How to lose the weight with painless laser light. What is this all about?
Weight loss comes under the topic of "Weight Control", because we are concerned with the loss and MAINTENANCE of loss of weight. This is a multi-faceted problem, and a good program involves diet, exercise and stress reduction techniques.
Acupuncture is an ADJUNCT therapy. It is not a panacea or a wonder cure in the treatment of weight control. But, acupuncture is effective in making it easier to lose and maintain that loss if the patient is willing to change their lifestyle. The exact mechanism by which acupuncture works is unknown, but we know that acupuncture needles inserted into specific points on the body and in the ear release endorphins which have a calming and relaxing effect that makes it easier to deal with stress, frustration and anxiety that can trigger overeating and binging on fattening foods. Also endorphins affect the digestive and hormonal systems so acupuncture can help re-balance the organ systems that are running too fast, or in this case too slow (i.e., the metabolism and the will power).
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), also referred to as 'cold' laser, laser acupuncture, light or soft therapy, is a form of non-needle, non-invasive and painless acupuncture. This type of high-tech is a method for speeding up metabolism and promoting weight loss. It makes use of the ancient Chinese tradition of acupuncture for treating pain, illnesses and a variety of other conditions such as obesity without the 'pin-prick' sensation of needle insertion acupuncture.
Instead of sticking acupuncture pins in the body, however, it uses the modern medical technology of a low-intensity and non-thermal painless and non-invasive form of infrared and/or near-infrared light energy to penetrate the skin tissue and stimulate the skin cells. Certain points are targeted by the laser light beams emitted by a hand-held device to trigger shifts in the patient's inner energy. This same principle is used in acupuncture, reflexology and shiatsu. Apart from certain contraindications such as cancerous skin lesions and pregnancy, laser therapy is also researched to be harmless to the body.
For other purposes, such as the cold laser's primary use to relieve pain, the stimulated cells are activated to function and heal properly. As a weight loss treatment, the activated cells are supposed to trigger a shift in the body's energy. This is the same function as lasers used in smoking cessation treatments. The body's metabolism and enzymes are activated to change the physiological desires of the patient. For quitting smoking, it's a change in wanting nicotine, and for weight loss treatment, the change is in the desire for food and making the patient feel fuller, faster.
- Safety - According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), low-level laser therapy devices do not pose significant health risks to patients (provided that safety measures such as protective eye-wear are properly worn during the procedure).
- Process - Cold laser light stimulates tissues and helps them heal faster. The laser light penetrates the body and is said to stimulate metabolic processes. The laser is beamed only at targeted points in the body, depending on what needs to be stimulated in order to make weight loss possible.
- Metabolism - Primarily, laser acupuncture stimulates metabolism allowing for faster conversion of foods into energy and, thus, preventing the body from storing excess fats. It also helps to regulate the proper digestion of foods and, consequently, prevents the occurrence of stomach pain and upsets, as well as indigestion. Furthermore, cold laser treatment can also help cleanse the body of toxins and other harmful wastes that clog the digestive system, disrupt it and making digestion hard for weight to be
- Effects - Proponents of laser acupuncture claim that the procedure reduces a person's cravings for food, helps regulate eating habits and eliminates overeating. Besides weight loss, laser acupuncture is said to improve mood and reduce the feelings of anxiety, depression and other negative emotional factors that affect a person's eating habits.
Be Realistic with Expectations
Cold laser therapy is not intended to be used in isolation; it is meant to supplement and facilitate weight loss efforts giving the patient an "overall sense of well-being" so that he or she doesn't get frustrated, irritable or depressed when trying to stay on a diet. Diet and exercise are crucial to achieving a healthy weight. The intent of treatment is to improve the patient's willpower, and help facilitate the weight loss process--but cold laser therapy is not a sole method of weight loss, even according to its enthusiasts. There are no claims that an isolated cold laser therapy session will result in weight loss. Laser therapy is a great addition to weight loss programs, "addition" being the key word.
The Treatment Program - Be Prepared for Multiple Visits for Optimal Success
Regardless of the reason for cold laser therapy, multiple treatment sessions are always required in order for treatment to be effective. The number of LLLT acupuncture treatment sessions necessary depends on the patient's goals for losing weight, the speed at which they want to lose, and their commitment to keeping the weight off.
For the average patient who wants to lose between 5 to 20 pounds, at least 12 therapy sessions are recommended; three times for the first week, twice per week for the next three weeks, and then one session every week until they reach their goal is appropriate, and then, a booster session once every two weeks for a few months is optimal. After these booster treatments, the patient and practitioner will mutually decide when to terminate frequent treatments and then can aim to meet approximately four times a year, receiving 3 laser sessions one week apart, at the change of seasons when energy levels are unstable and tonification and harmonizing of one's system is appropriate for everyone.
If the overeating is severe or if there is a greater amount of weight loss required, a treatment program of 3 to 4 sessions for the first two weeks is appropriate. Sessions are then tapered off the third week to twice per week for the next four weeks, and then one session every week until the desired goal is obtained followed by booster treatment sessions once every two weeks for a few months. As also mentioned above for the average patient, after a few booster treatments, the patient and practitioner will mutually decide when to terminate frequent treatments and then can aim to meet approximately four times a year, receiving 3 laser sessions one week apart, at the change of seasons when energy levels are unstable and tonification and harmonizing of one's system is appropriate for everyone.
The appetite reduction from each session should carry the patient through to the next session. The idea is to build up the metabolism, boosting it in increments with each treatment session.
The Acupuncture Points
Following the completion of a questionnaire and the consultation with the practitioner to discuss your particular pattern of overeating, a treatment protocol will be devised using a combination of ear and body points. It is important for you to let the practitioner know if you have any real digestive difficulties.
Although the Chinese developed the system of ear and body acupuncture a long time ago, as one of the various 'micro-systems' of the body containing all the points relating to the major organs and body parts, a Frenchman by the name of Nogier discovered many there are many points on the ear that pertain to Western medicine, such points are called 'Adrenal', 'Pituitary', FSH, 'Ovary', 'Thyroid', etc.
Many of the points from both systems that are important for weight loss treatments are:
- Mouth - for the impulsive eater who may also smoke a lot and talk a lot
- Stomach - for the person who eats even after they're full or who's constantly nibbling
- Hunger/Hungry - for general appetite control
- Lung - for food addicts, and people who love chocolate, sweets
- Shenmen - a calming point, for the psychology overlay for anxiety, anger, frustration, insecurity
- Endocrine - for water retention that's responsible for some of the weight gain
- Adrenal and Ovary - if weight gain is due to menopause or P.M.S.
- Spleen - for sugar imbalances and hormonal disturbances
- Kidney - for water retention, and nervous system and hormonal imbalances
- Thyroid - for slow metabolism
The practitioner chooses two or more of these points for each treatment depending upon the patient's problem and personality profile regarding overeating.
Next, body points would be selected. During the first few treatments, most likely the Four Gate points (LI 4, Liver3) would be used to circulate the energy throughout the body and calm the nervous system. Ren 12, the front collecting point of the stomach energy would be chosen for many treatments, as would Stomach 36, three inches distal to the 'eye' of the knee that tonifies the energy and helps circulate oxygen and blood of the whole body and of the stomach in particular. Then, based on the diagnosis, the practitioner may add Stomach 40, the master point for mucous, or Kidney 7 or 10 for edema or water retention.
Pressure Points & Ear Tacks
Last but not least, three pressure points on the body may be stimulated daily for two minutes each that will promote the general health as well as aid digestion, elimination and relaxation. These points will be taught and are: Large Intestines 4 (HEGU - Li4); Pericardium 6 (Neiguan); and Stomach 36 (Zusanli). These points should be pressed with strong continuous pressure for approximately two minutes each and may be said to comprise a self-healing treatment.
Also, ear tacks with adhesive on them may be used. They are often placed in the same spots on the ear that were stimulated during the LLLT session, to continue the stimulation between treatments. The way it works is this: when the patient feels an urge to eat, s/he applies mild pressure to the point or rubs it back and forth for about 20 seconds. This type of acupressure stimulates the point, causes a mild endorphin release, relaxes the patient and helps them to regain their willpower or resolve about resisting the temptation to eat. The patient removes the tacks at home after three days and throws them away or takes them out sooner if there is any irritation or discomfort. It is a good idea to also remove oneself from the location, person or food that triggers the resistance to the diet or contributes to the breakdown of willpower. For example, one might want to stay away from the kitchen and refrigerator between meals.
Nutritional Counseling & Lifestyle Changes
As was mentioned earlier, a good weight loss program includes nutritional counseling and exercise as well as a commitment to make permanent lifestyle changes. The acupuncturist can help with nutritional counseling and can discuss a diet regimen that the patient can live with and maintain for the long term. A diet that is high in fiber and low in fat, with moderate amounts of low-density carbohydrates and low-fat protein is usually the best choice to adopt. With this type of a diet program, the patient can avoid the pit-falls of yo-yo dieting or the tendency to lose weight and then regain it.
Other important tools that can aid in weight loss are stress reduction techniques and a moderate exercise regimen. The practitioner can suggest various stress reduction methods that may include breathing exercises, Tai Chi, yoga, meditation or biofeedback. And since the goal of a weight program is not only weight loss but also the maintenance of that loss, an exercise program that the patient likes is the best one to choose. The patient could try starting a program that includes brisk walking three times a week for forty minutes. After a few weeks when stamina is increased, they could try walking five times a week. After that, more aerobic exercise can be added such as the treadmill, stair climber or aerobics classes, cycling or whatever forms of rigorous exercise the person enjoys and can maintain for the long term. It is a good idea to use free weights beginning with three pound weights and practicing just two to three sets of arm curls three times a week. Moderate weight training builds lean body mass and helps to reduce body fat as well as strengthen and build bone mass and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Herbal Medicine & Supplements
Next a good individualized nutritional supplement program is important because everyone has a different metabolism and different needs for nutrients. It may include a combination of vitamins, minerals, herbs antioxidants, phytochemicals and nutraceuticals. These will support the diet program and balance the blood sugar to help give the body the strength, energy and defense it needs to maintain the healthy life style that s/he has begun. Many diet and appetite suppression products are available on the market and surprisingly many are safe and effective.
Breathing & Abdominal Exercises
While the patient is undergoing the behavior modification program and is successfully losing weight; it is a good idea to incorporate a set of deep breathing and abdominal exercises that utilize the acupuncture meridians or energy lines on the body to stimulate relaxation and digestion. If we practice deep abdominal breathing while lying down for a few minutes in the morning before we arise, we will not only take in more oxygen but will stimulate the stomach, spleen, kidney, and reproductive energy lines that are all located on the center of the torso. Digestion will be improved and all those organs will function more effectively. We will also start the day with more energy and clarity.
Another method of stimulating these same organs in the stomach region is the abdominal finger pressure massage (see below) that follows the direction of the large intestines. This massage may also be performed in bed in the morning and evening and will gently stimulate all the points on the central torso and will not only encourage proper digestion but will foster homeostasis or the harmonious balancing of the hormone and endocrine systems of the body.
In the Orient, and particularly in Japan, the belly is very important to our overall physical and emotional health. Even in the West we recognize this to a certain extent. Emotionally, many people recognize that they hold tension in their belly. Some people get constipated when they are stressed or anxious, while some get diarrhea. Also, people talk about having a gut feeling about something or hating someone's guts. Those kinds of phrases are much more common in the Orient.
On a physical level, most of the body's organs are in the abdomen. A large percentage of the immune system is there as well. From an acupuncture point of view, all of the energy channels flow through the abdomen. There are special reflex points in the abdomen that reflect the health of the various internal organs.
Through abdominal breathing and abdominal self-massage, you can keep your internal organs healthy, your immune system strong, and your emotional state calm and uplifted.
Caution: Do not massage your abdomen if you have cancer, an ulcer, a heart condition, high blood pressure, or if you are pregnant. The first few times you massage your abdomen it may take 20 to 30 minutes, but if you get into a daily habit you can do it in about 5 minutes. After the first couple of times you massage your belly, you may find an increase in symptoms, or some abdominal discomfort. This is normal and will pass quickly.
How a healthy abdomen feels:
As you lightly touch your belly, it should be the same temperature everywhere or slightly warmer below the navel. Above the navel should have a looser, softer feeling, while below should be more resilient and springy. The entire abdomen should feel elastic, not tight or tense. There should be a slight dip around the navel, and another about midway between the navel and the breast bone. The navel should have a uniform shape and indent smoothly into the abdomen. There should not be any hardness, puffiness, or pain when pressing, even relatively deeply. With deeper pressure, you will feel a pulse around the navel. The pulse should not be too strong, or over a large area; and it should not be visible. If you find any imbalances, then focus on massaging those areas of your abdomen. Pay particular attention to the areas that cause pain elsewhere in the body, especially where you have a symptom already.
Lie on your back with a pillow under your knees, if that is more comfortable. Very lightly, feel the skin of your belly, and notice any temperature variations. Particularly remember any areas that are significantly cooler than the rest.
Spend a few minutes doing deep abdominal breathing. As you inhale, feel your belly expanding, and as you exhale feel it fall. Every time you exhale, allow your whole body to relax more and more deeply.
After a few minutes, check the temperature and notice if it has changed. Then put one hand on top of the other, with the palms on the navel, and make clockwise circles, lightly chafing the skin. Use your palms to apply gentle pressure all around your abdomen, circling clockwise.
The next section uses finger pressure on the abdomen. Hold the fingers back to back, with all eight fingers pressing straight into the abdomen. Press in as you exhale, release as you inhale and move to the next spot. The first time through, use gentle pressure and then repeat again using deeper pressure. Take note of areas that are puffy, tight, or tender.
Start on the mid-line, just below the breastbone. Press all the way down the mid-line to the pubic bone, skipping the navel. Move your fingers half an inch to the right of the mid-line and press all the way up to the ribs. Move just to the left of the mid-line, and press all the way down to the pubic bone. Back to the right, press your way up, along the ridge of the rectus abdominus muscle. If you can't feel the ridge of the muscle, go about one and a half inches from the mid-line. Again, go down the same line on the left. Next go just outside the muscle, or about three inches from the mid-line, up the right and down the left. Next, press just under the rib cage, from right to left. Finally press just inside the left pelvic bone down to the pubic bone, then up the inside of the right pelvic bone.
After you have done that twice, go back to areas that were puffy, tight, or tender. Starting just outside of the area gently press in a spiral toward the center of the area. If there is pain, press just so deeply that you begin to feel the pain.
Finally, just relax and breathe for a few minutes. You may want to feel the temperature of the skin again, and notice any changes.
"Guarantee" is a 'big' word. We do not claim any 'total' success or satisfaction guarantees... or offer money-back guarantees. Everyone's genetic makeup, health history and lifestyle is different. Results vary as no 'two' human individuals are alike... even twins.
The self-motivated patient who will take the time to practice most of the items outlined here will most likely be pleased with the results that they find within a reasonable amount of time.
How effective is it?
Up to 75% of our clientele, who make behaviour modification or lifestyle changes, reach their ideal weight. Unfortunately due to the psychological aspect of weight control, no one can force you to make changes. Laser Therapy will help accelerate your metabolism and suppress your appetite. It is not a "magic wand". It is designed as an enhancement to eating properly and light exercise. You will learn how to eat healthy food, avoid cravings, feel satisfied and keep your metabolism at peak level long after the laser therapy program is completed.
Before Seeking Treatment, Acquire Medical Certainty of Exclusion of Contraindications:
While cold laser therapy has no risks and no side effects, its ability to penetrate tissues and cause cell reactions has caused concerns for some medical conditions that have not yet proven to be safe under cold laser treatment. Any lesions on the skin must be identified by a dermatologist as non-cancerous before seeking treatment, since pre-cancerous and cancerous lesions are considered contraindications of laser treatment until proven otherwise. Additionally, the lasers' effects on unborn babies are also unknown, so pregnancy is another contraindication.