You've likely heard that acupuncture can help with issues like muscle pain, migraines, and anxiety. But did you know that this ancient practice of pricking could also help with weight loss? We're listening.
According to Manhattan-based holistic doctor and acupuncturist Julie Von, for many women, over-exercising and calorie limitations only increase weight gain, especially if there are hormonal, adrenal, or thyroid issues. So to achieve weight loss, the body needs to be treated as a whole, which is what traditional Chinese medicine is all about-and acupuncture can play a big role.
Ahead, we turned to Von and acupuncturist and owner of Vie Healing in Beverly Hills, Mona Dan, to learn more about how acupuncture for weight loss works. Keep scrolling for answers to questions like how often should you get it done and how much it costs.
How It Works
вЂњFor many, the connection between an engaged nervous system and weight retention is very real,вЂќ shares Julie Von. вЂњAcupuncture helps to relax and balance the nervous system, allowing digestion to be improved and circulation increased.вЂќ She adds that treatment is unique to everyone: вЂњEach person is given an individual diagnosis, and from that, specific treatment plans are formulated.вЂќ
вЂњAcupuncture is like a workout for the nervous system,вЂќ says Mona Dan, вЂњJust like how muscles get weak over time when not properly stimulated, the same thing happens to our nervous system. The main part of the nervous system that first shuts down is our parasympathetic nervous system, which is the processing system. We need to wake it up and get it moving, so we can shift out of flight-or-fight mode that keeps us in stagnation.вЂќ
Acupuncture for Weight Loss vs. Traditional Acupuncture
A specialist in TCM, Mona says, вЂњIn general, there isn't a difference between the two, however, we include auricular acupuncture as well for weight loss each session. The reason there isn't really a difference is because we treat the body as a whole. Our main focus is to reset and relax the nervous system, which, when settled, properly works. A nervous system that is working properly, metabolizes food properly, sends proper hunger signals, digests well, and eliminates accordingly. We have to find the root of the issue, and each person is different. Alongside the acupuncture, an Eastern nutrition approach is also key in order to assist with revving up the metabolism and stabilizing response signals.вЂќ
How Often Should You Do It?
To achieve best results, Von suggests treatment once a week. вЂњCommitment is always an important part of any holistic treatment, if you stick with it, you will see results,вЂќ she says. However, too much of a good thing could be relevant here. Mona says, вЂњTwo to three times per week is totally fine, however, the point of the medicine is to reignite the proper flow of the body because it's more intelligent than we think.вЂќBryan Rodney Carr
Other Benefits of Acupuncture for Weight Loss
вЂњPatients who understand the lifestyle and truly make an effort have had great results,вЂќ says Mona of her experience with patients. вЂњNot only do they lose weight, they feel better. You can see the change in their hair, skin, and nails too.вЂќ
вЂњOverall health and well-being improves,вЂќ says Von. This can include helping with water retention, anxiety and depression, fertility issues, and migraines, among more.
How Much Does It Cost?
вЂњEach session is generally about $125 to $175, however insurance can cover these modalities too,вЂќ shares Mona. Von confirms that more and more health insurance is covering acupuncture.
Who Should Consider Trying It? Where Should You Go?
Anyone who's trying to shed the weight properly and slowly should try it, Mona tells Byrdie. вЂњIt's definitely not a quick fix; it's a lifestyle.вЂќВ
Wondering where to start? Von suggests talking to friends and family and finding someone who they have used and trust. вЂњIt's always important to feel like you can communicate clearly with all of your practitioners,вЂќ she advises.
Check with your healthcare provider before trying acupuncture for weight loss.В