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Back Talk: Learning benefits of acupuncture

By By Dr. Layne Towery
Dec. 10, 2013 at 6:10 a.m.

Layne Towery

The other day I was watching the Dr. Oz show and he was promoting acupuncture for weight loss. How does acupuncture help you to lose weight? Do the needles hurt? Where are the needles placed? How many treatments are needed? I found it shocking that a medical doctor would endorse acupuncture for weight loss.

Acupuncture is finally getting under the skin of many dieters. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help heal a host of conditions. Finally, western medicine now embraces acupuncture to help quell acute and chronic pain, postoperative pain, cancer pain, nausea and many conditions like obesity and compulsive eating disorders.

Recent research has shown that acupuncture stimulates the center of the brain called the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is responsible for keeping the body in harmony, or what is called homeostasis. It is the body's dispatch center that regulates hormones and neurochemicals. It is the main control center for metabolism, hunger, thirst, body temperature and cardiac function.

Research has also found that acupuncture increases the production of ghrelin, a hormone that controls hunger along with stimulating the body's production of leptin, a hormone that that regulates fat storage.

Acupuncture will help curb your appetite, quell your craving for sugars and boost your metabolism along with improving your overall digestion. It will also strengthen the body's immunity and help the body heal faster.

There is usually about 12 to 15 needles used for the standard weight loss treatment. Most are on the front of the body and one or two may be placed in the ears. Rarely do the needles hurt.

I have been having chronic headaches for several years. I have been to eight to 10 doctors and/or specialists. They have performed every test known to mankind. All they tell me is that it must be stress related. The pain usually starts at the base of the neck and travels into the temples. Many times my ear hurts and is sensitive to the touch. My dentist says my jaw may be out of place and needs realignment. Can chiropractic adjustments or acupuncture help me?

Headaches are the No. 1 reason people called in sick at work. Studies reveal that millions of dollars of lost work time is because of chronic headaches. It has become a epidemic that effects millions of Americans.

It sounds like the doctors have ruled out gross pathology. ... That's good. All they know to tell you is that it must be stress? A thorough evaluation of your back is needed to determine if your headaches are coming from your neck, jaw and/or your spine.

Your sensitivity of the ear indicates that you may have a serious jaw problem - temporomandibular joint dysfunction - that may need realignment. A chiropractor is the only doctor that is trained to adjust the jaw properly. Many times, a mouth guard is needed at night. Acupuncture may also be very helpful for pain control.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.

Layne Towery is a Victoria chiropractor and acupuncturist and can be reached at towerygl@yahoo.com or 361-570-6284.

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