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Acupuncture & Weight Loss

Photo by Drop the Label Movement on Unsplash

Does acupuncture help with weight loss?

This is a question that we at Boise Acupuncture Co-op get asked pretty frequently. At a recent staff meeting, we found ourselves discussing how we answered that question. Our consensus was that we mostly responded with a qualified “yes”-- acupuncture treatment supports metabolic and digestive function, improves sleep, energy, and mood, and regulates hormone production, all of which might play a role in losing excess weight.

This is a pretty good answer, but I couldn’t help feeling like it was incomplete. We can’t really answer the question “Can acupuncture help me lose weight?” without asking a question in return: Why do we feel that we need to lose weight in the first place?

In our culture we have a habit of equating the societal standard of beauty--which currently trends towards extreme thinness--with health and well-being. Despite what we are told by sources from social media to the family doctor, body weight does not determine nor unequivocally represent a person’s fitness. In fact, sizeism at the doctors office often leads to underdiagnosis of serious medical conditions. Acupuncture as a modality supports the body’s natural healing processes and optimal functioning. Not every body’s optimal state is a size 2, though we are frequently encouraged to believe that changing our exterior shape is a way to finding happiness, success, and well-being.

Ultimately, we here at BAC are here to help you feel as good as you can. We are not here to judge and measure, or administer unsolicited advice on how to “improve” yourself. Acupuncture is a wonderful tool to increase vitality and balance in your body and life. It can help you heal physical, emotional, and mental injury and illness. The best answer we can offer to the question “Can acupuncture help me lose weight?” is this: Acupuncture supports weight loss if weight loss is a byproduct of your improved health.

Wishing for a little bit more of a straightforward “yes”? Here are a few questions I can answer in the affirmative:

Can acupuncture help me feel more calm and grounded?

Can acupuncture help me feel more comfortable in my body?

Can acupuncture help me sleep better and feel less depressed/anxious/grumpy?

Can acupuncture reduce the pain in my hip/knee/back/toe that keeps me from exercising?

Will I be safe and respected at Boise Acupuncture Co-op regardless of my shape, size, and physical appearance?

Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes.

If you are interested in more information about cultivating a happy and healthy relationship with your body, and supporting others with the same goal, check out the Healthy at Every Size community at


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