Since becoming an acupuncturist, I have been asked many times if acupuncture can help people lose weight.  I have heard many people tell me that they lost 20 pounds years ago, using acupuncture, or with small pellets taped onto the ear, or by getting their ear stapled.

However, as a person who has struggled with weight loss my entire life, I am hesitant to set up my shingle and start selling acupuncture as a sure-fire way of weight loss.

It’s just not that easy.  Many of us have lost weight, only to gain it right back.  We eat really well for awhile, exercise like we should, and start seeing results.  Amazing results.  Then something happens.  We just can’t stick to a diet where we only get 1200 calories and can’t eat cheese.

For many of us who have struggled with weight loss and yo-yo dieting, the issue is about our relationship to food.  We overeat, not because we’re “piggies” or we have no self control, but because we are in such emotional distress.    Food is soothing, especially cheesecake, ice-cream and and soft gooey chocolate chip cookies.  When we are suffering from anxiety, we eat.  When we are depressed, we eat.  When we are happy, bored, lonely, sad, angry, nervous, we eat.

As an acupuncturist who has experienced these emotional food fests, I can’t say definitively that acupuncture will help you lose weight.  

What’s more important is changing how you feel about yourself, chainging your methods of coping with emotional stresses, identifying why you are eating, and addressing those issues.

My treatment has a three fold approach: 

1.  Calm the mind, and bring your body into a more relaxed, focused state.

2.  Bring the body’s energy, or Qi, back into balance to address hormonal issues, cravings, fatigue, digestive disturbances, obssesive thoughts, anxiety and depression, and weight retention.

3.  Learn to use positive alternatives to compulsive or emotional overeating, such as meditation and breathing techniques, tai chi or qi gong, or automatic writing.

If you find yourself yo-yo dieting, there are other issues to address.  It’s not just about counting calories.  It’s about changing your relationship to food.


Hello world!

November 14, 2008

Hello, my name is Marcy Sproull, and I am an acupuncturist in Los Angeles.  I work with people not just to lose weight, but to address emotional overeating, treat anxiety and depression, and balance the body’s energy, or Qi.

When the QI is flowing smoothly in your body, you feel a sense of well-being.  Stress doesn’t bother you like it used to.  Your coping skills are better.  You feel better.  This is the first step in an acupuncture treatment designed for weight loss.