The guiding principal is that acupuncture can power up any other weight control strategy by:
- curbing appetite
- quelling cravings
- boosting metabolism
- improving digestion
- regulating obesity-related hormones and enhancing the way nutrients are used
- It also strengthens the function of the liver, the organ that produces many chemicals critical for digestion, processing nutrients and breaking down of fats
- Acupuncture may also increase tone in the smooth muscle of the stomach to help people know that they are full.
To pinpoint the Qi for effective weight control, acupuncturists take aim at 4 acupuncture points on the ear - the hunger point,Shen Men point, stomach point, and endocrine point. A few tiny sterilized needles are inserted along these invisible channels to decrease the "heat" generatedalong these meridians and to stimulate centers that trigger the release of neurochemicals and hormones.
During some courses of treatment, the needles are covered with tape so that they can be left in place for a few days. Patients later remove them at home or during follow-up visits to the acupuncturist. Some practitioners may also use "ear seeds" that patient wear home that can be massaged periodically to help with difficult-to-control urges.