Acupuncture for Weight Loss

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Could acupuncture for weight loss help you get rid of those extra pounds? Research shows there may be some truth behind this ancient Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture Research

Some studies support the concept that acupuncture helps people lose extra pounds. According to the results of a study performed on overweight and obese adults over 24 years old, 95 percent of the participants lost weight over six weeks after having regular acupuncture treatments. Fifty percent of the study participants continued to lose extra pounds even after the treatments stopped (PR Newswire)

Another 12 month long Griffith University study according to the AAP News article “QLD:Acupuncture Punches Below Its Weight” found that 96 participants who were overweight or obese and had psychological acupuncture saw a significant reduction in food cravings. More importantly, Dr Peta Stapleton, a psychologist, noted that the participants in the study lost a great deal of weight and kept it off.

Hollywood Acupuncture Fans

Even a few Hollywood stars use acupuncture. According to the Women’s Day article “Get To The Point: Does Acupuncture Really Work? Is the Hollywood Trend of Turning Yourself into a Human Pin Cushion the Answer to Infertility and Weight Loss?” Gwyneth Paltrow, Elle Macpherson, Kate Moss, Jim Carrey and Sandra Bullock all use acupuncture for various reasons such as improving their health and improving physical and emotional vitality.Acupuncture for Weight Loss

How Does Acupuncture for Weight Loss Work?

Acupuncture helps the body release those happy-feel-good endorphins, and people who are overweight and obese usually have cravings from a lack of endorphins. Since cravings are usually caused by low levels of endorphins, acupuncture can work because it increases the “feel good” endorphins thereby assuaging cravings.

Acupuncture also helps relieve stress, which can cause people to overeat. Acupuncture helps neutralize cortisol (the stress hormone), and people who have a lot of stress typically have high cortisol levels. When cortisol levels are lower, the body will store fewer calories as fat.

Acupuncture also restores balance of the body’s Qi (pronounced “chee”). This restoration is believed to help suppress an appetite that is overactive and help reduce the stress from emotional problems that cause many people to overeat.

Find a Good Acupuncturist

If you’re considering acupuncture for weight loss be sure to find one that is approved by your state by contacting your state’s health/medical or acupuncture board. You should also try to find a good acupuncturist through a referral from a friend or doctor.

Make sure to also check with your health insurance company for coverage. Several health insurance companies cover the costs or a portion of the costs for acupuncture treatments.

If you’re a little fearful about needles, try the Tapas Acupressure Technique for natural weight loss. The Tapas Technique was developed by Tapas Fleming, a licensed acupuncturist, and it is a simple position where you place one hand behind the back bottom part of your head while you place three fingers right between and around your eyes and forehead. It’s very simple to do, and some preliminary research shows it helps people lose weight.


“Dr Edward Lamadrid’s New Study Advances Link Between Weight Loss and Acupuncture.” PR Newswire. November 1, 2010.

“Get To The Point: Does Acupuncture Really Work? Is the Hollywood Trend of Turning Yourself into a Human Pin Cushion the Answer to Infertility and Weight Loss?” Women’s Day (Australia). February 7, 2011.

“QLD: Acupuncture Punches Below Its Weight.” AAP News. June 29, 2010.


  • I recently tried acupuncture to help in my weight loss efforts. I have hit a plateau recently and dispite the amount of exercise I’m doing I can’t seem to shift the pounds. This, I think, is in no short part to the amount of chocolate I have been eating. I discussed this with my acupuncture therapist and she said she could help, and she did. Over the past week I have reduced my chocolate intake from at least two bars a day to a couple of squares of dark chocolate for a few days and I have lost two pounds. I don’t know whether this is going to be long term but if the last week is anything to go by I am hopeful. Fingers crossed.

    • admin

      Thanks for comment and congrats for getting your cravings down and choosing dark chocolate, which has more nutrients. Chocolate is one of my weaknesses too, especially around that time of the month. It’s amazing how much acupuncture can help with cravings and weight loss.

  • Ferdinand Stgermain

    Korea is believed to be the second country that acupuncture spread to outside of China. Within Korea there is a legend that acupuncture was developed by the legendary emperor Dangun though it is more likely to have been brought into Korea from a Chinese colonial prefecture.

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