Many patients coming to The Acupuncture Clinic ask to have the best acupuncture point needled to help them lose weight quickly. Unfortunately it is not as simple and straight forward as that. There are many causes of weight gain and therefore all patients need to be assessed individually to ascertain what their imbalance is according to traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis.
Most people who come seeking help with acupuncture for weight loss are over forty years of age and have found that dieting and exercise do not give the results they have been aiming for.
Fundamentally the metabolism slows down as we age so by default this is going to contribute to weight gain. Many athletes report that as they age they need to do more and more exercise in order to lose weight as compared to when they were younger. Boxers in particular, as they get older, comment how much harder and longer they need to skip to shed those few kilos in order to qualify in their weight division.
Medical researchers at the University of California have now confirmed that stimulating a specific acupuncture point, Stomach 36, located below the knee, can promote weight loss. The doctors found that needling this acupuncture point produces an up regulation of anorexigenic factor POMC production in the NTS/HN, which inhibits food intake and reduces body weight. In simplified terms, this means that stimulation and treatment using this acupuncture point reduces food cravings in obese prone subjects.
The acupuncture point Stomach 36 is known as Zu San Li in Chinese and literally means three leg mile. It has this meaning because traditionally needling this point would give the patient a boost of energy so that they could walk an extra three miles at the end of the day. In traditional Chinese medicine this point has many uses including being used for tiredness, weakness after a chronic illness, easily catching colds, weakening eyesight and impaired digestion.
You can now see the correlation between these age old recorded symptoms and the modern day interpretation of a weakened metabolism and lowered immunity. Regular needling of the Stomach 36 point promotes health and can help prevent illness as well as stimulating metabolism in order to encourage weight loss.
The Stomach 36 acupuncture point is just one of many points that have been shown useful in helping stimulating metabolism and weight loss. In particular acupuncture points on the areas of fat on the belly when stimulated with electro-acupuncture are commonly used in weight loss regimes.
With the rising middle class society in China and increased access to fat producing foods and a growing sedentary lifestyle, obesity is rapidly increasing in China as it has in the west. There are now many specialist weight loss acupuncture clinics in China catering for this demand to naturally reduce fat and promote health.