In our modern Singapore today, western medical aesthetic centres that offer high technology and fast methods such as laser treatment, liposuction, fat freeze cryoliposis, ultrasound melting, digestion mimicking pills etc. have long dominated the market for people seeking for quick-fix slimming solutions. So when the traditional method – acupuncture is suggested, scepticism will start to surface as to how poking yourself with multiple needles can actually slim you down and why this option that requires more of your time and effort should have an edge over those other easier ways out. Here I shall unveil the mystery behind how this century-old method works for slimming and why this method rises above the rest for helping you shake off that flab and get you all toned up.
Acupuncture conditions gastrointestinal functions
We all know that the main causes of weight gain and obesity are basically increased “input” and reduced “output”. In other words, increased “input” refers to excess daily food intake than what is required by your body and reduced “output” is the burning of the energy from the food digested. Acupuncture is capable of tackling the first issue of excess daily food intake by conditioning and regulating the gastrointestinal functions.
How acupuncture does so is by stimulating certain acupoints that tones the muscular sphincter or “gateway” which food passes from the gastric to the small intestine. In this way, food emptying time from the gastric is extended and therefore one will not feel hungry that rapidly and appetite is controlled, leading to a reduction in “input”.
Acupuncture increases bodily metabolism
Metabolism is the “output” that we are talking about above and it simply means burning off the food that we have eaten for energy to substantiate the body to work. Increasing metabolism is what people who watch their weight carefully will strive to achieve as it simply means you can eat more, but burn off more at the same time!
Acupuncture can help increase bodily metabolism by stimulating the thyroid glands to produce hormones that governs the metabolism of every cell in the body. In doing so, each cell will be able to utilised more energy from the food for various bodily functions, leading to a more efficient and healthier workings of the bodily systems at the same time. This is how acupuncture can increase the “output”.
Acupuncture reduces cravings
Another way of reducing increased “input” or food intake by acupuncture is by reducing the cravings for one to overeat. This is achieved through the stimulation of some acupoints where there are nerve endings paving to appetite suppression region in the brain.
Acupuncture calms the nerves
People who crave and overeat are known to be overly stimulated in their nervous system as they try to seek food as an outlet to ease their daily stresses. Acupuncture then plays a part by helping to exert a calming effect on the nervous system and helping one to become more clear-minded when it comes to food choices and the way they eat. In doing so, people are able to give what the body needs, not what the body wants.
Acupuncture improves the sensitivity of taste and smell
Nowadays, people are less sensitive in their sense of taste and smell as these sensory systems are often overly stimulated and desensitized with too much chemicals or synthetic flavourings found in our foods today. Acupuncture can reverse the desensitization of taste and smell by aiding in regeneration and renewal of the nerve endings of the sensory systems. When people can taste and smell better, they will be able to enjoy the natural flavours of the foods much easily without the need for fanciful cooking or flavouring that can add a lot more extra calories to their food intake. Also, by being able to enjoy the full flavours of the food, people can attain greater satisfaction from a normal portion of food and not crave for more to fill up the sensory void in one eating experience.
Simply put, acupuncture achieves the effect of slimming not simply by tackling the flabs and burning away fat cells, but by solving the deeper internal bodily issues as a whole and empowering one’s body to function correctly and healthily. When the body is healthy and balanced, it will be capable of shedding off the excess and unnecessary and keep itself in good shape. Therefore, the chances of rebounce through acupuncture slimming is minimal but the journey will be a longer one as this solution does not just scrape the surface of the problem, but takes on the higher role of improving one’s health and well-being. Shedding that extra flab is but only one of the many benefits that one can get through this traditional time-tested slimming method.
Dr Lim Xiang Jun is registered Dr of Traditional Chinese Medicine Physician whom first completed her BSc(hons) in Biomedical Sciences in Singapore before completing a BSc in Chinese Medicine, MSc and PHD in Acupuncture in Beijing. She is also qualified in Yoga and is a certified Ayurveda Practitioner.