Weight Loss

scaleSeveral factors have been found to contribute to excess weight. These include lack of physical exercise, metabolic conditions that may be genetic, and overeating due to depression, anxiety or boredom. Aging and menopause may cause slowing down in metabolism and contribute to weight gain. Thyroid and adrenal gland problems and other syndromes have an effect on metabolism. Medications such as antidepressants and corticosteroids are also known to cause weight gain. Often more than one factor is present, and one factor may contribute to others. As a person gains more weight, he may become fatigued, making physical exercise more difficult, leading to increased depression or anxiety and a desire to eat even more.

Chronic stress is known to cause an increase in cortisol levels in the body. The increase in cortisol leads to weight gain, especially around the abdomen. High cortisol levels have also been linked to an increased risk of diabetes.

At Desert Sands, the weight loss program requires a combined effort of acupuncturist and client working as a team.  Acupuncture and herbs may help with food cravings, appetite control, stress reduction, and initial loss of weight. However, a change in lifestyle maybe needed to maintain the desired weight.

A combination of the following will often be employed for optimal effectiveness:

Acupuncture is used to achieve improved health and balance so the body can efficiently use and metabolize foods. In addition, acupuncture facilitates removal of fat, reduces cravings and results in the body releasing natural neurotransmitters, which have many biological effects.

Ear Seeds are herbal seeds placed at specific locations on the ears. They may be left in place for up to one week. The seeds stimulate the brain to release chemicals which help improve organ function and reduce food cravings.

Chinese Herbs- Chinese herbs are a very important aspect of treatment. They are often prescribed to aid in digestion and loss of fat. (Ephedra is not prescribed in this clinic as it can dangerously speed up the metabolism and is considered weakening to the kidneys)

Exercise is strongly encouraged. Exercise should be enjoyable to become a lifelong habit. Hiking, walking, dancing, jumping rope, weightlifting, aerobics and many other activities are beneficial. Exercise suggestions will be provided.
bell pepper
Eating habits- many individuals will need to change eating patterns to continue and maintain weight loss. The Chinese medical approach recommends not eating too many sweets or damp, greasy and fatty foods and avoidance of many cold foods and drinks, which can slow digestion.

Green tea and Chinese barley (also known as Job’s tears or coix) have been found to help in weight reduction and can be included in the diet in moderate amounts.

Beneficial information in the form of a weight loss package is included as part of the program. This package includes information on calories needed and found in various foods, suggested menus, lists of foods to avoid or include in the diet, and calories expended during certain activities.

Frequently Asked questions

Will I lose weight right away?

While some people may begin to lose weight and feel more energy right away, many individuals will feel the effects only after 4 or more treatments. Weight loss will be gradual as with other safe weight loss programs.

How many treatments will I need?

The number of treatments will depend on each individual and the amount of weight to be lost. Often a minimum of ten treatments is recommended. Treatments are usually given once or twice weekly at first, and then may be extended to once every 2 to 4 weeks. With a committed change in eating patterns and exercise, fewer treatments may be necessary.

Does everyone lose weight with acupuncture?

While most people do respond to acupuncture, some individuals may not lose weight with acupuncture alone. Certain medical conditions such as hormone disorders (thyroid, pituitary, adrenal), certain genetic changes, and diabetes may make weight loss more difficult.

If weight loss is a concern of yours, alternative medicine at Desert Sands may benefit you. Working as a team, we can form a treatment plan that best meets your health needs. To begin your return to a healthier lifestyle, you may contact me at (520) 780-1230.

Jill Darban, L.Ac., Dipl.OM, MT, SH
Desert Sands Acupuncture- Tucson, AZ