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Weight Loss and the use of Alternative Therapies

Updated on April 25, 2012

I've chosen three alternative therapies to highlight which can be used to complement diet and exercise to lose weight -

  • aromatherapy
  • reflexology
  • acupuncture

In the battle against the flab it makes sense to use every weapon at your disposal to help deliver successful weight loss. None of these therapies are magic bullets and they will not make the excess pounds fall off overnight but they may help make the journey to your ideal weight that bit easier to bear.

Aromatherapy for Weight Loss

We all know that the connection between smell and are emotions are very close and by breathing in pleasing scents we trigger positive reactors in our brains that make us feel better and this is the basis upon which reflexology imparts its beneficial effects.

Stress and boredom are two major contributors to our poor eating habits. If we aren’t stressed we are bored and if we aren’t bored we are stressed! Aromatherapy can help relieve our stress and provide us with a sense of positive wellbeing. . We all also know that our appetite and smell are very closely connected – I’m currently thinking about the smell of freshly baked bread and am feeling very hungry as a result - but some studies have actually found that our sense of smell can trigger our brain into believing our stomach is full before our stomach sends the same message.

Essential Oils to combat stress and improve wellbeing - The most commonly used oils are lavender, jasmine, rose, geranium, frankincense, grapefruit, ylang ylang and sandalwood.

Essential Oils to provide a feeling of fullness – The most well known oil for this is pink grapefruit but vanilla, ginger, peppermint, spearmint sandalwood are also popular. It is important to inhale these oils for at least five minutes to achieve the desired result any less than this and you can actually end up increasing your appetite!!

Reflexology for Weight Loss

Reflexology is another alternative healing technique with an ancient history as there is evidence from carvings in Egypt that reflexology was first practiced around 2500 to 2300 B.C.Reflexology is based on the belief that there are reflexes in your feet which correspond to all the different parts of your body and that by stimulating these reflexes you can bring about physiological changes.

Some practitioners in reflexology have a specific protocol that they follow with clients who are looking to lose weight. They place an emphasis in these sessions on stimulating the digestive and endocrine systems reflexes and this would be of benefit for those clients whose excess weight is due to hormonal or chemical imbalance. An underactive thyroid gland can be a key reason why an individual finds it difficult to lose weight.

Acupuncture for Weight Loss

Acupuncture works by inserting needles into the specific points of the body to stimulate the body to adjust its chi or life force. Acupuncture causes the body to release endorphins to stimulate a certain are of the body. For example a practitioner wanting to help a client lose weight would look to focus on the metabolism and the digestive system.

If you visit an an acupuncturist for help with losing weight they will start by discussing your eating habits and they will work out a plan of treatment based on your individual circumstances. So say you have a problem with a sweet tooth they would look to stimulate your lungs and if you have a slow metabolism they would look to stimulate the thyroid.

In some cases after your therapy session has ended your acupuncturist will place small adhesive buttons on the relevant acupoints after removing the needles. This would allow you to apply pressure to these points between sessions to help reduce food cravings. Sometimes your practitioner may also recommend a course of Chinese herbs to help improve your metabolism. Acupuncture can also help by reduce stress and anxiety another frequent cause of excess weight which can cause binge eating and other eating disorders.

As I said at the start of this article alternative therapies can only complement a regime of healthy eating and exercise and before you embark on any diet or exercise program you should of course first check with your doctor.


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    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 7 years ago

      Thanks for the thumbs up Richard.


    • profile image

      richard 7 years ago

      Thanks for promoting alternative health therapies, always good to see the message reaching those who can benefit

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 7 years ago

      I couldn't agree more. The key to successful dieting is that there isn't just one key. You have to keep trying different ones until you find those which work for you. Alternative therapies offer some of these keys.


    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      I'm loving this Weight Loss and the use of Alternative Therapies.

      How many times have I heard someone say I'm bored and soon be headed for something to eat. Alternative therapies are a great resource because eating is such a quick and effortless action that leaves us with so much to deal with if done to much.

      Your spot on there are many many things to do to insure a healthy weight. Good work on getting this point across. Why do one thing and get good results when you can do many things and experience a life time of great results and a healthy weight.

      Good Work and very helpful. Peace :)

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Hi Don

      It's good to hear from you. I must admit that poor eating habits when I'm busy has been my downfall. Keep up the good work on the weight loss.


    • Don Simkovich profile image

      Don Simkovich 8 years ago from Pasadena, CA

      Amber, this is good information. You really stated it well . . . stress and boredom can lead to causes for overeating or poor diet if it's undereating. I know I can end up eating out of stress and gained a lot of weight doing so . . . I'm now losing weight on a regular basis . . . fortunately . . . simply by not eating out of stress . . . hmm, I'll have to look in to the aromatherapy for present and future.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Why thank you PTTS, you are so kind.


    • paidtotakesurveys profile image

      paidtotakesurveys 8 years ago from London

      Hey Amber

      Thanks for the natural weight loss advice, very practical.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Hi Pollyannalana

      I appreciate your comments.



    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      That's true, good hub.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Hi PDH

      Thanks for your seal of approval!


    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      yuo discussed some ways to losing weight and they are all natural method, good job, Maita

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Hi Pamela

      Thanks for popping by. I'm glad you've found my hub informative. :)


    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      Great information on the various therapies. Good hub.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 8 years ago

      Thanks Hypnodude, your kind words are rating up are much appreciated.


    • hypnodude profile image

      Andrew 8 years ago from Italy

      Very good introduction to alternative therapies for weight loss and well explained. Rated up.


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