Acupuncture For Weight Loss: Benefits,Side Effects And More

Weight loss is always a hot topic. Be it diet plans, exercises, or different techniques, everything seems to provide a solution to the problem differently.

Some of them are modern innovations, some are traditional techniques and others are a blend of these two.

One such traditional technique grabbing attention for its potential benefits is acupuncture. Some support it while others reject the idea of adopting this technique for weight loss.

If you also heard about it and consider it an option, follow the article to decide.


Acupuncture And Weight Loss

Acupuncture is an old traditional Chinese practice coming back to life worldwide. In this, thin needles are inserted into the skin for stimulating certain points.

It is linked to releasing of chemicals due to stimulation of the central nervous system. Thus, it may provide several benefits for physical and emotional soundness.

One such benefit acupuncture may provide is weight loss. However, this claim lacks scientific evidence.

How Could Acupuncture Aid In Weight Loss?

  1. It May Improve Digestion

    Since we know, a sound digestive system is essential for healthy weight management, acupuncture may improve the same.

    Acupuncture targeting the stomach and kidney stimulation may help improve digestion. It may also boost nutrient absorption by the body.

    Acupuncture may also combat fat deposition by preventing gut-related issues like bloating, constipation, and gastrointestinal disorders.

  2. It May Prevent Water Retention

    Acupuncture may also effectively stimulate the points of the endocrine system along with the kidneys. Thus, it may lower water retention.

    If your body will be able to ward off extra water, then it may lose weight as a result.

  3. It May Lower Inflammation

    Inflammation is another problem that needs to be taken care of. Inflamed muscles and tissues may affect metabolism. It deteriorates metabolism by making it sluggish.

    So, you might face a hard time looking to shed some kilos. The strained immune system and heart health caused by inflammation may add up to the problem.

    Acupuncture may regulate the system, relieve tension and reduce oxidative stress. Thus, it may lower inflammation, boost metabolism and assist in weight loss.

  4. It May Regulate Hormone Production

    Hormonal balance plays a big role in weight management. If you try everything from diet to exercise but fail to lose weight, your hormones might be at fault.

    Acupuncture that targets when men point in the ear may balance hormone secretion. Thus, you may observe some shedding.

  5. It May Improve The Mood

    Acupuncture is also claimed to be soothing because of its mood-related benefits. It may increase the secretion of mood-uplifting hormones called endorphins.

    Thus, it may eliminate stress and anxiety. In such a way, it can control overeating due to stress and even hunger pangs caused due to the same.

    Acupuncture may give you the positive push you are looking forward to for the weight loss journey. It may also help you to overcome lethargicness and keep up with your structured weight loss regime.

  6. It May Improve Metabolism

    We know that a healthy metabolic rate assists in weight loss. People with sluggish metabolism suffer the most when looking at losing weight.

    When the thyroid area is stimulated by acupuncture, the pituitary gland might start working with more efficiency.

    Thus, the fat-burning process may speed up. You may witness this, not only while working out but during regular activities also.

  7. Ear Therapy

    Auricular acupuncture is better known as acupuncture ear therapy. It is considered the most effective acupuncture therapy for weight loss.

    The ear has an abundance of nerve endings connected to the entire body. If ear therapy stimulates well certain points, it may assist in weight loss.

How Many Acupuncture sessions For Weight Loss?

The number of total sessions and those conducted per week vary from one practitioner to another.

An average treatment of six to eight weeks is conducted for weight loss purposes. In one week, multiple sessions could be held.

Side Effects Of Acupuncture

Provided, you are visiting a certified professional, the chances of side effects are low. However, in some cases, due to a lack of cleanliness and an uncertified professional, certain side effects might be observed. These might be

    1. Punctured Organs

      If the needle penetrates too deep, it may damage the organ. It may also cause pain and discomfort if the needle pierces a nerve.

    2. Pneumothorax or collapsed lungs

      In this condition, the air escapes from the lungs to the open area i.e chest. Thus, the lungs fail to expand which leads to collapse. If acupuncture creates an open injury in the lungs leading to air escape, pneumothorax may occur.

    3. Infections

      In case of faulty aftercare or reusable needles, you might be prone to infections. Acupuncture may make the body prone to infections like mycobacterial infections and staphylococcal infections.

    4. Damage to the central nervous system

      Although acupuncture could be beneficial for the nervous system, sometimes the needle may damage the spinal nerve root or peripheral nerve.

Mild Side Effects

Bruises, bleeding, and soreness is mild side effects that might be commonly observed after an acupuncture session.

Risk Factors

Acupuncture may not be everyone’s go-to technique. Several groups should refrain from it or should consult a doctor before taking a session. You might be prone to problems if you

  1. Have A Bleeding Disorder

    Since needles are used to stimulate certain points, if you have a bleeding disorder, bruises and excessive bleeding may occur. It could also be the case if you take blood-thinning medications.

  2. Are pregnant

    Acupuncture may induce premature labor due to stimulation. It could be harmful to both mother and child. Thus, pregnant females should avoid acupuncture.

  3. Have a pacemaker

    The electrical impulse which is a result of acupuncture may affect the working of the pacemaker. Thus, you need to be cautious and consult a specialist before considering acupuncture.

  4. Infections

    Practitioners suggest that if you already have an active infection, acupuncture may worsen it. So it is better to start your treatment after you recover from the infection.

How Effective Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture alone may not lead to weight loss. You may also have to follow a weight-loss diet, exercise, and implement lifestyle changes. Enough scientific evidence is not available to approve of the weight loss benefits of acupuncture.

However, its benefits outnumber the minimal risk factors, so it is worth trying. It will provide relaxation to the body and a positive outlook if performed by a professional.

The biggest downgrade of acupuncture is its cost ineffectiveness. Even one session of acupuncture is costly and considering multiple sessions for several weeks, it is not budget-friendly. If you are on a tight budget, it might not be an ideal choice for weight loss.


Acupuncture is a traditional technique that has recently caught the eye of health experts worldwide. Out of all the advantages of this technique, one crucial advantage is its weight loss benefits.

Although enough research has not been conducted to confirm this benefit, it still holds the potential to be a cure in near future. Along with weight loss, it may extend help in post-operative care and relaxation.

Its side effects are rare but may occur. Consulting a doctor before starting the treatment is recommended. Also, try to exercise and follow a healthy diet for improving weight loss chances.