Acupuncture/acupressure for weight reduction? A systematic review

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 1997 Jan 31;109(2):60-2.


Acupuncture and acupressure are often advocated and used as a means of controlling appetite and reducing body weight, supported by case-series and uncontrolled studies that show encouraging results. This paper reviews placebo/sham-controlled clinical trials published on this topic. Two independent literature searches identified four such studies. None of these is without significant methodological flaws and their results are contradictory. The two relatively rigorous trials show no effect on body weight. On balance, no clear picture emerges to show that acupuncture/acupressure is effective in reducing appetite or body weight. Claims that these forms of treatment have specific effects on these conditions are therefore not based on well-performed clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupressure*
  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Appetite
  • Body Weight
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome