Acupuncture For Weight Loss – Can It Manage Obesity?

Has obesity become a concern for you?

If so, it will be worth reading this article on how to use acupuncture for weight management.

Traditional Chinese medicine called acupuncture deals with readjusting and harnessing the hidden energy meridians at specific points on the body to achieve healing from within.

It is all about restoring the body’s natural balance of energy flow.

The allopathic treatments of modern times do not have a complete solution to many common ailments like chronic pain, high blood pressure, obesity, joint pain, and a few other common ailments.

But acupuncture treatments can help with any illness caused by an imbalance in the body’s energy flow.

This traditional eastern therapy works on the basic principle of balancing energy flow in the body. In other words, pain and diseases are caused when the body’s energy flow is destabilized or not in sync with the bodily system.

Just by inserting fine needles into the skin along with strategic points in the body, it is possible to restore a balanced flow of energy along the rivers of Qi (pronounced as ‘cheek) or life force.

Like other ailments, obesity happens when energy flow in the body is disturbed.

How Does Acupuncture For Weight Loss Work?

There are very large numbers of weight loss products and diets being sold all over, but only some of them are effective in reducing body weight.

As many weight loss enthusiasts are dissatisfied with weight loss supplements like garcinia cambogia, more and more people are taking alternative medicines like acupuncture for fat burning.

This weight-loss treatment involves only the insertion of fine, sterile needles at specific body energy pathways.

The needles inserted into the specific energy pathways are expected to increase the release of endorphin hormones. This hormone makes the person feel relaxed and happy.

The relaxed and stress-free person normally tends to eat much less, and the person’s happy mood also promotes a healthy metabolism.

One way acupuncture helps the patient shed weight is by elevating a happy and relaxed mood.

Several studies support the possibility of satisfactory weight loss with the help of increased release of endorphin hormones, especially with this treatment for achieving it.

There are also several methods for possible weight loss with it.

Stimulating and regulating the energy pathways related to the hunger point, the stomach point, the when-men point, etc., directly affect metabolism and fat storage.

Multiple Methods of Weight Loss With Acupuncture 

Another method for weight loss with it is restoring and improving the optimum energy flow into the hypothalamus gland in the brain.

The hypothalamus gland is responsible for many tasks; hunger and appetite control are important.

The hypothalamus has an arcuate nucleus as a sensory device that detects the glucose and fat levels in the body with the help of the hormones leptin, insulin, peptide Y.Y., and ghrelin.

The hypothalamus coordinates the metabolisms within the liver, intestine, kidneys, and fat tissue based on the information gathered by the arcuate nucleus.

The treatment procedure can influence the hormones associated with weight loss.

From the point of view of this traditional remedy, one of the reasons people gain weight is that their spleen and liver aren’t working right, which throws off the energy flow in their bodies.

A knowledgeable acupuncture practitioner can rectify the malfunctioning of the liver and spleen by balancing the energy flows to these organs.

Weight gain arising from the malfunctioning and disorders of other organs and glands like the thyroid, spleen, kidney, adrenal glands, ovary glands, etc., can also be treated by balancing the specific flow of energy to each of them.

Overall, it can produce multiple effects on bodily functions like curbing the appetite, boosting metabolism, quelling cravings, and hormone regulation to achieve weight loss.

This treatment can also improve the functioning of the liver, hypothalamus leptin and insulin hormones, which assist in the digestive and metabolic activities of the body.

Weight Loss with Auricular Acupuncture

Ear stapling or auricular acupuncture may help you lose weight.

A few energy centers on the ears essentially control all types of cravings, which include cravings for food, alcoholic drinks, smoking, and drug abuse.

This method is also widely used for treating drug addicts and smokers to quit the abuse.

Many Qi points on the ear are directly related to the different functional areas of the body connected to weight gain or weight loss.

The commonly used acupuncture points for weight loss in both ears are as follows:

  • Mouth: for the impulsive eater who may also smoke and talk a lot.
  • Stomach: for the person who eats even after they’re full or who is constantly nibbling
  • Hungry: for general appetite control.
  • Lung: for food addicts and people who love chocolate, sweets
  • Shen-men: a calming point for the psychology overlay for anxiety, anger, frustration, and insecurity
  • Endocrine: It’s the water retention that’s responsible for some cases of excess body mass.
  • Adrenal and Ovary: if overweight is due to menopause or P.M.S.
  • Spleen: for sugar imbalances and hormonal disturbances
  • Kidney: for water retention, the nervous system, and hormonal imbalances
  • Thyroid: for slow metabolism

Among these, the important five points related to common weight loss issues are:

  • The ten-men point.
  • The hunger point.
  • The endocrine point.
  • The stomach point.
  • The spleen point.

The acupuncturist may choose 2 to 5 points for needle piercing, depending on your specific overweight conditions.

Ear acupuncture combined with a calorie-controlled diet and physical exercise is an excellent solution for fast weight loss.

One weight loss study published in the Medical Acupuncture Journal showed that the participants (10 obese women, 22 to 42 years of age) who underwent the auricular procedures combined with 15 minutes of brisk walking and calorie consumption below 2,000 daily were able to lose up to 10 pounds in 4 weeks. The other half of the participants (10 obese women, ages 22–42) who did not undergo the weekly ear acupuncture were able to lose only up to 3 pounds in the same period.

The study results also reported a decrease in appetite experienced by those women who underwent ear acupuncture.

Ear acupuncture is an effective weight loss solution that works great in combination with controlled diets and exercises.

The sterilized, tiny needles are inserted into specific points on the ear, leading to the stimulation and release of neurochemicals and hormones that help with weight loss.

The needle piercing also helps decrease the “heat” generated along these meridians.

At certain stages of the treatment, the needles pierced into the Qi points in the ear are covered with tape so they can be left there for a few days.

Instead of tiny needles, some acupuncturists like to use “ear seeds” to be worn by the patients. Patients only need to gently massage the “ear seeds” every few minutes to stop strong cravings.

A complete course of acupuncture therapy for weight loss will cost you about $100 to $250, depending on the facility fees and expert fees the practitioner charges.

Acupuncture Weight Loss Study Findings

Some studies have come out supporting the weight loss effects of acupuncture treatments.

Researchers have found that this traditional Chinese treatment can boost the production and function of the hormone ghrelin, which controls how fat is stored and burned.

Sabina Lim, a leading researcher on meridian and acupuncture at a South Korean university, has very positive opinions on stimulating the hunger acupuncture point as a good solution for suppressing the appetite.

In one of Lim’s and her colleagues’ most recent studies, there was clear evidence that ear acupuncture can help people lose weight.

They randomly assigned 91 overweight people to five-point acupuncture, one-point acupuncture (hunger), or sham (placebo) treatment.

During the eight weeks of the study, all of the people who took part ate a limited diet and didn’t exercise more.

Those who received five-point acupuncture had needles placed 2 millimeters deep in one outer ear, taped in place, and kept there for a week; the following week, the same will be shifted to the other ear.

The remaining participants continued with one needle pierced (only at the point of hunger), and it was sham acupuncture therapy, with the needle removed a few minutes after the piercing.

After eight weeks, those who received five-point acupuncture lost 6.1 percent of their weight, compared to 5.7 percent for those who received one needle.

The participant who completed five-point acupuncture also showed a greater waist size reduction than those who completed one-needle sham acupuncture therapy for eight weeks.

However, Dr. David Katz, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center, doesn’t feel acupuncture is reliable for weight reduction. The placebo effects appear strong with the needle piercing, but they fall short of substantial proof.

Other studies conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine in the United States concluded that the effects of acupuncture on weight loss were mixed and varied.

Tips on Using Acupuncture for Weight Loss

If you are looking to achieve good results with acupuncture weight loss therapy, then it is important to ensure the following four conditions are taken care of:

  • The acupuncture practitioner should be sufficiently qualified and experienced in weight loss acupuncture therapy.
  • If the practitioner is a regular medical doctor, they must complete a two-year postgraduate program and acupuncture training.
  • Complete the full course of the treatment. The weight loss acupuncture treatment should be about eight weeks in duration.
  • Acupuncture for weight loss should be combined with calorie-restricted diets and at least 45 minutes of intense cardio exercises daily for the best results.
  • If you choose auricular acupuncture, you should have full-fledged acupuncture done in your ear, with the needles in the right places.


Acupuncture can help with weight loss by improving metabolism, balancing the production of hormones, improving digestion, suppressing appetite, removing excess water retention, and reducing inflammation. It also helps to improve the overall functions of the body, which are necessary to remain fit and healthy.

The use of acupuncture on obesity may lead to weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise.

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