August 11, 2016

By  Steve Hoffman

Obesity is an insidious, deadly and growing problem in this country. However, there is another issue that we deal with as a society. An issue that can cause its own health problems and weight gain. That issue is stress. As this Harvard Health article indicates stress has been linked to weight gain in clinical studies. While stress initially suppresses appetite, chronic stress will increase appetite, make us feel both hungrier and hungry more often. Chronic stress will also cause you to crave the exact foods that contribute to weight gain and increase insulin production (that will again make you feel hungry) perpetuating a cycle that leads to weight gain and overeating. Even if you eat well and exercise, stress can prevent you from losing weight and even gain weight despite your best efforts!

If you read my post on how stress affects the body in  Are You Sympathetic? Part 1 you know that, during our development we did not, until recently, deal with the type of stress that we do today on a regular basis. We certainly had instances of high stress, but as hunter gatherers, we generally had a much better balance between stress and relaxation, allowing our bodies time to heal, clear out the stress hormones in our system and maintain a more even digestion process. Today, we are under almost constant, low level (or even high level) stress, we are increasingly isolated with less family and social support and we have less time for the activities and rest that we need to properly mitigate the stress that we are under.

Stress reduction must be a key component of any weight loss plan, especially if you are dieting and exercising and cannot seem to lose weight. You can read my post about  Acupuncture for Stress Relief and as I indicated, there are important things that you can do to reduce and mitigate stress. Diet, exercise, meditation and developing a good social and family support structure are all critical aspects of stress reduction. Regular acupuncture for stress reduction, especially when coupled with treatment for weight loss can be a powerful combination in helping achieve your goals. Acupuncture reduces stress hormones, causes the brain to release endorphins (basically, anti-stress hormones), improves circulation and decreases heart rates and blood pressure. All of this puts your body in best possible state to deal with the impact that stress is having on your body.

Acupuncturists have known for thousands of years that the mind, body and spirit are all interrelated and affect one another. Western medicine is just waking up to these realities but does not have anything to offer your body to deal with stress. At Princeton Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, we will perform the comprehensive intake and evaluation that you need in order to properly diagnose the problem and tailor a treatment plan to get the best results possible. On top of this, we will recommend dietary and lifestyle changes that work synergistically with the acupuncture treatments and just as importantly, changes you can live with!

Princeton Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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