Typical questions about weight loss and weight management using Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine with answers by Soheila Beberness, LAc
1. How can acupuncture help with weight loss? Acupuncture will strengthen the digestive and endocrine systems. The needles will stimulate the digestive system, the qi or energy of stomach and spleen can become more efficient at transforming and transporting food, thereby decreasing appetite. Because the nourishment is more available and absorption becomes more efficient, one would feel full more quickly. In majority of situations where one has an irregular eating habit, there is an underlying cause of stress that is the driving force for the behavior. One part of this weight loss journey will be focused on addressing stress, anxiety and other negative emotions. Besides the acupuncture treatments which are excellent to balance the body and mind; other techniques such as deep breathing and meditation will be discussed.
2. How many treatments do I need to get to see result? The number of acupuncture treatments necessary depends on the individual's situation and need. However, generally one cycle of treatment consists of 10 sessions, two sessions per week for five weeks. At this time evaluation will be done and if the desired weight is reached then treatments will be tapered down to once a week, then once every two weeks, to once every three weeks, to once in four weeks. It is then recommended for the individual to receive a treatment at the beginning of each season to harmonize the body by tonifying and stabilizing body's energy level.
3. Do I need to change my life style? If your goal is to get healthy and stay healthy then a change in your life style is essential. You can achieve this by modifying: A) What you chose to eat B) What activity you choose to keep you fit
4. Do I need to exercise? Yes. Acupuncture treatments will increase your energy level and makes it easier to exercise. Plus you get a lot more out of your work out since your metabolism is also stimulated. Being active on a regular base is part of a healthy life style. If you are not currently active or are going back to exercise after a few years, you need to start slow. The best way to get started is by consulting with a personal trainer. However, simple things like: walking three times a week for 45 min. each time and as you build stamina then add two more days to your routine. It is also important to do some weight training. Again we strongly advise consulting with a personal trainer but you can start with simple solutions like 3 lbs. weights to do arm curls. Do two sets of 12 with each arm, two times a week (skip at least a day in between) and as your body builds strength then you can increase the weight.
5. Should I change my eating habits? A diet that is high in fiber and low in fat, with moderate amounts of low-density carbohydrates and low-fat protein is ideal.
6. What should I eat and shouldn't eat? You should try to: Minimize: your intake of red meat, alcohol, coffee Increase: intake of steamed or grilled vegetables; fruit intake, fish, water intake Avoid: white sugar, white flour, spicy foods, and greasy food More specific suggestions will be made during the first visit.
7. Will the weight I lose stay off? By making a decision and a commitment to yourself in initiating a life style change, receiving acupuncture, following the suggestions given throughout this journey perhaps this question will not even arise.
8. Will I be taking any herbs or supplements? Depending on the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine ) diagnosis, herbal formulas may be recommended to help with accompanying symptoms. Again, based on the initial full intake of individual's health history proper supplements may be recommended as well.
9. What is the benefit of taking herbs? As the acupuncture treatments are creating balance and releasing toxins in the body, the herbal formulas will drain and release the toxins from the body.