Acupuncture Found to Tame Gremlins (Actually, it's Ghrelin)Acupuncture Found to Tame Gremlins (Actually, itís Ghrelin)

By Mao Shing Ni, L.Ac., D.O.M., Ph.D, Dipl. C.H., ABAAP

There are two hormones, ghrelin and leptin, that play important roles in weight wellness. These two hormones work together to signal hunger and satiation and therefore are powerful factors involved in a behavior such as overeating that leads to weight gain.

What exactly are ghrelin and leptin? Ghrelin is made in the stomach and releases when it is empty, signaling hunger to the brain, whereas leptin is made by fat cells and tells the brain itís time to decrease appetite. The two hormones work together as yin and yang to maintain weight wellness.

When you are trying to lose weight, you want your bodyís level of ghrelin to go down and its leptin level to go up in order to keep your appetite in check. Factors that make the ghrelin go up instead of down and increase appetite include stress, starvation, sleep deprivation and lack of exercise.

Studies show that acupuncture, especially auricular (ear) acupuncture, can lower ghrelin and increase leptin, thereby decreasing appetite and supporting weight loss. Auricular acupuncture can be done during regular body acupuncture by taping a press tack needle onto special points of your ear and leaving there for up to one week before replacement.

Here are five suggestions to help quiet your inner gremlins (ghrelin) and increase leptin to help you achieve weight wellness:

1. Reduce stress with meditation.

2. Eat five small meals a day.

3. Get eight or more hours of sleep every night.

4. Exercise daily ó consider Weight Wellness Chi Gong or Tai Chi.

5. Get acupuncture treatments regularly; keep in mind that ear acupuncture lasts one week

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