Acupuncture is growing in popularity as an effective weight loss tool. With this rise in the use of acupuncture for weight loss came the need for a critical assessment of the studies that have been performed.
The International Journal of Obesity just published a review of 31 studies on the efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of obesity. The systematic review was comprised of 3013 individual cases where acupuncture was used to reduce body weight.
The aim of this review was to critically assess evidence for reduction of body weight and to evaluate adverse events of acupuncture therapy based on the results of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that evaluate the effect of various types of acupuncture therapies.
The results of this review showed that compared to control of lifestyle, acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction of average body weight (95% confidence interval, CI) of 1.72 kg (0.50–2.93 kg) and was associated with an improvement in obesity (relative risk=2.57; 95% CI, 1.98–3.34). Acupuncture significantly reduced a body weight of 1.56 kg (0.74–2.38 kg), on average, compared to placebo or sham treatments. Acupuncture also showed more improved outcomes for body weight (mean difference=1.90 kg; 1.66–2.13 kg), as well as for obesity (relative risk=1.13; 1.04–1.22), than conventional medication.
While this review did show that acupuncture is an effective treatment for obesity, the researchers expressed that they would like to see more well-planned, long-term studies to address the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating obesity and weight loss.
Source: International Journal of Obesity, January 2009; Acupuncture for obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
About American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has provided affordable, quality health care to the public and trained professionals in acupuncture, massage and Chinese medicine since 1980. In addition to its graduate curriculum, ACTCM offers continuing education, public education, community outreach and clinical services in acupuncture and herbal medicine. ACTCM has been the recipient of many awards for its curriculum, faculty and clinic, and has been voted “Best of the Bay” by both the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. ACTCM is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.