Trusted Nutrients Blog
Ancient Weight Loss “Gimmicks” (?)–Part One
This morning, after taking my daily, I-love-them-to-death, Garcinia Cambogia and Raspberry Ketones, I decided to start researching more ways to maximize my weight loss potential. I am thrilled with the results I have gotten from my supplements, but I know that it is going to take more if I am going to defeat this 150-pound monkey on my back. I sat down at my laptop to write this article and spent quite a bit of time staring at the blank screen. What could I possibly say that hasn’t been said a million times before, by authorities far more educated than I? I clicked and searched and followed rabbit trails to what seemed like the end of the internet and still couldn’t find something new and exciting to tell you about today. That reminded me of my favorite quote:
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 (ESV)
There is nothing new, ever. Everything that comes along is just a repackaging of what has come before. That takes quite a bit of pressure off my shoulders. Instead of desperately trying to come up with a new gimmick to capture your attention, I have decided to study the old “gimmicks”. Are there ancient methods that have been proven in modern times to help with weight reduction? Over the next few days, let’s examine in detail some of the oldest, and perhaps wisest, weight loss methods known to man. In fact, let’s just start with the A’s and work our way down the alphabet, shall we?
The goal of Acupuncture is to correct imbalances in the flow of qi by stimulating specific points on the body with small, thin needles. Qi is our life force, and is defined by five cardinal functions. First, actuation involves all the physical processes in the body. For example, how the organs function, and how bodily fluids circulate between them. Second, warming implies the body’s ability to keep itself warm, especially the outer limbs. Third, defense describes the body’s ability to defend itself against outside pathogens. Fourth, containment is the body’s ability to keep its fluids from leaking or excessive emission. Fifth, transformation, is the body’s ability to transform food, drink, and breath into blood, fluids, and qi. Acupuncturists believe that when any one of these five functions become out of balance, acupuncture can help restore the body back to health.
Numerous research studies have tried to prove acupuncture’s effectiveness at treating a variety of ailments. The results have been mixed, mainly due to the difficulty of eliminating acupuncture’s enormous placebo effect. When a patient lies on a table with the intention of submitting to a little pain in order to eliminate a greater pain, they expect to feel better after it is over, so they do. Despite this difficulty, studies have shown that acupuncture can help relieve pain and nausea even beyond the placebo effect influence. In addition, a review in 2008 of 29 studies on acupuncture’s ability to promote weight loss and improvement in obesity risk showed that there was significant evidence to show that it was effective. Scientists compared individuals who just made lifestyle changes to those who used acupuncture and found that, on average, the second group reduced their body weight by 1.72 kg and reduced their obesity risk by 2.57%.
Scientists have concluded that while there is an urgent need for well-planned, long-term studies, there is enough evidence at this point to say that acupuncture is an effective treatment for obesity.
Acupuncture’s close cousin, acupressure, doesn’t have nearly the scientific study support that acupuncture does. Acupressure involves restoring the balance of qi by stimulating the same points in the body, but does the stimulation with gentle or firm hand pressure rather than needles. Being a bit needle phobic myself, I wish I could tell you I found evidence that acupressure would help, but that is just not the case. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence, my Aunt Sally swears that acupressure has been her salvation when it comes to reducing arthritis pain, but scientists have been unable to reproduce the results in controlled environments. The placebo effect, again, is very difficult to separate out from actual acupressure-caused results.
I do have some good news to share, however. Acupressure is effective at helping to reduce the amount of weight individuals regain. I guess the moral of the story then would be, acupuncture to lose the weight, acupressure to keep it off. I am not sure if what I have learned today is enough to get me to add acupuncture to my current plan of mindful eating and Trusted Nutrients supplements. If I do decide to try it, will you come hold my hand?
What about you? Have you found either of these methods to be helpful in your efforts to maintain a healthy body? Share your story with us in the comments!
by Patience Sharp