If you're looking to take the next step in your weight-loss journey but you're not yet seeing progress, there may be a blockage that traditional medicine and weight-loss approaches can't help. Have you considered the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture? According to Dr. Magnolia Ng of Advance Health SF (and many others!), this life-changing treatment could be your key to losing weight, boosting metabolism, and stopping binge eating once and for all.
To understand how it works, we asked Dr. Ng to explain the concept of acupuncture and how the treatment helps the body. Simply put, "the theory behind acupuncture is focusing on your qi (life energy) flow." The practice of acupuncture helps this flow. "We do this by inserting fine needles into different points in a network of channels that flow throughout your body, called meridians."
When you're perfectly healthy, your qi (energy) is flowing freely, and you're feeling good. There aren't any "blockages or obstructions." So where do those blockages come from? "Poor diet, or poor physical, emotional, or mental health," Dr. Ng said. So basically, any number of ordinary things can block these energy channels. "As a result, we may feel sickness and/or pain."
This is where acupuncture comes in. The treatment "uses these specific meridian points to clear blockages and promote the healthy flow of energy, as well as stimulate or calm nerves, muscles, and connective tissue," Dr. Ng told us.
You might be thinking, "OK, but how does this help me with losing weight?" Here's the thing — those blockages can do more than cause pain and sickness. They can also slow your metabolism and keep toxins built up. Dr. Ng said, "With unblocking the obstructions in the channels throughout our body, our water and food metabolism flow more smoothly and toxins can be eliminated more efficiently."
She continued to explain that "different body parts, such as the face, hands, feet, and outer ears, represent the entire body and its different organs. Therefore, a traditional theory of acupuncture uses key points on these body parts to help reduce appetite and stimulate metabolism."
Reduced appetite and a boosted metabolism? Sounds amazing, right? But wait, there's more! You can also curb binge eating.
"Binge eating works in a similar way with calming and stimulating certain acupuncture points to balance out the body," she said. "Along with the symptoms, working on the root of the problem for all diseases and disorders is the goal." This is no band-aid fix — acupuncture aims to eliminate whatever is causing you to gain weight, so you can make sustainable changes to your health and body. "Getting to the source of these problems, whether they are triggered from mental, physical, or emotional stress, we aim to target the issue with body as well as scalp acupuncture."
So how does it feel? Painless! I just tried my first acupuncture session with Dr. Ng for my own health and mental wellness; you'll barely even feel the needles, if you do at all. I was terrified at first, honestly — I hate needles! But I quickly slipped into a slumber for a short nap while the acupuncture needles were opening those channels, healing my body in a totally natural way.
"Our treatment plan is based according to the severity of the patient's condition," Dr. Ng said. So there's no one-size-fits-all treatment plan for weight-loss or binge-eating treatment; your doctor will customize a program and schedule for your needs and goals. "We will often treat a patient several times a week if it is a more acute case to once a week in a chronic condition."
Regardless of what your plan is, this noninvasive, medicine-free treatment can seriously help with making sustainable, long-term changes to the way your body functions so you can be your best, healthiest, happiest self. Because as Dr. Ng said, "Whether it is a chronic or an acute case, targeting the root of the problem is the most important," so you can kick your health and weight issues to the curb — for good.