Assuming you are OK with needling and going for visits aren’t out of your budget, acupuncture for weight loss could be an option. Once considered alternative medicine, acupuncture is moving toward the mainstream: It’s now recommended by many doctors and may even be covered by insurance. The practice involves inserting fine, clean needles along specific pathways on the body to improve chi or energy flow. It doesn’t encourage weight loss in isolation, but when combined with a reduced-calorie diet and regular exercise, patients are seeing results, according to a study published in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary Alternative Medicine. Here are 7 other surprising conditions that acupuncture can treat.
No doubt about it, stress—and the inability to cope with it—can cause people to reach for fattening comfort foods and abandon the things they know are good for them. So proven stress-busters like exercise and meditation help weight loss. Yet, people still tend to turn to smoking, alcohol, and binge-watching TV. Acupuncture, however, is a better alternative. “When we are under stress, we produce excess amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, and this pushes us in the direction of making unhealthy choices,” says Tim Rhudy, an acupuncturist in Delmar, NY. “Acupuncture…can help reduce stress so you might be less likely to reach for that donut.”