Acupoint Stimulation on Weight Reduction for Obesity: A Randomized Sham-Controlled Study

West J Nurs Res. 2015 Dec;37(12):1517-30. doi: 10.1177/0193945914548707. Epub 2014 Sep 1.


Auricular acupoint stimulation has become a popular weight loss method. However, its efficacy for obesity treatment has not been fully studied. This study aimed to investigate the effect of a 10-week intervention of auricular electrical stimulation combined with auricular acupressure on weight reduction in obese outpatients. In this single-blind randomized sham-controlled study, 134 participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group receiving stimulation at true acupoints, or a sham group receiving stimulation delivered in the same manner but at sham acupoints. Each participant received nutrition counseling by a nutritionist weekly. The results showed significant differences in body mass index, blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglyceride, and leptin or adiponectin over time within the group, but not between the groups. This study could not exclude the effect of placebo and dietary consultation. Further study that adds a control group receiving no treatment is therefore needed to confirm the effects of auricular acupressure.

Keywords: adiponectin; auricular acupressure; electrical stimulation; leptin; obesity; weight reduction.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Points
  • Acupuncture, Ear*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Weight Loss*
  • Young Adult