6 Alternative Therapies & Treatments That May Help With Weight Management

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First things first; no quick fix solution or alternative therapy is more effective and sustainable for approaching weight loss than eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking regular exercise.

For some, however, a holistic approach, using those traditional weight loss methods we mentioned combined with complementary therapies, makes the whole journey more manageable and motivating.

If you’re looking to slim down and are keen to use a range of methods to reach your goals, then here are 6 alternative therapies and treatments that may help with weight management.

*Always consult with your GP before trying any alternative therapies, and once again, nothing is more effective than a balanced diet and plenty of exercise*

Acupuncture

The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture involves the insertion of incredibly fine needles into specific parts of the body associated with nerve and muscle stimulation. The belief is that arousing these nerves and muscles may cause pain-relieving chemicals – such as endorphins – to be released. 

The NHS, alongside the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence, advocate the use of acupuncture as a treatment for migraines and tension headaches. Some, however, believe of acupuncture could also be used as a complementary therapy in a person’s weight loss journey, alongside traditional methods. 

This is because of the suggestion in Chinese medicine that there are several acupressure points located around the body which have connections to metabolism and digestion. These are; Zusaline, located just above the kneecap, Sanyinjiao, located along the spleen meridian, Zhongwan, a couple of inches above the navel, Renzhong, which is on the philtrum, and Xuehai, also close to the kneecap.

According to Everyday Health, ‘’thanks to acupuncture, some people can experience reduced hunger and weight loss, a meta-analysis of seven studies that was published in the journal Obesity (revealed)’’. That said, plenty more research is needed into the use of acupuncture for weight loss before any conclusions can be drawn. 

Regardless of your goals for receiving acupuncture, always ensure that your acupuncture practitioner is a regulated healthcare professional – usually a physiotherapist, doctor or nurse – and check that they are accredited by the British Acupuncture Council, which you can do on the regulatory body’s website. 

Chiropractic Therapy

Chiropractic therapy is a complementary healthcare treatment that focuses on treating disorders of the muscular and skeletal systems. It involves manual adjustments, specifically spinal manipulation, to address various health issues.

While chiropractors treat a range of conditions, they can also play an effective role in weight management. By correcting any postural imbalances or joint restrictions that may be hindering movement or causing discomfort, chiropractors can help clients engage in more physical activity and improve their overall health and well-being.

Improving your overall posture and mobility can help greatly in the goal of weight management. By including chiropractic therapy in your weight loss plan, you could achieve long-term results and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Aqualyx Injections

Speaking of needles and the potential for weight loss, you may have heard of Aqualyx injections – also known (perhaps a little erroneously) as fat-dissolving injections. Whilst certainly not used to shed several stone in one sitting, aqualyx injections are intended to help deal with small, stubborn pockets of fat in specific areas, such as under the chin, or at the small of your back.

The procedure begins by injecting Aqualyx into a specified area, and this should only ever done by a physician. The solution will then attach itself to the fat deposits that are broken down over time. When the fat has been completely dissolved, it will be flushed out of the body through the lymphatic system and urine. Again, it’s important to remember that Aqualyx injections target tiny fat pockets, and it is not a tool for weight loss.

Another relevant question on people’s minds is who is Aqualyx for? The answer may be better suited to who it’s not for – which includes those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those who have certain conditions which are related to how their body deals with fat.

A typical Aqualyrx appointment could last from around half an hour to an hour, and the process often involves two to four Aqualyx treatments. Aqualyx injections can only be performed safely by a qualified doctor, surgeon, or trained healthcare professional with special training in the procedure.

Massage 

According to the experts over at Mayo Clinic, massage is one of our most powerful weapons in alleviating discomfort and promoting health and wellbeing. But you didn’t need an online doctor’s surgery named after a delicious oil and egg emulsification to tell you that, did you? 

Yep, when used as a part of complementary and integrative medicine, massage can relax us, invigorate us, and may also relieve pain when done therapeutically and by a qualified professional, such as an osteopath or chiropractor registered with their corresponding medical regulatory bodies; the General Chiropractic Council and the General Osteopathic Council

Should you be seeking a massage just for relaxation, rather than the treatment of any specific physical ailments, then ensure that your masseuse is a member of the National Association of Massage and Manipulative Therapists.

In terms of massage to help with weight loss, the jury is still out. As a wise person once said, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, but there is some scientific backing for this claim. The wisefolk over at Very Well Fit point to massage’s ability to make the weight loss process more manageable, by promoting better sleep, less muscle soreness after exercise, and an improved mental state fit for fighting another day of strict dieting and intense working out.

Claims that massage helps you lose weight by increasing your rate of metabolism, however, are yet to be scientifically verified.

Coolsculpting

Many of us wouldn’t consider going under the knife with a goal of weight loss in mind. But in recent years ‘coolsculpting’ (or cryolipolysis) has gained traction in the world of cosmetics and beauty as a way to lose fat without having to undergo surgery.

This type of technological advancement is a type of non-invasive fat reduction treatment. Coolsculpting works through cryolipolysis, which involves freezing away unwanted fat without the patient having to undergo surgery or even an extended period of downtime; the procedure is typically completed in under an hour.

Should a prolonged, dedicated effort at exercise and a healthy diet not be succeeding in shedding the pounds, coolsculpting could be an option. Since fat cells are more susceptible to cold temperatures than the surrounding tissues, this means that the procedure helps to selectively destroy these cells while the surrounding tissues are spared. Then, the destroyed fat cells enter the body’s immune system, which provides the body the opportunity to naturally process and remove dead fat cells. 

Coolsculpting treatments could be ideal for:

  • Abdomen, especially belly fat
  • Double chin
  • Upper arms
  • Both outer and inner thighs
  • Male chest
  • Back fact
  • Upper arms
  • Flanks or love handles
  • Underneath the buttocks

Whilst this might sound like a quick-fix procedure without any medical merit, the National Institute for Health Care and Excellence, via the National Library of Medicine, suggest that ‘’Cryolipolysis is a promising procedure for nonsurgical fat reduction and body contouring and presents a compelling alternative to liposuction and other, more invasive methods.’’

Ayurvedic Diet

Ayurvedic medicine is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. Originally from India, its main goal is to find the balance between the body, mind, and spirit. And we all need a bit of that, right?

For this weight loss alternative, there’s no single procedure or product to do or buy. Instead, Ayurveda is a holistic approach that’s tailored to each individual wanting to lose weight. Thus, a wide range of therapies may be available, such as specialised diet, massage, and herbs, combined with teachings about how to adopt a more mindful approach to eating more generally.

Even though it’s a holistic approach and may depend on the individual’s body, mind, and spirit, the most common Ayurvedic practice when it comes to weight loss is by drinking hot water and lemon as this will stimulate digestion. It’s also encouraged to practice Ayurvedic breathing exercises and some gentle yoga poses in combination with your tailor made diet plan. 

Always consult with your GP before undertaking a new diet plan such as the Ayurvedic diet, and be aware that the NHS is still in the process of conducting research to confirm the efficacy of such diets.

The Bottom Line

Always consult with your GP if you’re concerned about your weight and prior to undertaking any complementary and alternative medicines. 

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