Alternative Therapies for Weight Loss


Alternative Therapies for Weight Loss

After traditional weight-loss methods fail, some turn to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage. Before you do, get the skinny. Low-cal, low-fat, low-carb you name it, you’ve tried it. You’ve exhausted every option from Weight Watchers to Atkins, and you still can’t get the scale to work with you for the long-term. For some people, this might be the time to try an alternative weight-loss therapy.

Although there seems to be no end to different types of weight-loss therapies touted as sure winners, for an effective approach, you need to be discriminating. Here are some of the most popular ideas from acupuncture to hypnosis along with expert opinions on what works and what doesn’t

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

What it is: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing method based on teachings that “qi,” or energy, circulates through the body along 14 meridians, which roughly correspond to the body’s organs. Acupuncture’s underlying theory is that blockages in this energy flow cause imbalances that materialize as health problems such as obesity. Acupuncture seeks to restore balance.

How it’s performed: Acupuncture practitioners insert thin metal needles into the skin at strategic points to stimulate the tissues and break up blockages in the energy flow.

Does it work? It’s recognized as an effective therapy for many ills, including pain relief, headache.


Acupressure for Weight Loss

What it is: Acupressure is similar to acupuncture but without needles.

How it's performed: In acupressure, strategic points on the body are stimulated with finger pressure.

Does it work? As with acupuncture, the majority of research done on acupressure has been on its ability to relieve chronic pain, but evidence regarding weight loss is scant. One study, reported in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, found that, after six months, participants receiving acupressure treatment lost 2.5 pounds more than those who went to a support group, but the general consensus is more research is needed to evaluate acupressure’s effectiveness.


Scope of the Journal: Obesity, Eating Disorders and its associated areas of research

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Journal of Obesity and Eating Disorder.