Weight Loss and Acupuncture: The Real Scoop

Close up of acupuncture treatment

Due to the confusion and misconceptions around the relationship between acupuncture and weight loss (including in advertisements), we thought it would be a good idea to address this issue directly. We always try to be very honest and straightforward with our patients, especially because one of the goals of community acupuncture is to remove all of the esoteric mysticism surrounding acupuncture and instead make it a commonplace form of healthcare that nearly anyone can access. So, here goes.

First of all, acupuncture is NOT a miracle path to weight loss, as it is so often advertised by some of our colleagues. If it were, we would have a mile-long waiting list and lines out the door. In other words, there are no magic metabolism-activating acupuncture points that will cause weight loss. PERIOD.

With that said, however, there are many things that acupuncture CAN do, which may or may not relate to weight loss. Acupuncture can help people find relief from pain, fatigue, anxiety, addiction, insomnia, depression, headaches, digestive trouble, hormonal imbalances, and stress, among many other issues. Changes in any of these things could cause a change in weight, or not. Our role is to focus on what we know acupuncture can do; weight loss could be a side effect, but it’s not our focus.

We also strongly believe in promoting the health of all of our patients, no matter what their size is. We refuse to engage in the fat-shaming culture that permeates our society. The weight-loss industry tries to make people feel bad about themselves and tells them that their bodies aren’t good enough; in contrast, QiWorks (in particular) and community acupuncture (in general) work to create an acceptance of yourself and a connection to your body’s inner wisdom.

We don’t assume to know all of the complexities of your life and we’d never presume to have perfect answers for complex issues. We do know that we treat a lot of people, and we’ve seen some pretty amazing things happen inside of our clinic. One of the most dramatic is seeing people begin to find more peace and comfort in their bodies, often while their external circumstances haven’t changed at all. That’s why we feel so strongly about the power of community acupuncture and why we’re so passionate about our patients and what we do within our clinic. Thank you for being a part of that. Thank you as well to our national organization, POCA, for its inspiring message that guided us to write this article.