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Acupuncture and Obesity

obesity-and-acupuncture

Abstract

This chapter outlines the overall traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM) point of view in approaching obesity along with easy explanations on the most popular types of acupuncture available for treatment. According to the principles of TEAM, obesity is a pathophysiological state of the body with many diverse functions going awry. It is induced by many different reasons and develops into many different forms according to each patient’s bodily constitutions, characteristics, and lifestyle and therefore must be approached differently for each patient. Unlike conventional medicine where treatment is provided for all types of obese patients alike, TEAM is based on holistic views and consequently approaches the problem from a more fundamental level, with greater emphasis on individuality. Thus, here we have also placed utmost importance on guiding the reader step by step into the fi eld of syndrome differentiation, which will then allow the practitioner to tailor acupuncture treatment for each patient so that it can assist conventional medicine in areas unreached. Then we have aimed to provide easy explanation on three most popular types of acupuncture treatment available: manual acupuncture along with a table summarizing the key acupuncture points used for each type of syndrome, electroacupuncture along with succinct explanations on the whole mechanism of actions, and finally auricular acupuncture which may be conveniently used for the young, old, acupuncturenaive, and acupuncture-experienced all alike.

Key Points

• According to the principles of traditional East Asian medicine (TEAM), obesity is a pathophysiological state of the body with many diverse functions going awry.

• Obesity is induced by many different reasons and develops into many different forms according to each patient’s bodily constitutions, characteristics, and lifestyle and therefore must be approached differently for each patient.

• Unlike conventional medicine where treatment is provided for all types of obese patients alike, TEAM is based on holistic views and consequently approaches the problem from a more fundamental level, with greater emphasis on individuality.

• The three most popular types of acupuncture treatment available are manual acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and auricular acupuncture.

• Acupuncture therapy is an essential component of successful obesity management to restore balance of the organs and energy, achieve and maintain a reasonable body weight, redistribute fat masses for a better fi gure, and suppress appetite and reduce food intake.

• The mechanism of action for each type of acupuncture is different. Electroacupuncture regulates its effects through the release of different neurotransmitters, while auriculoacupuncture aids in weight control by activating the center in the brain to suppress the desire of food, by influencing the appetite signal of the digestive tract, and by its influence on obesity-related hormone peptides.

• Despite increasing evidence on acupuncture’s efficacy in treating weight-related disorders, it is recommended for patients and doctors to use acupuncture in conjunction with behavioral modification, herbal medication, and other dietary, exercise, and conventional treatment programs for best results.

Read more, please download the article here: “Acupuncture and Obesity”

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