Heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, even cancer—all of these can be caused by obesity or from being overweight. In fact, obesity is one of the major causes of preventable death in this country. For many, it is the one thing preventing them from living a long, healthy life.
At Sea Girt Spine and Rehabilitation, we respect the difficulty of the weight-loss process. To help patients in their quest, we offer chiropractic care (to address any interference in the nervous system which may affect digestion or hormone production); physical therapy (to get the body in motion again, safely); and acupuncture. Acupuncture is an extremely powerful tool in dealing with many of the physical and emotional issues that surround losing weight and making major life changes.
Drugs and Surgery
Some obese and overweight patients may turn to harmful drugs or traumatic, invasive surgeries to lost weight. In addition to death, most weight-loss surgeries carry great risk. While surgery will prove fatal to 1% of patients, another 20% will need additional surgeries to correct complications. Up to 30% of weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients will develop serious nutritional deficiencies. In the end 25% of bariatric surgery patients fail to either meet target weight goals or maintain the necessary dietary restrictions.
Weight-loss medications have a number of harmful side effects. Stimulants, for example, may cause agitation, insomnia, high blood pressure, or glaucoma. Some diets drugs are designed to block the absorption of dietary fats; these ‘medicines’ often cause stomach pain as well as frequent, oily bowel movements.
Without question, both surgery and drugs are drastic and dangerous methods of losing weight. And yet, there is very little question as to why obese and overweight patients are willing to put themselves in even greater danger in order to lose weight—the weight-loss process is one that is fraught with both physical and emotional issues that are difficult to overcome. Some patients are caught in an addictive cycle with food, while still others use food to assuage depression and anxiety.
In addition to the above-mentioned issues, weight loss is also a slow process that requires willpower and patience. Fortunately, there is a healthy, drug-free, non-surgical, and completely safe method of handling many of the difficulties surrounding weight loss—Acupuncture.
Losing Weight with Acupuncture: The Western Perspective
Acupuncture has a very real physiological effect. This treatment stimulates the production of pain-killing neurotransmitters known as endorphins. Endorphins not only work to relieve pain (hence, acupuncture’s reputation for pain relief) but also help obese and overweight patients to deal with the anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues that may be hindering the weight-loss process. In this same vein, acupuncture also stimulations the vagus nerve to raise levels of serotonin. In addition to regulating mood, appetite, and sleep, these neurotransmitters (endorphins and serotonin) are also inextricably linked to hormone production.
Losing Weight with Acupuncture: The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective
TCM is based on the theory that a life energy force (Qi) runs throughout the body on channels known as meridians. If the flow of Qi is insufficient or unbalanced, the spiritual, emotional, and physical health of the body is compromised. Acupuncture works to restore the balance of Qi in the body for improved psychological and physical health.