Acupuncture For Weight Loss

Does it Work?

Acupuncture weight loss is a modern application of this ancient medical practice. This article reports on the conclusion of it’s safety and effectiveness following an extensive examination of the published evidence.

Acupuncture And Weight Loss — Safety

Acupuncture weight loss is a safe practice when a dieter undergoes 1-3 sessions within 3 to 4 weeks of starting a traditional method of weight loss.

Side effects of weight loss through acupuncture are rarely reported by dieters. The most common include headache, nausea, and vertigo (losing balance). Severe adverse events, like neurological damage or death, have never occurred within 3 to 4 weeks of treatment.

Unfortunately, no conclusions can be made beyond 4 weeks because of a lack of safety data. The studies designed to examine acupuncture’s safety do not follow subjects past 4 weeks. The ones that did attempt to follow subjects past 4 weeks, show many inconsistencies.

Until more data becomes available on acupuncture’s safety beyond 4 weeks, no final conclusion can be made.

Weight Loss Through Acupuncture — Does it Work?

After examining several published studies, weight loss through acupuncture, when combined with traditional methods of dieting like caloric restriction and exercise, acupuncture does appear to increase the amount of weight loss experienced by dieters.

In some studies, the difference between those using acupuncture and those not, was statistically significant. However, like the safety data, the conclusion that acupuncture does increase the amount of weight loss can only be made up to 4 weeks.

After 4 weeks, the data becomes inconsistent and incomplete. To make a conclusion beyond 4 weeks will require more data.

Acupuncture as a sole method to help dieters lose weight has not been studied enough to make a conclusion. The studies that are available are not designed properly and do not include enough subjects.

Acupuncture Weight Loss — The Final Verdict

By undergoing 1-3 sessions within 3-4 weeks and when combined with tradtional methods of weight loss, acupuncture does work to increase the amount of weight lost by dieters.

No conclusion on the relationship between acupuncture and weight loss can be made on the safety and effectiveness of acupuncture beyond 4 weeks because of a lack of data.

** Check back often. We will be updating this page when new data is available on acupuncture and weight loss. 


Investigate more complementary approaches to traditional weight loss on our weight loss psychology page