Acupuncture is a health remedy that uses small needles to activate and stimulate various points known as meridians on the body. The small needles are inserted gently into the body, and the procedure is almost painless. Explore acupuncture for a number of ailments, including nausea, pain, indigestion, migraines and even to help with weight loss.
The practice began centuries ago in China and has since grown across the globe. Acupuncture is still very common today, with about 18,000 licensed practitioners in the US alone.
10. Educate Yourself First
Before booking that appointment, make sure you do some research and figure out exactly what you are getting yourself into. Acupuncture has been practiced for centuries, but it is certainly not for everyone.
Acupuncture stimulates various points on the body by penetrating the skin with needles. The practice of acupuncture dates back to approximately 100 BCE and is said to help with a number of pains and ailments. This method has grown in popularity in countries around the world since its origin, and a number of different techniques have been adapted by various cultures and medical professionals.
9. Explore Different Acupuncture Techniques
There are a few different techniques for acupuncture, which include Traditional Chinese Medicine Style (TCM), Japanese Style, Medical Acupuncture, and Electroacupuncture.
For a quick background, acupuncture originated in China thousands of years ago and developed into what is more commonly recognized today. TCM acupuncture is a bit deceiving; it actually was developed somewhat recently in 1949, so it isn’t as “traditional” as one may think. Traditional Chinese Medicine Style combines general practices of acupuncture with some other similar techniques, such as acupressure and moxibustion, massage, herbal medicine, meditation and exercises like tai chi.
Over 1,000 years ago, the Chinese introduced acupuncture to the Japanese. Japanese Style Acupuncture is similar to Chinese, but smaller needles are used, and they focus on a more gentle technique. It is also more common for Japanese acupuncturists to utilize moxibustion, which is a heat therapy used in conjunction with acupuncture. Though Japanese Style Acupuncture may vary, it is the primary technique taught in education courses in North America.
It’s important to understand that some view acupuncture as a medical profession, including Japan, China, and Korea, while others view it as a general practice or remedy. Acupuncture courses and training are available for chiropractors, physicians, and other medical professionals; such courses are recognized as Medical Acupuncture. This type of acupuncture focuses primarily on anatomical and biomedical acupuncture practices, and learning seminars often span an entire weekend. Different from the others, moxibustion is very uncommon in Medical Acupuncture.
A more recent acupuncture practice is called Electroacupuncture, which has been growing in popularity since the 1970s. If you didn’t already guess, electroacupuncture involves small spurts of electric pulses that are fed through the needles. Electroacupuncture is often compared to transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), except TENS uses electrode pads as opposed to needles. This type of acupuncture is most commonly practiced by medical professionals.
8. Understand How Acupuncture Works for Weight Loss
But how and why does acupuncture help to lose weight? Obesity and weight gain can occur from a number of factors, like poor diet and exercise, a slow metabolism or a hormone imbalance. Weight gain is also said to occur when there is poor energy flow to the hypothalamus, which helps to maintain a number of essential bodily actions. The hypothalamus is jump started and tuned-up through acupuncture, helping to get everything back on track, including eating habits and body temperature.
To pinpoint on weight loss needs, acupuncturists focus on one certain area of the body, and it’s not the abdomen. There are four points located on your ear that benefit weight loss with acupuncture; the hunger point, Shen Men point, stomach point and endocrine point.