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Chiropractic Care for Weight Loss

Obesity is a rising concern in most parts of the world and has become one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. A lot of people are now becoming more concerned in adopting healthy weight loss strategies but almost 60 to 65% encounter difficulties in losing significant amount of weight due to a variety of issues like lack of compliance, failure of practical and functional weight loss strategies, high intake of processed foods, and unhealthy cravings and inability to resist cravings.

Research suggests that use of complementary medicine is helpful in achieving fruitful results in a short time by maintaining compliance and emotional stability that is helpful in healthy weight loss.

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Weight gain is a problem due to hormonal, immunological, physiological and medical irregularities that affect the quality of life. Because of obesity, people develop changes in the production and serum concentration of different hormones, leading to changes in the reproductive cycle (production of androgens in adipose tissue), changes in the metabolism and serum sugar concentration (due to insulin resistance) and excessive wear and tear changes in the joints and bones due to degenerative changes.

Other medical issues like hypertension, stroke, cardiac illness and psychiatric issues are also common in obese population. According to reports of Center for Disease Control, approximately 65% of the entire U.S. population is over-weight or obese.

Chiropractic therapy may play significant role in stabilizing the joints and bones to promote healthy weight loss. Exercise and physical activity is one of the most important pillars of a weight loss strategy, however, the nature and intensity of physical activity is different for weight loss, weight maintenance and fitness.

Chiropractic practitioners educate individuals regarding optimal posture and exercises that stabilize emotional clarity and reduce pain, swelling, inflammation and stress. Some practical and helpful chiropractic therapies that may help in healthy weight loss are spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and massage.

A study conducted by PM Barnes suggests that chiropractic medicine and alternative therapies are more useful in achieving healthy weight loss goals. The lack of compliance is mainly due to an inability to resist cravings.

Research indicates that depression, psychiatric illness, improper neuronal connectivity and blockage of impulse conduction are the leading causes of emotional instability that may result in weight gain. Spinal manipulation helps in restoration of normal impulse conduction by the realignment of spinal vertebrae.

Gary Elkins suggests that complementary and alternative medicine can manage health problems ranging from depression to weight loss (in independent cases as well as cases in which the two factors hold cause-effect relationship).

Gut motility disorders constitute another important element of obesity due to intake of improper diet, gut inflammation, release of stress hormones and impaired metabolism. The intake of a poor quality processed diet further aggravates the inflammation and gut motility.

A research report published in the scientific journal The American Journal of Gastroenterology indicates that over 40% of Americans utilize complementary medicine to manage motility disorders that help in managing the symptoms of irritable gut or hyper/ hypo mobile gut. With a healthy gut, the digestion, assimilation and metabolism improves significantly that may aid in weight loss.

Mehmet Tuǧrul Cabıoǧlu conducted a study on an obese population of 55 females and observed that acupuncture therapy significantly helps in weight loss more than dietary restriction or nutritional modification.

The study group underwent acupuncture therapy on the ear, spinal vertebral regions and dermatomes (LI 4, LI 11, St 25, St 36, St 44) and the stomach for 30 minute sessions each day for a period of 20 days. After the completion of the test period, researchers reported improvements in total body cholesterol, lipid concentration and overall body weight.

In another study published in International Journal of Neuroscience, the author suggests that acupuncture therapy helps in suppressing appetite, increasing gastrointestinal motility, enhancing basal metabolic rate and improvement in the emotional stability that helps in achieving weight loss.

Massage therapy act as an adjuvant to the physical exercises and maneuvers that helps in soothing the aching tissues and muscles. In addition massage therapy helps in the elimination of toxins and chemicals that are produced as a result of fat mobilization (since adipose tissue stores the drug metabolites, chemicals and toxins that are produced or ingested by the human body).

It is extremely important to seek assistance from a registered chiropractic practitioner in order to minimize the risk of complications and in order to achieve early results.

Other helpful strategies advised by chiropractic practitioners to optimize weight loss strategies include Graston Therapies, ultrasound mediated stimulation of metabolism, electrical stimulation, kinesiotaping, Active Release Techniques, physiotherapy exercises, yoga, meditation, hypnosis, and biofeedback.

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