Acupressure can help lose weight, but its effectiveness depends a lot on how acupressure is used. Because the body reacts differently to acupressure than it does to acupuncture (Lane, 2009), the treatment strategies often also differ from each other. One of the most popular methods of acupuncture point stimulation without breaking the skin is by using the points on the ear. Research has shown that frequent repeated point stimulation causes longer lasting results, and placing small beads on individually selected points on the ear for each patient lets the patient stimulate those points throughout the day, even when they are outside of the acupuncturist’s office. What’s also important is that such regular self-administered point stimulation causes weight reduction to remain for longer, and patients do not gain the weight back as quickly or easily (Fujimoto, Kobayashi, Hataoka, Taniguchi, & Miura, 2020).
While some patients achieve their goal weight using acupressure only, research has shown that most patients benefit he most from combining acupressure with exercises, dietary and lifestyle changes (Hsieh, Su, Fang, & Chou, 2011). Oftentimes, selecting the right ratio among these constituents can mean success or failure of the entire weight-reduction program. Curiously, even the materials that the beads that are used to stimulate points on the ear are made of can cause shorter or longer-lasting weight loss outcomes (Hsieh, Su, Fang, & Chou, 2012). Depending on the causes of extra weight in individual patients, adding other modalities from the arsenal of traditional Chinese medicine, such as acupuncture, herbs, cupping, therapeutic exercises (tai chi, qigong), can improve the program’s results.
In general, acupressure is usually done by acupuncturists, but nurses and physicians sometimes use it in their practice. Considering that acupuncturists are the only ones who make a living by finding and stimulating active points, turning to an acupuncturist has higher chances of successful treatment outcomes. Acupuncturists at the Advanced Holistic Center keep up with the latest developments in the fields of point stimulation and often practice on each other, but they usually recommend addressing the entire organism for weight loss, rather than using a few active points for quick weight reduction.