You're gonna stick that where? Acupuncture for Weight Loss


Liquid, grapefruit, all meat, no meat, cabbage soup, raw, warrior, Hollywood, South Beach -Yes, I've tried every single diet that has ever existed! 


Of course my real problem is staying on the diet.  My willpower is in full force for about 2 days and then I quickly begin to break down:  One little piece of chocolate can't be that bad - after all I've been so good for two days. Not to mention that chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. And beans, as we all know, are a vegetable, which thus makes chocolate a vegetable. And chocolate is also made of milk, which is a dairy product and provides necessary calcium. So in fact, the entire chocolate cake I finished off in the middle of the night can't be that bad because chocolate is a health food.

I am not a good dieter.

That's why I almost crashed my car on Santa Monica Blvd when I saw a sign that read "Lose Weight With Acupuncture."  Could this be what I was looking for?  Sure, I want exactly thrilled about the idea of sticking a bunch of needles in my back but I had to find out more.

I steered my Volkswagen over to the corner and was lucky to catch Dr. James Kim O.M., the owner of Slim Weight Loss Center in West Los Angeles for an impromptu interview.  

Dr. Kim explained that acupuncture is a procedure adapted from a Chinese medical practice in which specific body areas are pierced with fine needles for therapeutic purposes.  Although the treatment was not specifically created for weight loss, many doctors of oriental medicine have begun to promote the benefit of acupuncture in this area.

His center incorporates acupuncture and a number of other Eastern medical practices to help clients with their weight.  Kim excitedly said, "Acupuncture helps get patients back to normal.  Obesity and weight gain are caused by a break in the meridian. Acupuncture acts as a balancing agent to create interaction and harmony in the body."

Dr. Kim believes that Western medicine is wrong in the belief that obesity and weight gain are only related to overeating.  He further states that many Western diets, appetite suppressants and diuretics are unhealthy and do not solve the real problem. 


He states that weight loss is "not that simple" and that Eastern treatments differ from person to person.  Dr. Kim said, "There is no one weight loss program that is adequate for everyone.  The most important step in losing weight is a clear understanding of oneself."


Eastern medicine defines obesity as a build of waste in our body caused by bad circulation of fat, water QI (chi) and blood.  Dr. Kim attempts to analyze his patient's lifestyles to see what is causing the problem - or what is "imbalanced" in the big picture.  If digestion and fat storage are not functioning correctly it slows down the metabolism and in turn slows down the liver, heart and kidney which leads to weight gain.  In addition, stress also slows the function of the heart.

Dr. Kim said that acupuncture can help people lose weight by "waking up the fat cells to function properly."  The needles are stuck in all different parts of the body including the head, back and hands depending on where the problem stems from.  Dr. Kim assured me that the needles do not hurt although when he put his fingers together to show me the size of the needle it looked really big.


Although you can get treatments ala carte, Dr. Kim recommends their complete weight loss program for serious results.  On this program, patients come in 2 times a week and each session lasts from 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  The treatments include much more than just acupuncture.  Patients start and end each session with exercise on a Pilates-looking machine.  This is followed by several different types of massage such as aroma, stone and deep tissue for help with circulation, detoxification and draining.  It also helps to sooth mental stress and stiffness in the muscles.  The sessions also include herbal wraps and the Faradhic Electricity Stimulation which helps improve metabolism.  Dr. Kim also provides patients with herbal supplements tailored to their specific needs.

The package is not cheap.  One month of treatments (9 sessions) costs $630.  In addition, results are not guaranteed and there is no refund if you don't lose weight. 


However, Dr. Kim says that with these treatments the patient should lose 1-2 pounds a week.  He does qualify his statement by saying that the treatments are not enough by themselves and the patient does have to change his lifestyle.  Dr. Kim says that he helps give his patients the skills to do so.  He also said that so far all of his patients have left satisfied.

Hey, I'm not sure if it's a miracle cure, but a little exercise, a couple of massages and even some well-placed needles could probably do everyone a little good!!

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