Addicted to food? Acupuncture can help!

If you take a good look at our society, it’s easy to see that the majority of the population is at least slightly overweight. And it’s easy to see why too: too much time sitting in front of computers, eating takeout from restaurants that have ridiculous portions… but the real reason most people gain weight is because they’re fighting a battle with their subconscious and losing.

Think about this: how do you feel when you are in the process of eating? If you’re trying to be healthy and eat a giant bowl of raw spinach, do you get the same feeling you get when you eat ice cream? Probably not, unless you have some sort of spinach fetish. There are places in the world where this bowl of spinach would look like nectar from the gods… after all, if you’re struggling to consume enough calories to stay alive, anything looks good.

Here, that is not the problem. We have such complete and total access to any type of food that we want that our meals are based on pleasure, not necessity. Sure, we can get hungry during the day if we eat a late dinner, but I don’t think any of us know what REAL hunger is, the kind of hunger that dictates your entire life.

Since we don’t have the problem of figuring out how to feed ourselves, our only problem is deciding WHAT to feed ourselves… and, in general, we’ll choose something we like. Because, for us, food is so intricately intertwined with emotion and mood that it’s almost inseparable. Food stimulates us from deep within, sending those endorphins and happy chemicals through our bodies.

Food affects our spirit, sometimes so strongly that it can be considered an addiction. However, unlike most addictions, food cannot be given up. Imagine saying to a heroin addict, “You need to break this addiction… but you’ll have to take just a little bit of heroin every day to survive. And you’ll have to watch your friends do it, and watch commercials on TV of people doing it, and spend most of your day surrounded by heroin. But you can only take a little bit of heroin every day and then stop, no matter how much you want more.”

How successful do you think an addict would be in this situation? Now think about the last time you tried to diet. You still need to eat. And you still need to see other people eat and see commercials for all kinds of restaurants… all these stimuli come to you, while you try to change your behaviors. You don’t just want food; if that were the case, you would be perfectly happy eating nothing but vegetables and grains. What you really want is food that makes you happy, and those foods are often full of fat and sugar.

So where does acupuncture come into the equation? You know those chemicals I mentioned, the endorphins that make you feel so good, the ones we chase through food, sex, and drugs? Well, those same endorphins are released during acupuncture. How many times have you come home from a miserable and stressful day and eaten something full of carbs or fat just to feel better? I bet it was more often than not that you came home for a pint of ice cream after getting a raise or having a big date. We are in constant search of feeling good… and if we are already loaded with endorphins, the need to find something that stimulates that feeling is gone.

In short, if you consider yourself a “stress eater”, or if you are one of those people who tend to binge according to their mood, acupuncture is an excellent option to change your behaviors… and put you on the path to losing weight.

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