Acupuncture for Healthy Digestion & Optimal Weight
Digestion is viewed as the source of vitality and energy in the body; when our digestive processes are in a healthy state we can extract nutrients more effectively from our food and give our body what it needs to keep us strong and healthy. The methods in place for digestion and the breakdown of food occur via our autonomic nervous system; this is like the auto-pilot mode of our body. This part of our nervous system works around the clock to keep the heart pumping, the lungs breathing, the metabolism firing and so much more. So, why we can control what we put into our body, we can’t always control how our body receives and utilizes it. This internal regulation system can be manipulated with acupuncture therapy. By sending messages to the nervous system, acupuncture is an effective tool to help restore balance to our internal digestive processes and ultimately our well-being.
Our digestive function is negatively impacted by lifestyle factors like unregulated eating and drinking, eating at improper times as well as emotional stress. If you are not having optimal digestion, your body will let you know: pain after meals, acid reflux, excessive belching or hiccups, bloating, gas, and unsmooth elimination are signs that things could be working better. Other signs like having an excessive appetite & weight gain, feeling ‘hangry’ if you are late for the next meal, experiencing fatigue after meals, or having very little appetite indicate patterns that can have long term consequences for your digestion and general health. An acupuncturist can recognize these patterns and with regular treatment help you to improve digestive function and maintain a healthy weight.
Stimulation of acupoints on the body and the ear causes a response by our nervous system to release various neurochemicals. This is like sending a message to the brain and the brain answers with the appropriate response. With acupuncture for healthy digestion and weight loss the responses are: interfering with the appetite signals from the GI tract thereby making one feel fuller faster and avoid overeating. Another way it works is by altering our mood and reducing stress; acupuncture increases serotonin production to help reduce cravings and emotional eating. Ingesting and breaking down food requires energy known as metabolism; acupuncture enhances this process, effectively giving our metabolism a boost and revving up our digestive fire. Another aspect of digestive health is the elimination of waste material; acupuncture assists with this by promoting fuller and smoother bowel movements allowing for proper detoxification of our body which in turn helps us feel better and more energized.
A typical treatment plan for weight loss is weekly acupuncture sessions for a few months with follow-up’s as needed; along with dietary and lifestyle advice. Improved digestion and weight loss occurs gradually, however results tend to last longer since changes are made at these deep neurologic and systemic levels. Patients typically report a decrease in weight, appetite and unwelcome digestive symptoms; with less of a need for over the counter digestive aides or pharmaceutical drugs.