Weight Loss and the use of Alternative Therapies
I've chosen three alternative therapies to highlight which can be used to complement diet and exercise to lose weight -
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.