. Simple obesity and obesity hyperlipidemia treated with otoacupoint pressure and body acupuncture. J. Trad. Chin. Med. 13, 22-26.
3 Niemtzow, RC. 1998. A high-protein regimen and auriculomedicine for the treatment of obesity: a clinical observation. Med. Acupunct. 9, 15-21.

Lauren Zintel