How Does Acupuncture Promote Weight Loss?
Although scientists aren't sure how acupuncture might promote weight loss, it's thought that undergoing acupuncture may suppress appetite, boost metabolism, and reduce stress. However, these theories have yet to be extensively tested in scientific studies.
Research on Acupuncture for Weight Loss
Although there is relatively little scientific support for the theory that acupuncture can promote weight loss, some studies suggest that acupuncture may be of some benefit to people looking to lose weight. In a research review published in 2009, for instance, scientists analyzed 31 studies (with a total of 3,013 participants) and found that acupuncture was associated with a significant reduction of average body weight and improvement in obesity. However, the review's authors caution that many of the reviewed studies were of poor quality.
Other research on acupuncture's effects on weight loss has yielded mixed results. For instance, a 1999 study of 40 obese people found that 12 weekly acupuncture sessions led to significant improvement in anxiety and depression but failed to promote weight loss. In study published the previous year, however, frequent acupuncture (administered twice daily for four weeks) was found to suppress appetite and promote weight loss among overweight participants.