Is Acupuncture for Weight Loss Right for You?
Acupuncture for weight loss may offer you an additional resource to help you lose weight. This page will attempt to teach you the facts about acupuncture weight loss, and hopefully provide enough information so that you can make an informed decision about acupuncture's safety and effectiveness in helping people lose weight.
Acupuncture, according to it's practitioners, is a medical treatment involving the insertion of very fine sterile needles into the body at specific points according to a mapping of "energy pathways."
Historically, acupuncture is one component of an overall program of Chinese Medicine that includes theory, practice, diagnosis, physiology, and the use of herbal preparations. Acupuncture is used to control pain, treat allergies, relieve addiction withdrawal, and help people lose weight.
Many researchers from both Eastern and Western cultures liken acupuncture to hypnosis. A quiet and calm conscious state is achieved allowing improved energy flow through blocked neuronal pathways which can cause disease.
Acupuncture for weight loss is really a modern application rooted in Western cultures. The focus of this page is on acupuncture's safety and effectiveness in helping people lose weight.
No conclusions can be made on the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture in helping people lose weight as a single weight loss method. Most of the studies published, used acupuncture in combination with traditional methods of weight loss, like dieting and exercise.
The studies reporting results on acupuncture as a single weight loss method, enrolled only 2-3 subjects and followed them after 2-3 acupuncture sessions for 3-4 weeks. The results of these studies are inconsistent and no conclusion can be made.
However, in combination with traditional methods of weight loss, subjects did lose more weight when acupuncture was added to their plan when compared to controls. These studies only followed subjects for 3-4 weeks after completing 1-3 acupuncture sessions. No conclusion can be made after 4 weeks because of a lack of evidence.
In these studies, subjects are often lost to follow up. As a result, no conclusions can be drawn on acupuncture's effectiveness beyond 4 weeks.
No serious adverse events have been reported within the first three to four weeks of starting acupuncture for weight loss. A very few side effects are reported by subjects during this same time period.
Beyond four weeks, the reporting of adverse events and side effects becomes scarce and inconsistent. Side effects like headaches, nausea, and vertigo (losing balance) have been reported. But not enough data is available to make any significant conclusions on the safety of acupuncture weight loss beyond four weeks.
Practitioners of the art will animately defend their work is safe. However, without the evidence to back up their claims, their defense is not scientifically valid.
I agree that early on (3-4 weeks) acupuncture for weight loss is safe. But beyond 4 weeks, no conclusion can be made. This is not a political position but a science one. More safety data is needed to evaluate the safety of acupuncture beyond 4 weeks. It's that simple.
Within the first three to four weeks of undergoing 1-3 acupuncture weight loss sessions and when used with traditional methods of weight loss, acupuncture is safe and effective in helping people lose weight. No conclusions can be made on its safety and effectiveness beyond 4 weeks.
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More than acupuncture for weight loss on our weight loss psychology page
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