The Porcupine Diet – Acupuncture For Weight Loss

If you have tried all the fad diets with little success, why not try something that has worked for a couple of thousand years, acupuncture for weight loss.

You might disagree, but hear me out on this; if the same old stuff isn’t working, why not try something new that pushes the envelope a bit. Acupuncture for weight loss? Lose weight…yes, get stuck with needles, I didn’t think so…until I did some research. (I made up the name porcupine diet when I was being a wiseguy and showing my contempt before investigation).

With origins from China, acupuncture is one of the oldest and most commonly used medical procedures in the world. If you are looking for an alternative weight loss solution, you might want to try acupuncture.

Acupuncture for weight loss became popular is 2003 when CNN reported on successful acupuncture weight loss clinics in China. An increase in obesity in China led to the practice of acupuncture for weight loss because Chinese medicinal theory says that overweight people have imbalanced digestive systems.

Acupuncture can help you lose weight by strengthening your digestive system. Doing this helps control your appetite and therefore weight loss is achieved. Some theories suggest that acupuncture improves metabolism causing you to burn calories at a faster rate.

Acupuncture for weight loss involves poking the skin with thin stainless steel needles that are moved by hand or by electric stimulation. Sometimes the needles are combined with lasers. The needles are left in place for about 30 minutes.

You can expect to feel heat, tingling and perhaps numbness. In addition to the weight loss that can be achieved with acupuncture, you can also regulate your menstrual cycle, alleviate mood swings, and eliminate fatigue.

Here is how it works:

1. A doctor gives you an herbal prescription that is to be taken weekly.

2. You visit the doctor for a series of treatments. After the fourth treatment the electric stimulation is increased. The doctor may revise your prescription.

3. After a few treatments, you should begin to feel full more quickly than you used to.

4. After the 10th treatment you should take a two-week break to focus on your diet and exercise plan.

It takes time for the body to adjust to acupuncture for weight loss. But patients have reported that with patience, food cravings and overeating do disappear. According to the Chinese Acupuncture Points, acupuncture specialists have defined these points for weight loss with acupuncture:

Mouth – for the impulsive eater who may also smoke a lot and talk a lot.

Stomach – for the person who eats even after they’re full or who’s constantly nibbling.

Lung – for food addicts, and people who love chocolate, sweets.

Endocrine – for water retention that’s responsible for some of the weight gain.

Adrenal and Ovary – if weight gain is due to menopause or P.M.S.

Spleen – for sugar imbalances and hormonal disturbances.

Kidney – for water retention, and nervous system and hormonal imbalances.

Thyroid – for slow metabolism.

Be warned though, some doctors do not believe that acupuncture for weight loss alone is enough to have weight loss. Medical studies show that daily exercise, diet choices and dealing with food issues are an important part of the process.

It is also advised that you find a doctor who is certified by the National Certification Commission For Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) for acupuncture for weight loss.

The cost for weight loss acupuncture treatment varies. Your first visit can cost between $50-$125. Subsequent visits range from $30-$80. Physicians charge more than general practitioner and not all insurance companies cover treatment. Common side effects from acupuncture weight for loss include dizziness, headaches and nausea.

Acupuncture for Thoracic Spine Pain

Needling sites:

– Tips of spinous processes

– Interspinous ligament

– Paraspinal muscles

– Pain in chest wall (also local needling)

Pain in the thoracic spine is sometimes harder to help than pain in other parts of the back. Some patients have Type B pain localized to the spines of the thoracic vertebrae and in such cases periosteal needling of these works well. Remote needling of the dorsum of the hand or the ulnar border of the palm (SI 3) can also help thoracic spinal pain.

Pain in the chest wall generally does well; local needling over the painful area itself is effective.

What disorders are suitable for treatment?

Most acupuncture treatment is concerned with musculoskeletal disorders. Acupuncture can also be used to treat a number of disorders that are not – or not obviously – related to the musculoskeletal system.

It is possible to grade disorders according to the likelihood that they will respond to acupuncture.

  • Group A: Those that generally do well (50 to 70 per cent).
  • Group B: Those that do moderately well (10 to 50 per cent).
  • Group C: Those that seldom or never respond (less than 10 per cent).

Musculoskeletal disorders are generally Group A. Being a strong reactor moves a patient up by at least one category.

Note that in many cases it is either not possible to assign a formal diagnostic label to a patient’s symptoms or else the label applied (e.g. ‘osteoarthritis’) is fairly unhelpful. This does not mean that reaching a pathological diagnosis is irrelevant, but rather that acupuncture can be used in cases where no formal diagnosis has been found in spite of ample investigations.

Recording the treatment

This is essential, both for medicolegal reasons and for future reference. In practice, I tend to use a mixture of traditional and modern terminology to describe my treatment. If there is a traditional acupuncture point at the site I have used I note that; otherwise I use a description based on Western anatomical terminology. I also record the side (L or R), together with any other relevant information, such as the duration of needling (if unusual) and the effects, if any. Thus an initial treatment might be recorded as follows:

Lr 3 L,R (brief stim.): general reaction ++ (euphoria -? strong reactor)


TP in L gluteus medius: painful ++; sensation down to ankle.

Another way of recording one’s treatment is to mark it on a drawing.

On a subsequent attendance one should also record the outcome, possibly with a VAS.

The BMAS record sheet as supplied to candidates for the Certificate of Basic Competence provides a template for these details.

Top 10 Acupuncture Scholarships and Grants

The following list includes the top 10 acupuncture scholarships and grants, which any current or prospective student of this healing art should consider:

The Academic Achievement Award Scholarship at the National College of Natural Medicine: New students at this school in Portland, Oregon can apply for scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $2,500 based on an application and essay.

American Specialty Health Scholarship: The nation’s leading complimentary health care benefits organization has designed a scholarship to help students further their studies for future alternative healing careers. Students in acupuncture, massage, chiropractics, dietetics and other alternative and holistic programs with at least a 3.0 GPA can receive $4,500 or $7,500.

Charlotte McGuire Scholarship Program: This program consists of two awards for holistic nursing students who have at least a 3.0 GPA and are members of the American Holistic Nursing Association.

The Dr. Michael and Marlene Nissenblatt Scholarship: First and second year post-graduate students in acupuncture, herbology, traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine who plan on bringing the human spirit and touch to their practice may apply for this scholarship.

The Dr. Pedro Rivera Scholarship: Holistic veterinary students who plan on practicing acupuncture can receive a financial award if their essays are chosen.

The Dr. Richard Kearns Scholarship: A financial award from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association for holistic veterinary students based on responses to essay questions.

Herbal Time Scholarship: This $1,500 scholarship is awarded to bright and passionate MSTOM students from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine each year.

Jade Dragon Scholarship: One Pacific College of Oriental Medicine student with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA will receive $1,000 for this scholarship.

Nuherbs Scholarship: This is a $2,000 scholarship awarded to Pacific College of Oriental Medicine students by Nuherbs Co. in order to further the development of Chinese Medicine.

Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Scholarships: This Los Angeles, California school that offers Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine provides several scholarship opportunities, including the $1,500 Yo San Scholarship for new students who already have a bachelor’s degree, and the Master Ni Scholarship based on leadership and scholastic achievement.