There are few clinical studies showing the effectiveness of acupuncture for weight loss.

Here’s one that does.

165 women assigned to one of 3 treatments.

  • Electroacupuncture performed by using 3 ear and 6 body points
  • Placebo electroacupuncture
  • Diet restriction

And, the results.

  • There was a 5% reduction in weight of patients with electroacupuncture.
  • By comparison, the women receiving with a diet restriction and placebo electroacupuncture had less than 3% weight reduction.
  • There were significant decreases in phobia, anger, anxiety, obsession, paranoid symptoms, and depression with electroacupuncture compared to the placebo electroacupuncture and diet groups.

The bottom line?
Lately, friends have asked about using acupuncture to help them loose weight. The best I can find is that the response to electroacupuncture is modest. And there’s no evidence the response to a course of treatment is long lasting.

But then, that’s the case for all weight loss treatments.

9/8/07 23:17 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.