The U.S. obesity epidemic is not going away. It has been estimated that by the year 2030, 42% of the population will be considered obese. While we are bombarded by products that promise dramatic results, it must be remembered that is no magic bullet for weight loss. The main components will always revolve around fitness and diet. Unfortunately, this strategy can prove very difficult for many of us who are overweight.
For those who are looking for a natural, drug free approach to go along with a diet and exercise program that burns more calories than taken in, acupuncture may be the answer. In the May 2012 issue of Obesity Reviews, researchers concluded that acupuncture was more effective than the pharmaceutical medications often used to treat obesity. Auriculotherapy is a style of acupuncture that utilizes specific electrically active points on the ear to treat a variety of conditions.
How does auriculotherapy work? An accepted mechanism has to do with the neural connection between the acupuncture points on the ear and the vagus nerve. This nerve (vagus is translated as the ‘wanderer” in Latin) is the primary component of the parasympathetic nervous system. In a perfect world, the vagus nerve and its parasympathetic control of heart and digestive functions should be balanced with its partner, the sympathetic nervous system. Under chronic stress, the sympathetic system, best known as the controller of our ‘fight or flight’ response, becomes overstimulated. This condition may lead to unresolved stress which leads to dependence on nicotine or drugs. Some of us fall victim to food cravings when over-stressed.
Nicotine, drugs and food addictions share a common denominator, eventually a pathological reflex or circuit gets established. Auriculotherapy treatments act a “pattern interrupt” that helps give you the willpower to tame the unhealthy circuit.
For those who need help in adhering to exercise and dietary restrictions, auriculotherapy may be the answer. However, it is important that the patient is motivated and truly desires change. A successful outcome is enhanced when the patient educates themselves on the science that supports auriculotherapy. An optimistic attitude along with trust in the doctor definitely improves the chances for successful and permanent weight loss