Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Losing weight with acupuncture

Published:Sunday | July 20, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dr Sonia Li - Contributed

Krysta Anderson, Lifestyle writer

Some try dumb-bells, others turn to running or even resort to taking pills in order to lose weight. But, what about needles?

Yes, it sounds scary, but there's no need to fear. While popularly known for alleviating pain, acupuncture has recently transcended to an unconventional mode of weight loss, creating quite a stir internationally. Outlook caught up with Dr Sonia Li, a specialist in Chinese acupuncture, at Eden Gardens Resort and Spa.

Dr Li beamed with pride as she spoke about her clients who have lost from 10 to 60 pounds after using this Chinese technique.

According to Dr Li, general acupuncture is the process through which different needles are inserted and manipulated into varying points of the body in order to relieve pain and ailments, or for spa purposes. "The points in your body are connected to different channels. Therefore, when one is blocked, it can cause pain or discomfort," she explained. Acupuncture can be very effective in relieving conditions such as stress and anxiety, as well as obesity and numerous other ailments.

When there is a shift in a person's system, that prevents the breakdown of food and the weight stays on. The human body requires balance, and that is what acupuncture helps to do, improving the metabolic system and helping the body to easily remove harmful toxins.

There is hope for those who panic at the sight of needles being inserted into their bodies. There is a substitute route that doctors have taken, known as ear acupuncture. "There are so many points in your ear that you treat weight loss from there. While the process costs less, it takes place over a longer period," revealed the doctor.

For those who definitely have a deep phobia for needles, there is an option - moxibustion. "People are more familiar with acupuncture, but I educate them on moxibustion which can be used as an alternative or additional treatment," explained Dr Li.


Moxibustion, a traditional Chinese medical technique, involves the burning of mugwort, a small, spongy herb, to facilitate healing. In Jamaica, Dr Li uses indirect moxibustion, which entails lighting a moxibustion stick the size of a cigar at the tip and placing it approximately an inch or two over the skin at various acupuncture points of the body.

The condition of the patient will determine the treatment. So, to make an accurate assessment, she requests that the patient complete a form detailing their medical history. She will also gather information about a patient's home and work environment to detect whether the excess body fat is being caused by external or internal factors. She then assesses the client's body to see what areas would need additional work, and then addresses them.

She confessed that sometimes stress can cause weight gain, and acupuncture, moxibustion or both will relax the body, thereby shedding those unwanted pounds.

Most times, these treatments to lose weight are long-term, so having undergone acupuncture, moxibustion or a combination of both, Dr Li recommends that, in order to maintain results, one should exercise and execute healthy eating habits.

For more information, you can visit Dr Li's website at