As an ancient medical practice, acupuncture has many health benefits, such as reducing anxiety, menstrual cramps, allergic rhinitis and relieving headaches and other types of pain. Although researchers are still working to understand the full scope of the benefits of acupuncture, acupuncture can also benefit the body by helping with weight loss.

In this article, we’ll explore how acupuncture helps with weight loss, including acupuncture ear therapy for weight loss, the acupuncture key areas for weight loss, and more, to help you decide if this is right for you.

How Does Acupuncture Work?


Acupuncture is a popular traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practice that involves inserting needles in specific parts of the body to stimulate the natural flow of qi (life force). Scientifically, the acupuncturist places the thin needles in key nerves in the body in order to stimulate them to regulate energy and metabolism. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, which have a calming and relaxing effect on the patient.

According to TCM, there are more than 300 acupuncture points in the body that can help with different health conditions.

Can Acupuncture Help With Weight Loss?

According to TCM, weight gain results from body imbalance by the malfunctioning of the liver, thyroid gland, endocrine system, kidney, and spleen. Therefore, by stimulating the flow of qi in those areas, the body can restore its balance and be able to lose weight more quickly.

Acupuncture can be highly effective for weight loss when combined with other weight loss practices such as healthy food and exercise.

The two most important hormones for weight loss are ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin controls appetite and meal stimulation, and leptin regulates fat storage and metabolism. Acupuncture helps stimulate these hormones, boosting metabolism, improving digestion, and reducing cravings.

How Does Acupuncture Help With Weight Loss?


Acupuncture for weight loss can help in many ways by optimizing bodily functions such as improving digestion, decreasing water retention, reducing inflammation, suppressing the appetite, boosting metabolism, regulating hormone production, and others.

Another way that acupuncture can help with weight loss is that it can make you feel more positive and motivated to improve your life quality and take extra steps to achieve your goals.

Boosts metabolism

One of the most helpful things for weight loss is boosting metabolism. Acupuncture can help boost metabolism by regulating the functioning of the pituitary gland, thus helping increase the burning of calories and losing weight. Acupuncture can also support the improvement of the function of the thyroid gland, which plays an essential role in producing the hormones (triiodothyronine or T3 and thyroxine T4) that regulate metabolism, internal temperature, energy levels, weight, and more.

Improves mood

People can tend to overeat or not do much physical activity when they’re overwhelmed or stressed. As acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins or feel-good hormones, you can eliminate anxiety and stress, avoid overeating, and feel more energized.

Improves digestion

Indigestion can cause constipation, bloating, or gastrointestinal issues that can lead to fat deposition. Through key stomach and kidney acupuncture points, you’ll be able to relieve the uncomfortable indigestion symptoms and increase the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body and improve gut health.

Discourages water retention

The accumulation of excess water in the body can show as extra weight, which is why acupuncture for weight loss focuses on stimulating the nerves of the kidneys and the endocrine system to discourage water retention. This way, acupuncture can help with quick weight loss and prevent water retention.

Reduces inflammation

Inflammation can slow down the metabolism and put a strain on the immune system, and it can become harder to lose weight. Acupuncture can help with regulating the immune response of the body, thus optimizing your body and lowering your levels of oxidative stress.

Balances hormone levels

Hormones are crucial in maintaining vital processes such as reproduction and metabolism. Therefore, hormone imbalance can negatively affect the body and cause indigestion, decreased metabolism, weight gain, a weaker immune system, etc. Acupuncture and ear therapy can regulate the release of ghrelin (a hormone responsible for hunger), this way helping patients let go of extra pounds.

Acupuncture Key Areas for Weight Loss


Many acupuncture points can help with weight loss, and they’re connected by a common pattern related to the nervous, digestive, and endocrine systems. Some of them are:

  • Spleen 6: Located on the inner leg, four fingers above the ankle, this point can help reduce food cravings and regulate digestion.
  • Large Intestine 4: Found in the webbing between the thumb and index finger on the hand, this point is believed to help reduce hunger and cravings.
  • Stomach 36: Situated on the outer leg, below the knee, this acupoint can help improve digestion and boost metabolism.

Acupuncture Ear Therapy for Weight Loss


Since there are so many nerve endings in the ear, ear therapy or auricular acupuncture is becoming increasingly popular for treating various ailments and dysfunctions by stimulating specific parts of the ears. Although more research needs to be done to draw conclusions about the efficacy of ear therapy for weight loss, current data shows that it can be effective for weight loss. The way ear therapy works is that it reduces the release of the hormone ghrelin, which is responsible for hunger. A common acupuncture point located in the upper part of the ear is Ear Shen Men, which is believed to help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety that typically contribute to overeating.


It’s important to keep in mind that acupuncture for weight loss works best in combination with a healthy diet, consistent physical activity, and stress reduction techniques. Acupuncture is a safe practice with minor side effects such as pain or bleeding where the needle punctures the skin, drowsiness, dizziness, and soreness. Therefore, it’s definitely something worth considering adding to your daily life.

If you’re curious to learn more about how acupuncture can help with weight loss and your overall well-being, feel free to book an appointment at Holistic Wellness Center based in Columbus, Ohio, and experience the benefits of natural healing options.