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Introduction: Obesity can result in a reduced quality of life, substantial morbidity and mortality. Acupuncture therapy is an effective treatment for weight reduction but there are associated problems of needle shock and internal injuries.
Aim & objectives: This study is aimed at researching the effect of transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation (TEAS) as an anti-obesity treatment option for obese patients.
Methods: A prospective randomized open-label study was conducted in the Acupuncture Clinic in Srinakharinwirot University Hospital. Fifty-five obese women, who had body mass index (BMI) > 23 kg/m2, were randomized to receive either TEAS or Electroacupuncture (EA) using 10 acupoints per session, two sessions a week for an 8-week period. Anthropometric parameters were measured throughout the treatment period. Weight reduction was considered as the primary outcome. Student’s t-test and paired t-test were used to compare the continuous data between groups and intra-group, respectively. The effects of obese type (according to Traditional Chinese Medicine) and treatment methods on weight reduction were tested using a univariate analysis of variance.
Results: At the end of the study, weight and BMI reduction of the TEAS (1.2 kg and 0.47 kg/m2, respectively) group were significantly decreased from the base line and were comparable with the reduction of those in the EA group (1.3 kg and 0.51 kg/m2, respectively). There were no significant effects of treatment methods (F=0.052; P=0.82) and TCM types (F=3.487; P=0.07) on weight reduction.
Conclusions: TEAS was found to be an effective method for weight reduction as seen with EA. TEAS was found to be safe and feasible as a method for weight reduction in obese women.
Electroacupuncture, transcutaneous electrical acupoint stimulation, obesity