Search
Add Listing

List Your Practice Today! Call (877) 630-3600

Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to Optimize Metabolism

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

There is not one moment when your body is not engaged in the process of metabolism. Whether you are running a marathon or plopped down on the couch, awake or sleeping, in every single cell of your body, biochemical processes constantly occur, making all life possible. The conversion of food into small particles, which can then be used to charge the digestive system, is one example of a metabolic process. For an interesting visual conception of this activity, imagine the digestive organs as a bubbling cauldron, and the bursting flames underneath, as a representation of metabolism in action.

The concept of Qi, according to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, is defined as the most essential energy needed for all living things to exist. Qi is what circulates throughout your body along invisible tracts of energy called meridians. When you get a treatment from your practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine, it is this vital substance that the needles work with to balance the body's energy. The concept of Qi bears a strong resemblance to the process of metabolism.

All systems in your body rely on the energy gained from the conversion of nutrients from food, as well as the oxygen from air, in order to have a viable fuel source. This includes the reproductive, neurological, cardiovascular, nervous, urinary systems, and many more.

As an extensive list of conditions and symptoms can occur, the following list contains only a partial tally of some of the signs a faulty metabolism can create:

  • Poor digestion
  • Weight gain
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Insomnia
  • Brain fog (fuzzy thinking)
  • Low physical energy levels


Weight gain is a common complaint for those with an impaired metabolism. It can be frustrating because often the intake of food is the same as before the extra pounds arrived or, even worse, less food is eaten and still the problem arises. Fortunately, acupuncture and Oriental medicine can offer help in combating this problem, as concluded by a study published in the medical journal BMJ Open Gastroenterology, in a study entitled "The Effects of Auricular Acupuncture on Weight Reduction and Feeding-Related Cytokines: A Pilot Study."

The study participants were divided into two groups: one received proper auricular treatments and the other received 'sham' acupuncture. Sham acupuncture means that acupuncture points selected for treatment did not directly address the issue of weight gain. Auricular acupuncture involves needle treatments performed on the ear. The ear is considered a microcosm of the body and can be used to treat many problems.

It was determined after only one week of acupuncture treatments, that the group receiving proper treatment showed a noteworthy and statistically important improvement in percentage of body weight. In addition to the reduction in body weight, it was uncovered that the production of ghrelin, also known as the 'hunger hormone,' was lower for the group receiving the appropriate auricular treatment. Thus, the researchers concluded that acupuncture may work for weight loss due to the suppression of ghrelin.

If you have a history of irregular eating or overeating, this may negatively impact the rate and efficiency at which your metabolism functions. Whether you already have a diagnosis or suspect something isn't quite right with your system, an appointment with your practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental medicine may prove helpful for many reasons. In addition to addressing the organs and glands that help operate the metabolic functions, acupuncture treatments can help suppress your appetite, bring a sense of calm, and improve the overall Qi circulation in the body.

Ito H, Yamada O, Kira Y, Tanaka T, Matsuoka R.  "The effects of auricular acupuncture on weight reduction and feeding-related cytokines: a pilot study." BMJ Open Gastroenterology 2015 Feb 9; 2(1):e000013. doi: 10.1136/bmjgast-2014-000013. eCollection 2015.  Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26462269

Find an Acupuncturist near you to learn how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you!

About the Author:   Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

Search In Learning Center :

About Healthy Living & Longevity

Top 9 Chinese Medicine Tips for a Long Life Balance and Strength Exercises to Reduce Fall Risk What is Qi Gong? Acupuncture for Ageless Skin Health Challenges of Aging and How Acupuncture Can Help Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Greater Health and Longevity Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine to Optimize Metabolism Lifestyle Changes to Optimize Thyroid Function Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for Healthy Living, Aging and Longevity Exercises for Longevity Essential Nutrients for Longevity Healthy Aging and Improved Longevity Aging Well with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Six Easy Tips for Greater Health and Longevity Create Lasting Resolve to Reach Your Goals with Acupuncture The Will Power Connection Alleviate Your Stress with Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Revitalize Your Health with Acupuncture and Nutrition Enhance Your Endocrine Health with Acupuncture Cultivate Optimal Endocrine Health Rest, Renew and Reflect on Your Health! Difficulties Sleeping? Put Insomnia to Rest! Top Men's Health Concerns and How Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Can Help Treating Thyroid Problems with Acupuncture Give Your Cardiovascular Health a Boost with Acupuncture Combating Feelings of Holiday Stress, Anxiety and Depression with Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine The Health Indexes in Chinese Medicine How to Boost Energy with Acupuncture in Winter Chinese classical story and quintessence of Chinese medicine Acupuncture Improves Memory and Learning Capacity New Year Rejuvenation with Acupuncture Navigating Your Path to Health with Acupuncture Acupuncture and Preventive Medicine Study Shows Acupuncture Significantly Lowers Blood Pressure Not Just Skin Deep - Acupuncture for Facial Rejuvenation Acupressure for Facial Enhancement Dan Tian Breathing: Connecting to the Center Less Weight, More Life with Acupuncture The Habits for Long Life Acupuncture for Cholesterol Management Green Tea Pomegranate Juice Fights Heart Disease, Study Says Get a Fasting Lipoprotein Profile The Secrets of a Daoist Mind
How To Cultivate Inner Peace
Nourish your Spirit Tai Chi Effective Addition to Immunity Against Shingles, New Study Finds Yin-Yang Balance and Food Choice Secrets of Longevity: Diet and Nutrition Secrets of Longevity: Herbs, Remedies, and Elixirs Secrets of Longevity: Environment, Ecology, and Community Secrets of Longevity: Exercise, Lifestyle, and Rejuvenation A Conversation with Dr Maoshing Ni About The Secrets of Longevity Herbal Formuals for Health and Longevity

Ask The Acupuncturist

Q: I have had recurrent shoulder pain for three years. At times it is very incapacitating. Can you help?

A: Yes. The shoulder's surrounding tissues cope with mechanical stress and are prone to a variety of degenerative and/or traumatic problems. Th... Read More